Posts Tagged ‘film’

the-banquet-ziyi-poster

Black Swan, Hamlet, The Banquet

Yes, another post about film, but these are after all the last days before the Oscars. I have been thinking again about Black Swan, and been reminded of Shakespeare’s most famous lines: A tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. And, as often, thinking of the Bard made me think about […]



catherine-deneuve-peau-d-ane

Love cake recipe, courtesy of Peau d’Ane

Peau d’Ane, Donkey Skin, is my favorite Perrault fairy tale, and a full post here on this powerful story of lust, incest, love and morality is long overdue. In the meantime, Valentine’s Day gives me this opportunity to link to this excerpt of the wonderful musical adaptation by Jacques Demy, starring Catherine Deneuve as the […]



Black Swan: odd bird

For the longest time I couldn’t visit the New York Times website without an ad for Black Swan popping up to the right of the article I was reading. Irritating, but it worked. I was intrigued by all the hooplah and finally saw the film. Thanks for the publicity barrage, everyone must have heard the story, […]



Martine Carol as Lola Montes

Lola Montes, by Max Ophüls (restored 1955 version)

I saw this film the other night on French television. Oh, I had watched it before, but now I was discovering the recently (2008) restored version, which conforms closely to the vision of director Max Ophüls. This film has a tortured history. It was an complete commercial flop upon its release, and was then mangled, […]



The Reader poster

Film review: The Reader (2008)

Be warned: I am in the minority here. This film was well received, and in particular it earned Kate Winslet an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Actress. So when I saw it on the movie menu of my flight to the HNS Conference last June, I decided to go for […]



Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarentino

Film review: Inglourious Basterds

The stated goal of Mr. Tarentino, the director, was to make a spaghetti western. I know too little about that subgenre to assess the success of this film in this regard. Inglourious Basterds could certainly be called many other things. A war thriller, for instance, though it does not really work as such because it is […]



The Red Violin

The Red Violin (1998)

I wrote this review last year for a music-themed issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. Many thanks to the editors for allowing me to reproduce this piece here. When I heard that the editors of Historical Novels Review wanted a review of a music-themed historical film, The Red Violin immediately […]



Marie Therese of Spain Queen of France

Versailles: The Dream of a King (BBC version)

Here is a link to this program (available only from the UK.) I just watched it and found it very different from the French original. First the emphasis here is not on the palace itself, but on the character of Louis XIV. Also the dramatization is constantly interrupted by various popular British historians. The result […]



Versailles: The Dream of a King (France 2 version)

This film ran on the BBC a few days ago, and is available for streaming on the France 2 site (from France only, 1.99 euros.) You can also watch it from anywhere, and for free, at Dailymotion. The DVD is sold at Amazon.fr under the original title Versailles, le reve d’un roi (careful with the […]



the duchess Keira Knightley

The Duchess

I had read many reviews of this film, some rather good, some rather bad, so I went to see this film with an open mind. That was two weeks ago, upon its release in France. Now I realize I shouldn’t tarry anymore in writing my review because this is not the kind of movie that […]