Film (1965)

‘Shh’ ‘Film’, directed by Alan Schneider and written by Samuel Beckett in 1965, is an American short movie, the only film written by the Irish avant-garde playwright. A man, played appropriately silently by Buster Keaton, is followed by a pursuing camera from the streets of New York into an apartment block. His face for the…

Spartacus (1960)

“Your followers are deluded enough to trust you. I intend that you shall speak to them tomorrow for their own good, their peaceful and profitable future. From time to time thereafter, I may find it useful to bring you back to Rome to continue your duty to her, to calm the envious spirit and the…

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

“You take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of… of principle. You make government and art and realize that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at…

Gertrud (1964)

“I seek your lips and you give me your cheek. And the door to your room has been locked to me for more than a month. I used to be welcome there. I often lie awake, thinking of you. I’ve thought you might be in love with someone else and I’ve wondered who it could…

La Dolce Vita (1960)

“You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home.” ‘La Dolce Vita’, directed by Federico Fellini in 1960, is a long and rich film focusing on seven nights and mornings in the life of playboy journalist and wannabe novelist Marcello Rubini as he…

The Valley of the Bees (1967)

“Just like the comparisons to the classical art house cinema of Eisenstein, Bergman, Kirosawa and Bresson are easy to draw and even easier to see, to burden ‘The Valley of the Bees’ with such weighty labels is and political readings, in all honesty, rather unfair, since obviously more than capable of standing up and speaking…

Mouchette (1967)

“Bresson was one of a handful of directors whose very frames identified their author. Like Fellini, Hitchcock and Ozu, he had such a distinctive way of seeing that his films resembled no others. What you noticed was the extreme restraint of his actors (he preferred to call them “models”), and the way the action centred…

Breathless (1960)

“See? You said last night you couldn’t live without me, but you can. Romeo couldn’t live without Juliet, but you can.” ‘Breathess’, directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1960, is a French crime thriller and one of the founding movies of the French New Wave. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays Michel Poiccard, a criminal in Marseille, obsessed with…

Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

“Once, when all my shorts were at the laundry, I put on silk panties that belonged to my sister. Ah! Some funny sensation it gave me! From that day on I understood why they all crave it, why they never have enough. Because we men, we have pants on. But girls, with their short dresses,…

Early Scorsese

First published on ‘We Are Cult’ on the 27th of March 2017 The BFI are releasing on DVD two early Martin Scorsese movies on the 27th of March: Who’s That Knocking at My Door from 1968 and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore from 1974. The two films are different, tonally, stylistically and in terms of…

Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1968)

‘Les Bicyclettes de Belsize’, directed by Douglas Hickox in 1968, is a short British romantic vignette starring Judy Huxtable and Anthony May as a fashion model and a young man obsessed with her. May plays a cyclist who, after colliding with a billboard, becomes smitten with a girl. After a series of searches they finally…

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

“He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son!” ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, directed by Roman Polanski in 1968, is an American horror movie starring Mia Farrow as the titular Rosemary, the wife of an aspiring actor called Guy, played by John Cassavetes. Rosemary and Guy…