Category Archives: Movies

Notes on “The Devil’s Playground”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:Though it’s little known even among aficionados, I’d rank Fred Schepisi’s 1976 “The Devil’s Playground” among the great directorial debuts. Few films are so achingly corporeal. Schepisi, who also wrote the picture, keeps us tuned in to … Continue reading

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Notes on “Band of Outsiders”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: Three Parisian kids with vaguely American aspirations plan a vaguely American crime. That crime, a robbery, is mixed up with the seduction of Odile, the trio’s female constituent, who isn’t sure she wants either. You can’t … Continue reading

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Notes on “The Story of Adele H.”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: Victor Hugo’s daughter sails to Nova Scotia to stalk a man who doesn’t love her. When her marriage schemes fail, and she becomes desperate, she disconnects from external reality. Eventually she follows him to Barbados, where … Continue reading

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Notes on “Secret Friends”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: A middle-aged man has a breakdown while riding on a train, and his memories, fantasies, and perceptions blur, like the scenery glimpsed through the train’s windows. The late Dennis Potter had a gift for making movies … Continue reading

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Notes on “Umberto D.”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: It’s interesting to compare Vittorio De Sica’s 1952 “Umberto D.” with his earlier “The Bicycle Thief.” The latter is very materialistic in outlook and simplified in message, like a propaganda film. Though there’s plenty of “humanity” … Continue reading

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Notes on “Curtiz”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: “Curtiz” is a moderately successful Hungarian production that uses the filming of “Casablanca” to examine conflicted reactions to the Second World War. As prolific filmmaker Michael Curtiz, Ferenc Lengyel gives a cagey, intelligent performance. Like Rick … Continue reading

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Notes on “1917”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: There’s plenty to appreciate in director Sam Mendes’ “1917,” but it doesn’t amount to much as a movie. The one-shot scheme is good for showing soldiers making their way through trenches and over battlefields. Tracking shots … Continue reading

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Notes on “Contempt”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: “Contempt” probably doesn’t work. But is it intended to? Director Jean-Luc Godard is rare among filmmakers of the sound era in his ability to treat movies perfunctorily. He’s a doodler, a sketch artist; ideas flit across … Continue reading

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Notes on “Ford v Ferrari”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes: “Ford v Ferrari” is nearly 200 minutes long, ludicrous for a car-racing flick, and its narrative incorporates a fair amount of padding. The scenes centering on the family of driver Ken Miles are particularly unnecessary. Watching … Continue reading

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Juxtaposin’: Distractions

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

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