Criterion News and Discussion

Started by Gold Trumpet, January 16, 2003, 06:18:19 PM

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same about what you said both things



it's a must for me, of course it is.

i was thinking the other night that i say "they don't make them like they used to" while referring to things that were made before i was born. in some ways i believe i've accelerated the process of becoming elderly


A Criterion box set is in the works of five films from Greek director Nico Papatakis. Yorgos Lanthimos talks about him, below.

Quote"It's become a cliché to call a filmmaker 'rebellious,' but from Gance to Eisenstein to Pasolini to Buñuel, the 20th century saw true rebels who fiercely defied both the cinematic and political establishments of their time. Nikos Papatakis (1918- 2010)—nicknamed Nico in France—holds a profound and unique place in this lineage through a body of work that blends anarchic fury with visceral and transcendent poetry. Born in Addis Ababa to an Ethiopian mother and a Greek father, Papatakis was an outcast by nature, mocked and ostracized as a child for being biracial. Deeply rooted in personal experience, Papatakis's films are politically, morally, and formally subversive explorations of race, gender, and class that use the medium as a vehicle of opposition and dissent." —Yonca Talu, Sept/Oct 2017 issue

Les Abysses (1963)

This allegorical portrait of the Algerian resistance was inspired by the real-life story of the Papin sisters, two maids who brutally murdered their employers in 1930s France—also the basis for Jean Genet's influential 1947 play The Maids and Claude Chabrol's 1995 psychological thriller La Cérémonie.

The Shepherds of Disorder (1967)

The Shepherds of Disorder (Thanos and Despina) juxtaposes an anthropological and materialist study of a rigid rural community with the mythologically imbued, forbidden romance between a rebellious shepherd and the angelic and compliant daughter of a rich conservative family, engaged in an erotically charged power game.

Gloria Mundi (1976)

Papatakis's most psychedelic and intellectually challenging film, Gloria Mundi, a virulent denunciation of consumer capitalism and a hypocritical left-wing intelligentsia that deems itself political but does not take any action, begins with a scream and ends with an explosion.

The Photograph (1986)

Papatakis's most accessible, gripping, and poignant work is a meticulously crafted, intimate meditation on immigration and exile centering on a 26-year-old Greek man fresh out of prison (where he was tortured for being a communist's son) who leaves for France in hopes of a better life, and where he strikes up a complicated friendship with a distant relative.

Walking a Tightrope (1992)

The director's final film—starring Michel Piccoli as a fictional version of Papatakis's friend Jean Genet—is a compendium of the themes and motifs that pervade his distinctive filmography, including the torturous nature of love, the suffering induced by exile, and suicide as an act of rebellion.


jacked from the folks at Criterion Forum:

Josef von Sternberg's Morocco (1930) is forthcoming


it's such a great overall movie, and it has this particular achievement

[broken youtube link to Marlene smoking another woman's cigarette]


QuoteCuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea's Memories of Underdevelopment, from 1968, is one of the greatest pictures ever made, and it's screening in a new restoration at the Coral Gables Art Cinema that you shouldn't miss. Don't be surprised, however, if what you're watching doesn't always look brand new or slick or clean. Though fictional, Alea's film mixes a variety of forms, incorporating both documentary footage shot by the director on the streets of Havana as well as archival historical images. As such, it's also often purposefully grainy, washed out, imperfect. Alternating between immediacy and reflection, fantasy and honesty, lyricism and horror, Memories of Underdevelopment feels like it's being created before our very eyes.

QuoteDepending on one's position in history and on the political spectrum, the film seems to voice skepticism of both the Cuban Revolution and the consumer culture it opposes; it views the intellectuals seeking paths through this cultural minefield as do-nothings trying to make themselves feel important; it complains that the American most identified with the country, Ernest Hemingway, was a carpetbagger who "never cared about Cuba."

Stylistically, the film makes itself even harder to pin down. Gutierrez Alea blends documentary and feature devices, steals street scenes that put fictional characters in real situations, and offers New Wave-influenced insights into a man who resents what's around him but can't bring himself to leave it.

QuoteHe is, in fact, the sort of man with whom we can easily identify from our experience of European films and literature. The difference is that he is placed in exceptional circumstances and finds it difficult to understand them. Memories is one of the best films ever made about the sceptical individual's place in the march of history.
QuoteThere are even clips from a porno film - there were many made in Cuba under Batista - and Alea himself and the author of the original novel comment on what is going on in Sergio's mind. As one admiring critic has said, "the film insists that what we see is a function of how we believe, and that how we believe is what our history has made of us".

QuoteNo film in the history of cinema better captures the curse of the intellectual than Memories of Underdevelopment. Sergio doesn't leave with everyone else because he hates the rich. An intellectual can never side with those who make "callous cash payment" the entire meaning of society. The intellectual strives for a mental freedom that's immeasurable and promises no returns.



(Just to be weird:) The 5000 Fingers of Dr T(ree)?
Since dreams are to align, not to change nor
to grow, whatever are the really for?


An Angel At My Table
Swing time
Ummm Rabbit Hole?
Worm Wood?


Wow. I think I saw this film at FILMEX 1974, at the then Paramount Theater (now El Capitan) in Hollywood.  Two four hour chunks...with a meal break in between. 

It was Epic.

(I was a much younger man, with a much tougher butt back then.) 


Definitely seeing this at Lincoln Center next week.