best film:  Bringing Up Baby from Howard Hawks. Hepburn, Grant and Hawks all had a strong resume leading up to this film in the 1930’s but it wasn’t until Bringing Up Baby that they solidified




best film:  Le Grande Illusion from Renoir It is an intelligent prison film and drama—the most common words used by critics heaping praise on it are “humanist”, ”anti-war” and “graceful”. Graceful is the only one


Walking and Talking – 1996 Holofcener


The debut film from Woody Allen acolyte Nicole Holofcener The Miramax logo, Billy Bragg on the film score, Liz Phair on the soundtrack--- yes- this is a 1990’s indie movie gabbing in a video rental

Walking and Talking – 1996 Holofcener2020-10-10T12:27:32+00:00

Nothing Sacred – 1937 Wellman


William Wellman may have directed but it is also a David O. Selznick picture (the reason it is in color) and a Ben Hecht screenplay (wrote Notorious and about 100 other titles either credited or

Nothing Sacred – 1937 Wellman2020-10-10T12:57:00+00:00

Bombshell – 1933 Fleming


A fast-paced raucous comedy that would fit well in in any study of screwball comedy (we’re at the very origins of it here in 1933 as this is the year before It Happened One Night

Bombshell – 1933 Fleming2020-10-09T19:51:26+00:00

The Tenant – 1976 Polanski


A gigantic achievement, the final chapter of Polanski’s unofficial urban paranoia set of films best known as the apartment trilogy with Repulsion (1965), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)—and I’m not sure all three aren’t masterpieces If Polanski

The Tenant – 1976 Polanski2020-10-09T19:10:59+00:00

Cairo Station – 1958 Chahine


A superb film from Egyptian director Youssef Chahine—fast-paced, engaging, and turns into a wonderful thriller with an edge in the final act It is edited like a Capra’s It Happened One Night (we have a

Cairo Station – 1958 Chahine2020-10-08T15:12:38+00:00



best film:  Modern Times from Chaplin. Modern Times is easily the best film of 1936. It’s a testament to Chaplin that this film, not even his best, hovers so far above the other best films of




best film:  The Bride of Frankenstein by Whale The sequel (four years after the original apparently because Whale would only agree to do it if he had complete artistic control) lacks some of the narrative


No End – 1985 Kieslowski


Kieslowski’s fourth feature (made after but released third ahead of Blind Chance)- and four for four in the archives. This is an important first collaboration with co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz who would go on to work

No End – 1985 Kieslowski2020-10-05T13:35:49+00:00

Les Misérables – 2019 Ly


Not a direct adaptation of Hugo’s novel—a contemporary film that is certainly inspired by it- with the line “There are no bad plants or bad men; there are only bad cultivators” used in the finale The debut of Ladj Ly

Les Misérables – 2019 Ly2020-10-05T13:15:01+00:00

The Body Snatcher – 1945 Wise


The first of three Val Lewton and Boris Karloff collaborations in 1945 and 1946—the other two were directed by Mark Robson – Isle of the Dead and Bedlam.--- part of Lewton’s impressive run as producer

The Body Snatcher – 1945 Wise2020-10-03T13:27:17+00:00
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