FILM MARCH 13, 2009
Everlasting Moments. The lyric-humanist Swedish director Jan Troell has made another gem, this time chiefly about a working-class wife and mother in 1907 who happens to acquire a camera. Her view of herself and her life alters through this camera in Troell’s exploratory rather than highly dramatic way. (Reviewed 4/1/09)
Katyn. Katyn Forest was where 20,000 Polish officers and others were murdered by Soviets in 1940. This film, though it has some murder details, is mostly about the effects on the relatives and friends. The father of the director Andrzej Wajda was one of the victims, which helps to give this wonderful picture its lovely elegiac quality. (3/18/09)Tokyo! Thee non-native directors made three short films with Japanese actors in Tokyo on the subject of obedience to social norms. Funny, pungent, even a touch mysterious, this neatly crafted trio investigates the matter of individuality. (3/18/09)
12. That American warhorse Twelve Angry Men has been moved to Moscow and layered there with political meanings. The basic piece is still a patent mechanism, but the vigorous directing and the (to put it mildly) vivid acting make it enjoyable. (4/1/09)
Stanley Kauffmann is The New Republic's film critic.
By Stanley Kauffmann