February 06, 2006
Cachè (Hidden) (Sony Pictures Classics THE NEW FILM YEAR BEGAN in at least one heartening way: Daniel Auteuil arrived in a new picture. This French actor is so incredibly credible, so unostentatiously fine, that he makes his way from film to film without attracting the hoopla that attends more consciously virtuosic actors. I mention here only two of his many roles. In The Widow of Saint-Pierre, set on that French island, Auteuil was a nineteenth-century army captain whose spiritual tenor changes while he waits for the arrival of a guillotine to execute a murderer in his charge. In Apres Vous,
January 10, 2006
Grizzly Man, the most extraordinary documentary of 2005 (yes, better than the penguins), tells the story of a gifted man caught in the grip of a reckless certainty who ventures into a moral wilderness and almost loses sight of his humanity. I refer, of course, to the film's director, Werner Herzog.
The Sorrow Reflex
July 25, 2005
Campo Santo By W.G. Sebald Translated by Anthea Bell (Random House, 221 pp., $24.95) Unrecounted Poems by W.G. Sebald Lithographs by Jan Peter Tripp Translated by Michael Hamburger (New Directions, 109 pp., $22.95) I. Although he arrived at it relatively late in his senselessly truncated life, once W.G. Sebald found his real voice, it became unmistakable: melancholy, allusive, inward, and elegant, its cadences carried from book to book until each one seemed like another sketch from a single, instantly recognizable personal landscape.
Pass the Fault
July 04, 2005
Ticket lines for movies are rare in Israel, and rarer still for features that have already been showing for five weeks, and unprecedented for a German production centered on the character of Adolf Hitler.
May 23, 2005
It's May 8, the sixtieth anniversary of V-E Day, and I'm standing in Berlin amid 1,000 neo-Nazis, gathered behind a small army of riot police to protest the end of World War II. Of course, any overt expression of Nazism is banned over here (the most common neo-Nazi accoutrement today is medical tape covering various tattoos and t-shirt slogans), and the sponsor of the rally--the extremist Nationalistische Partei Deutschlands (NPD)--disavows any direct connection to the Third Reich. But practically everyone sports a shaved head, and even those who don't, such as a group of buttoned-down, middle
March 28, 2005
Lawrence Kaplan on Bush's new Iran policy.
Out of Africa
February 14, 2005
Melville J. Herskovits and the Racial Politics of Knowledge By Jerry Gershenhorn (University of Nevada Press, 338 pp., $65) Melville J.
December 20, 2004
Hans-Ulrich Klose, a thin, graying, 67-year-old Social Democrat, is deputy chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament. Known for his pro-American views, he was critical of Chancellor Gerhard Schrder for aligning Germany too closely with France against the United States before the Iraq war. But, seated around a table in the Bundestag on a cold, gray Berlin morning, Klose gives a cryptic answer when asked about the advisability of seeking regime change in Islamic countries.
September 27, 2004
Jerusalem, Israel--The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, had planned on offering the usual complaints when he visited Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week. There was the stalled road map, Israel's security fence, and the recently announced expansion of West Bank settlements close to the Green Line. But, before he arrived in Jerusalem, something happened that changed Lavrov's agenda: the massacre of Russian children by Chechen Islamist terrorists.
Fires Next Time
June 28, 2004
A year and a half ago, I voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. I still believe my vote was just—but the president's use of that authority was unwise in ways I never imagined. I've served with seven presidents during my 32 years in the Senate. Four of them—Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush—were governors who came to office with virtually no foreign policy experience.