In the course of just seven feature films – Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), Mirror (1974), Stalker (1979), Nostalgia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986) – Andrei Tarkovsky changed what cinema as an artform could achieve. Despite the lack of canonical consensus today as to which filmmakers should be counted as the true greats, one can make this claim about Tarkovsky because many active filmmakers today tell us as much.
If you have watched any movie by Jean-Luc Godard you know that he’s never been one to hide behind the façade of film narrative. His movies are personal. Sure they are also intellectually demanding, unabashedly political, and occasionally impenetrable but they are definitely personal.
Following Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Jim Jarmusch’s new film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” is the second-most-intensely curated movie of the season, starting with its first images, in which a galaxy of stars morphs into the spinning, gleaming groove of a vintage rock 45 on a turntable. The rest of the movie only deepens the mystical sense of the cosmos condensed into the well-chosen work of art—and the vintage fetish object that embodies it. The first dramatic scene is a guitar lov
In 1913, Germany, flush with a new nation’s patriotic zeal, looked like it might become the dominant nation of Europe and a real rival to that global superpower Great Britain. Then it hit the buzzsaw of World War I.
It may sound redundant, but to many people a Hitchcock film would not be a Hitchcock film without Hitchcock. By this I mean not only Hitchcock’s masterful command of light and shadow, camera movement, and editing, but also the brief, witty appearances of the man himself, in front of the camera.
Has any filmmaker, of any era, had more influence on documentaries than Dziga Vertov? We know the early 20th-century Soviet cinema theorist and director of avant-garde non-fiction films has a place high in the documentary pantheon by virtue of his 1929 Man with a Movie Camera alone.
On his Vimeo page, Jacob T. Swinney frames his pretty remarkable supercut with these words: What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side.
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