From the Pullizer Prize winning play by Paul Zindel, this is the story of Beatrice Hunsdorfer and her daughters, Ruth and Matilda. A middle-aged widowed eccentric, Beatrice is looking for ... See full summary »
An ode to liberated speech and to the power of words, "those one speaks to others, those one speaks in silence", Alain Tanner's third film is inspired by a poet and a poetic text which deeply affected him as a young director.
Emanuel spends his days at a sanatorium. Falling in love with another patient, he narrates his and his fellow patients' attempts to live life to the fullest as their bodies slowly fade away, but their minds refuse to give up.
Captain Ahab's descent into madness destroys everyone around him. This powerful character drew John Barrymore, Orson Wells and John Huston. This film has been called the best, most authentic version of Herman Melville's MOBY DICK.
On the 100th anniversary of the founding of a watchmaking company in Geneva, Charles Dé the founder's 50-year-old grandson has had it: he speaks eccentrically to a reporter, recognizing his... See full summary »
This French film adaptation is, surprisingly, the best that I have seen. Maxence Mailfort as Bartleby brings an arresting pathos to his interpretation unlike the stolid and vacuous portrayals I have seen. Film veteran Michael Lonsdale as the Employer matches him in emotional resonance and artistry, imbuing the texture of his relationship to Bartleby with an originality of empathetic perplexity that creates a bond between the two that is exquisitely moving. It is quite unlike any other portrayal I have seen of this character, even Paul Scofield's in one of the other attempts to bring the story to the screen. Never before have I experienced such a tender, yes I use that word, realization of this work. The trappings of stock bewilderment I have characteristically seen actors recreating the Employer resort to are not here in any archetypal fashion. I have come to expect such an interpretation because every other depiction I have ever watched utilizes it, but never really transcends it. There is one point at the end of the famous scene on the stairs where the camera slowly approaches Bartleby to mid close-up, and the moment coalesces into an articulation of sadness so stunning that I caught my breath. It was the culmination of sympathetic wonder and sensitivity that Maxence Mailfort brought to his portrayal. I have a copy of this film and I return to it on occasion to marvel at the freshness of both performances, definitely not the usual reaction I have had to any other film adaptation of the story. The film needs no subtitles or dubbing, and I am so glad that my copy has none. I recommend watching it solely in French even if you do not speak the language. As a non-speaker, I found it eminently surpassing any other film version of Melville's story by a mile. Highly recommended. Ironic perhaps that the best adaptation, at least to me, is in French. (Sort of like the best feature film of America's history of slavery, 12 Years a Slave, was brought to the screen not by Americans but by the British.)
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