Category: Directors

The Determined Fox of “The Day of the Jackal” (1973)

An air of inevitability hangs about Fred Zinneman’s “The Day of the Jackal,” based on Frederick Forsyth’s book about an attempted assassination of Charles de Gaulle. (There was an attempt, but Forsyth’s book is almost entirely fiction.) The 1973 film adaptation is the espionage equivalent of a police procedural, and the would-be assassin’s preparations, juxtaposed

“The Ice Harvest”: Only morons are nice on Christmas

Welcome to my 12 Days of Christmas series! I thought I'd introduce some of my favorite anti-Christmas-spirit movies and a few proper Christmassy ones to celebrate what is actually my favorite holiday. (Food, pretty lights, and it lasts practically all month! It's really just the, um, people I don't like much.)

I’ll Kill Him and I’ll Eat Him: Food in Film Blogathon

This is my entry in the delicious Food in Film Blogathon, hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy. Check out the many treats from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3!   Let’s just start by acknowledging that Peter Greenaway‘s “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” is not for everyone. And that’s okay.

AFI Fest 2014: Takashi Miike’s Over Your Dead Body

Takashi Miike has a great eye, and he constructs breathtakingly beautiful mise-en-scènes. "Over Your Dead Body" is no exception: It's gorgeous. Of course, the other thing Miike is known for is gore, often sexual in nature. "Over Your Dead Body" is also no exception in this regard.

Bluebeard in Black and White: Fritz Lang’s “Secret Beyond the Door”

Lang is a master of mood and lighting (assisted by some fantastic cinematographers), and this carries "Secret." It doesn’t hurt that it stars Joan Bennett (a sometime Lang favorite) and Michael Redgrave, but the plot is so goofily Freudian that if Bennett and Redgrave weren’t adrift in Lang’s parallel universe, it probably wouldn’t work.

Having Your Cake in Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear (1944)

Lang's protagonists are often less involved in a plot than they are trapped in a psychologically overwrought context, an atmosphere rather than a real place. Even before we know what sort of trouble Neale will get himself in, there is an unnerving emphasis on the passing of time. The film opens on a clock.