An Intellectual and the Movies
January 22, 1962
The Immediate Experienceby Robert Warshow(Doubleday; $4.50) Robert Warshow died in 1955, aged 37, taking with him a serious mind and a valuable disrespect for acceptances. A number of his essays and reviews, mostly from Commentary and Partisan Review, have now been published under the title The Immediate Experience, and the collection underscores the pathos of his early death. Warshow was one of the best of a school of literary, theater, and film critics that has risen in this country since the thirties.
An Old Shocker Comes Home
July 10, 1961
Tropic of Cancerby Henry Miller(Grove; $7.50) Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer is now published in this country in an unlavish edition of 518 pages set in big type at a price of $7.50--and this in spite of a large first printing. The interest of the price is that here it relates to the content of the book--not, as is usual, to its length or format. The publisher knows that the public knows the book's reputation and is willing to pay much more than is currently charged for books of similar production cost. This gives, from the start, a different atmosphere to its publication.
A Catalogue of Deadly Sins
May 01, 1961
La Dolce Vita(Astor)A young idealist comes up from the provinces and is corrupted by the depraved city. This perennial theme now reappears in La Dolce Vita, surely the most loudly-heralded foreign film ever to be seen here. With many virtues, this latest Federico Fellini work suffers unfairly from advance blather; and suffers fairly by comparison with Antonioni's L’Avventura, which deals with some of the same matters.Corruption, or at least skill in rascality, is well under way when we first meet Marcello, a young Roman journalist.
Arrival Of An Artist
April 10, 1961
At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London. For the eleven years of his career no Antonioni film has been released here. Now at last comes L'Avventura, which is the sixth of his works.The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art. We may even "like" this film, but those first ten minutes indicate that liking it is not the primary point.
Arrival Of An Artist
April 10, 1961
At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London. For the eleven years of his career no Antonioni film has been released here. Now at last comes L’Avventura, which is the sixth of his works. The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art.
Across The Great Divide
February 20, 1961
Arthur Miller, in his plays, has done some representative worrying for all of us about certain defects and defeats in contemporary life. Now he has broken a five-year silence with a screenplay called The Misfits in which he expresses further concern. The premise is promising: a Chicago girl goes to Reno for a divorce, and there meets three Western men. She is desperate for reliable human relationships, they are in a last-ditch fight against the diminution of large-scale life.
Lady Chatterly At Last
May 25, 1959
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence (Grove $6) Thirty-one years after its initial private publication in Italy, the unexpurgated final version of Lady Chatterley's Lover appears in this country. An abridged edition of this version was published here in 1930; the first version (of the three Lawrence wrote) appeared here in 1944. Now the general public may read what has heretofore been available only to contrabandists and scholars with access to locked library shelves. The novel's publication inevitably raises the issue, not only of intrinsic literary merit but of censorship.
TNR Film Classics: ‘Some Like It Hot’ (March 30, 1959)
March 30, 1959
Between an audience and a good film a certain confidence is quickly established. This is especially true of comedies. The first two or three minutes are enough to tell you whether a comic film is going to be a dud; the first eight or ten minutes are enough to establish this confidence. In it the audience implies: “We recognize that we are in good hands. Take over.” In addition to the fun the picture provides, there is an extra pleasure in having found a good film and knowing it while you’re enjoying it.
TNR Film Classics: 'To Catch a Thief' (November 28, 1955)
November 28, 1955
To Catch A Thief is supposed to be a mystery having to do with the exertions Cary Grant must make as a famous jewel thief who has retired and is unjustly suspected of having resumed his vocation. The real mystery is how the product of Hitchcock’s direction, given such care, toil and intelligence, could be so poor. Jessie Royce Landis gives a remarkable performance as the heroine’s mother, and Danielle Lamar is more than remarkable, when the script permits her to be.
TNR Film Classics: ‘Animal Farm’ (January 17, 1955)
January 17, 1955
It is a serious pity that one can only praise the film version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm as a valuable beginning or experiment, and hardly more than that. For the project, under the sponsorship of Louis de Rochemont, was clearly given the benefit of a great deal of intelligence, devotion and skill, to say almost nothing of the amount of money involved. The reviews in the daily newspaper have already pronounced the damnation of faint praise upon the film with a genuine kindness which will serve no purpose and certainly will not help at the box office. One can only hope that Mr.