Tag Archives: France

“I should like to make even the most ordinary spectator feel that he is not living in the best of all possible worlds.” – Luis Buñuel

Today is Luis Buñuel’s birthday! From Luis Buñuel’s autobiography My Last Sigh: Connoisseurs who like their martinis very dry suggest simply allowing a ray of sunlight to shine through a bottle of Noilly Prat before it hits the bottle of … Continue reading

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“I’m really confident. I had a perfect childhood. I had perfect parents and grandparents. They just love me, simply. So I have no fears.” — Mélanie Laurent

Today is the birthday of French actress and director Mélanie Laurent. Probably most American audiences (and international audiences, outside of France) were first introduced to the extraordinary Mélanie Laurent in her perfoƒrmance as the revolutionary Shoshanna in Inglourious Basterds. Laurent … Continue reading

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“I don’t need to ‘tell’ the story…The story is being told from itself by following the different moments in different locations.” — Mia Hansen-Løve

One of my favorite contemporary film-makers is Mia Hansen-Løve. Hansen-Løve is interested in people, in how people listen, how they walk (very important to her), the locations where they live, the conversations they have about philosophy, film, politics. She is … Continue reading

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2023 National Society of Film Critics Awards

I was voted into the National Society of Film Critics this year and we had our voting meeting today. The group is nationwide so there were groups in LA, a group in New York, and people Zooming in from Chicago, … Continue reading

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2023 Books Read

I think I might have read more books by non-American authors than American this year. Countries represented below: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Ireland, France, Russia, Colombia. I revisited some old favorites, which I will continue to do in … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt to her. Robert Kaplan is the most open about it (his Balkan Ghosts, which launched his career, has him … Continue reading

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November 2023 Viewing Diary

After Everything (2018; d. Hannah Marks, Joey Power) In early November, I holed up in a cozy little house in Connecticut with Allison and Carol. I had to work the whole time, which was a bummer but the night was … Continue reading

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2023 films I loved, in no particular order

On my Substack, open to all: my Top whatever Films of 2023. Unranked. An eccentric sampling, featuring some of the usual suspects but, more importantly, pointing towards some lesser-known films which – for whatever reason – got lost in the … Continue reading

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Review: The Taste of Things (2023)

I really loved Tran Anh Hung’s The Taste of Things. First of all, the food looks so delicious – it’s truly a top-tier foodie movie. But it’s also a tender love story. I reviewed for Ebert.

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“The best actors in the world are those who feel the most and show the least.” — Jean-Louis Trintignant

It’s his birthday today. My first encounter with the intriguing, mysterious (and yet somehow still vulnerable) Jean-Louis Trintignant, was seeing The Conformist at The Music Box in Chicago, circa mid-90s. I was completely unfamiliar with him. Even just the look … Continue reading

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