Children of Paradise
Marcel Carné’s masterpiece, starring the unforgettable Jean-Louis Barrault and the divine Arletty.
The Rules of the Game
Jean Renoir’s exposé of French bourgeois hypocrisy—always a great subject!
To be viewed with Pickup on South Street. Samuel Fuller originally wanted to use the same title as Bresson’s film.
The Tin Drum
Volker Schlöndorff’s brilliant adaptation of the great Günter Grass novel.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The Marriage of Maria Braun
I love the whole BRD trilogy for Fassbinder’s truthful rendering of the German psyche after World War II devastation and post–Marshall Plan de-Nazification, and for the great parts that he offered to his female actors. Being a teenager in the fifties, in Germany, I left for Paris to avoid being sucked into the materialistic obsession displayed here.
It has not aged a bit, and it contains my cinema debut, albeit in a small role. And the great Akim Tamiroff gets to die on me! An unforgettable experience. My daughter loves the way I pickpocket Tamiroff while taking his coat off.
Brigitte Bardot has never been better. The way Jack Palance’s producer brilliantly humiliates Michel Piccoli’s writer, who tries to hold on to his pride, rings a bell. Plus, our friend Fritz Lang as the director . . . Sacré Jean-Luc!
Anguish and hope, and Peter Lorre’s sterling performance.
The Naked Kiss
Something’s to be said for the Bicameral Mind. Kill the Pig and the Gods will commune through the head on the pole. I think I’m getting Lasik—just in case the veneer shatters.
Iron and Wine’s Top 10
Samuel Beam is an American singer-songwriter (and former film studies professor!) better known by the stage name Iron and Wine. His last album was 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog, and a follow-up is in the works.
Al Reinert’s Top 10
Writes Al Reinert, director of For All Mankind: “Having your film in the Criterion Collection is like marrying your daughter into an old distinguished family that intimidates and humbles you. She might feel at home there, but I am inclined to stand…