(Cross posted on GC Daily)
The Films of Morris Engel (with Ruth Orkin) represent "such an unassuming clutch of cinema that it'd be easy to overlook the revolution they represented — without Little Fugitive, there might not have been a French New Wave or John Cassavetes, and therefore, perhaps, no new wave movement at large," writes Michael Atkinson on the IFC. Further up that same page, Bamako: "Malian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako may have made the one African film everybody needs to see - at least for its disarming fugue of frank political awareness and state-of-the-quotidian African life."
In the New York Times, Dave Kehr reviews Abel Gance's 1922 film La Roue, which "still fascinates as a grab bag of experimental techniques, which do not all belong in the same movie, but which clearly dazzled audiences of the time with the formal possibilities of this still relatively new medium."
"Just as Louis Malle's The Lovers is beholden to the music of Brahms, the director's solemn study of an incipient suicide, The Fire Within, is very much dependent on the biting, melancholy piano music of Erik Satie," writes Dan Callahan in Slant.
"Part of what makes Ozu such a warm, intelligent, human filmmaker is his understanding that systems are beyond the control of the individual, and that what’s important is to live our lives on earth as it is, as best we can." Dave McDougall on I Was Born But... in the Auteurs' Notebook.
Glenn Kenny's "Monday Morning Foreign-Region DVD Report": "A loving restoration of a once-thought-lost film...a fantastic window on the work of an underrepresented-on-DVD film artist...supplemented by an eye-opening piece of movie scholarship and topped with a sampling of the film artist's revelatory early work, the Edition Filmmuseum presentation of Frank Borzage's The River is like some cinephilic dream made plastic."
Billy Stevenson on Cat People: "[Jacques] Tourneur extrapolates an entire aesthetic from the panther's stare, such that the most tangible sources of fear tend to be tactile, mobile patches of extreme blackness, from which occasional flashes of light gesture towards some malign agency."
"Planet Earth could be, when all is said and done, nothing less than the last chance to see the wonders of the natural world (animal, vegetable, and mineral) before they are irrevocably changed or gone," writes Chris Barsanti at Filmcritic.com.
"Michael Pitt deserves his own film festival." Valerie and Her Week of Wonders recommends Delirious.
Online viewing tip. Mike Everleth has the trailer for Bruce Bickford's Prometheus' Garden.
DVD roundups: the AV Club, Sean Axmaker (MSN), Paul Clark (Screengrab), DVD Talk, Peter Martin (Cinematical), Noel Murray (Los Angeles Times) and Slant.
And as always, the Guru.
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