Criticker Zealot - 5423 Film Ratings
Member Since: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Bio: I'm a writer. I lean towards arthouse cinema, realism and old Italian stuff, and some guilty pleasures include horror, kung fu, and anything strange and unusual. Favorite filmmakers include (in no particular order): Jacques Rozier, Mario Monicelli, Maurice Pialat, Emir Kusturica, Radu Jude, R.W. Fassbinder, Asghar Farhadi, C.T. Dreyer, Antonio Pietrangeli, Dino Risi, Werner Herzog, Lina Wertmüller, Luchino Visconti, Claude Chabrol, Nicolas Roeg, Sidney Lumet, Satyajit Ray, Sam Peckinpah, Sergei Parajanov, John Cassavetes, Michelangelo Antonioni, Lynne Ramsay, Abbas Kiarostami, Woody Allen, Federico Fellini, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Alan Clarke, Terry Gilliam, Costa-Gavras, Aki Kaurismäki, Jafar Panahi, Douglas Sirk, Ernst Lubitsch, Kaneto Shindo, Jean Renoir, Ermanno Olmi, Cristian Mungiu and Francesco Rosi.
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|98 T10||Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945) - 10 Feb 2007
"Bresson has an uncanny understanding of the female psyche. Seldom in cinema are female characters so real, complex and multi-faceted. There is something distinctly feminine about the psychological drama and intrigue that make up Ladies of the Park. The male character is almost just a platform for the truly fascinating women to play off of. While not quite as perfect as the preceding Angels of the Streets, I still consider this a near-perfect film, Bresson's second best."
|63 T7||Fast-Walking (1982) - 26 Sep 2014
"This movie really lays out the plan for what James Woods would forever be; mixing serious subject matter, often seriously portrayed (prison violence, politics), with more than a dab of humorous schlock and blatant sexploitation - a combination defining Woods' persona in later films such as Videodrome, Salvador and Cop. I dare say Fast-Walking also sets the standard - it's well-made, with some interesting characters, but doesn't really commit to achieving greatness."
|40 T3||Citizen X (1995) - 05 Sep 2009
"The great Donald Sutherland and Max von Sydow, as well as the potentially compelling true case of Andrei Chikatilo (one of the most prolific serial killers on criminological record), are wasted on a very average made-for-TV production. A tame, thrill-less thriller with mediocre text. Although said to be critical of the USSR's conduct in the case, Citizen X lavishes its protagonists with adulation and omits such crucial facts as the execution of an innocent suspect who confessed under torture."
|65 T7||Thérèse Raquin (1953) - 28 Sep 2010
"Although Zola wrote Thérèse Raquin some seven decades prior, Carné's adaptation comes off as a variation on the better-known The Postman Rings Twice. While this is a fairly potent film by its last act, as far as variations on that theme go it is inferior to Visconti's Ossessione. Vallone resembles Burt Lancaster in both appearance and woodenness, and it is as if Signoret is here rehearsing for her role in Clouzot's Les Diaboliques."
|63 T7||A Bucket of Blood (1959) - 12 Sep 2010
"As a viewing experience it's lean and flowing and entertaining to watch, if a bit slight and generally ridiculous. But underlying the somewhat exploitative horror comedy is a potent allegory about social reception of and expectations from art. It's significant that the director of this little movie that's more ambitious that it looks, went on to become the producer patriarch of New Hollywood."
|73 T8||Sedotta e abbandonata (1964) - 06 Jul 2013
"The Age&Scrapelli dialogues and much of the theatrics steer this nonchalantly toward comedy, but in essence it doesn't seem like Vincenzoni wrote a light-hearted social satire. Agnese (Sandrelli) is essentially raped by Peppino and therefore branded a whore by her community as her absolute monster of a father endeavors to wed her to her now reluctant rapist. She is battered by both. Sicilian culture is portrayed as extremely patriarchal and misogynistic. Funny? At times, but mostly shocking."
|95 T10||Autumn Sonata (1978) - 07 Nov 2007
"An immensely harrowing chamber drama. Not only does the awesome text reach emotional extremes, but these extremes are successfully delivered through absolutely masterful acting from the entire cast, which Bergman incessantly shoots in closeup. This choice of cinematography grabs you by the throat, pulls you very near and never lets you distance yourself. It constantly, forcefully confronts you with expressions, feelings and reactions. Watching this is one strong experience."
|40 T3||China 9 Liberty 37 (1978) - 12 May 2010
"A disappointing effort from Monte Hellman, in spite of Oates and the Peckinpah cameo. It starts out promising; sure, Fabio Testi has a thick Italian accent and the Spanish sets are nothing to write home about, but there are no distinct "good guys" and I was looking forward to a wholesome revisionist western. Apparently the genre is here past its prime. It quickly deteriorates into a series of uninteresting and rather confusing shootouts, punctuated by long and entirely gratuitous love scenes."
|83 T10||Imitation of Life (1959) - 09 Nov 2007
"Sirk's last major film is highly layered and highly complex. It seems like he was full of ideas and eager to infuse what could have been a simple remake with as many themes as possible. Not all of the storylines are equally good, but in general he pulls it off magnificently. As always, this is soap - Sirk sacrifices naturalism, simplifying dialogs and situations in order to dig into the depths of human relationships, and mine out more emotional truths."
|50 T4||I Spit on Your Grave (2010) - 30 Jan 2011
"The last in a tidal wave of remakes of classic scaries, this version of ISoYG is fashioned in accordance with the torture porn fad of the aughties, so the vengeance scenes are far more elaborate and crueler. While Meir Zarchi's was a B-movie made on a shoestring budget, the remake boasts expensive production and is more technically accomplished in every way. Genre fans should be entertained, but it lacks psychological subtlety present in the original, and doesn't add anything of substance."