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The Lion in Winter (1968) Directed by Anthony Harvey "Did the Channel part for you?" A film, yes, but also a towering, regal monument to the healing power of sarcasm and sniping, the things that keep us sane, from which life, dreams, are made. Intelligence curdles into bitterness and every smile is a box of knives in this most voluptuous Christmas film. The Lion in Winter centers on a never-better Katharine Hepburn, winsome in her venom,...
Days of Being Wild (1990) Directed by Wong Kar-wai Even more than most Wong films, Days of Being Wild is a film of languor. With its scattered characters, near-absence of narrative, and staccato rhythm (long stretches of hushed conversation punctuated by violent outbursts), the movie achingly embodies a particular state of ennui in 1960s Hong Kong, as men and women listlessly weave in and out of relationships. Wong weaves a tangled, mesmerizing web out of...
Life is a Dream: The Films of Raúl Ruiz (Part 1) December 2-22 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center It’s impossible to follow many of Raúl Ruiz’s films, and foolhardy even to try. One would do better instead to flow with them, based as they are on mood and tone rather than on three-act structures. While the films in fact hold lots of plots, their storylines move not through binaries of conflict and resolution, but...
The Watermelon Woman (1996) Directed by Cheryl Dunye Throughout her first several short pieces in the early 1990s, Dunye created an endearing character: Herself. The auteur-star’s “Cheryl” is a shy, awkward, oft-lovelorn young filmmaker in Philadelphia that seeks to understand her black and lesbian identities better both for her own sake and for the sake of others around her. Cheryl begins Dunye’s debut feature with a direct-camera address in which she mentions the lack of media...