In some ways Bonnie and Clyde was a startling revelation that might be considered the beginning of modern American cinema. Its graphic violence (and a certain candor about sex) was the immediate sensation, but it also led to a cinema that fundamentally questions basic American conservative values and capitalism itself. Read more
Robert Rossen, whose 106th birthday would have been this week, was a victim of the blacklisting witch-hunt of the 1950s, an experience that apparently contributed to his early death at 57. Read more
This is being written a few days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded its Best Picture Oscar to 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, the first black person to ever be so honored by the Academy. Read more
As Peter Emanuel Goldman has graciously informed me, accounts of his death (as Mark Twain said of his own in 1897) have been greatly exaggerated. Read more
Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927–2001) was a latecomer to the movement known as the Japanese New Wave (like his French counterparts, he began as a film critic), preceded by Susumu Hani, Nagisa Oshima, and Shohei Imamura. Read more
These notes accompany a program of films by Ousmane Sembene screening on February 5, 6, and 7 in Theater 3.
Ousmane Sembene (1923–2007) of Senegal is considered “the father of African film,” and the two films in this program are among his earliest works. By the time he came to film, at age 40, he had a checkered past ranging from deep immersion in tribal religion to Communism, and from military service to being a longshoreman in Marseille. Read more