Homage to François Truffaut  

In a Paris street brakes screech, and a man is running: headlights skid across the dank walls of buildings. Staggering, the man escapes whatever was after him, and then finds a companion walking at his side. A friend? Just another …



Sex in the Head  

Last Tango in Paris is an expressionist film in the line of Fritz Lang, Jean-Luc Godard, and Paddy Chayefsky. To admit this at the outset is to minimize any risk of understanding the phenomenon too quickly. Expressionism, after all, seeks …



Sex in the Head  

Last Tango in Paris is an expressionist film in the line of Fritz Lang, Jean-Luc Godard, and Paddy Chayefsky. To admit this at the outset is to minimize any risk of understanding the phenomenon too quickly. Expressionism, after all, seeks …



Angst-pushers & Austenites  

That movies can accomplish certain narrative chores more smoothly than novels is a truism, but when we begin looking at specific moments from specific films, the apparently slight advantage in facility takes on the character of a difference in kind. …



Some American Masks  

We hear a reader praising this or that writer with the puzzled affection to which American literature frequently drives its admirers, we think of the famous phrase about the “complex fate” of being an American, we say to ourselves, yes, …



Blood Orange, or Violence in the Movies  

Hollywood movies used to make the gangster “understandable” by allowing him a human weakness, and the same trick of complication was played on cops. The unstated principle seemed to be: cops and robbers have more in common with each other …



“Walden Is Alive Again”  

Looking through a good deal of the literature about communes, one is persuaded that something important must be afoot, and that the writers have not discovered in what the importance consists. About one thing there can be no exaggeration: communes …



Documentary Now  

Whether on stage or “live,” whatever the exact degree of contrivance, documentaries stake everything on their appeal to reality. The documentary sets out in search of the real world—to show us real lives, to give those lives a sudden and final …



A Word on the Calley Case  

Every age has its public drama, a scene jarred loose of context which illuminates that longer, impassive flow of events that leaves most people happily unconcerned. From the first it should have been apparent that the My Lai massacre would become …



Trash, Art, and Critics  

WHEN HE SPEAKS against kitsch he seems to be speaking from the point of view of art,” wrote Harold Rosenberg, describing the stance of a certain well-practiced critic of mass culture; but “when he speaks about art it is plain …



Hollywood Discovers “The Revolution”  

AN AGE DEFINES ITSELF by the words it brings to prominence. Idealism, as in youthful idealism, would be such a word; and by setting it against the various kinds of action it describes one might hope to arrive at a …