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Even Stevens

Even George Stevens had his moments of beautiful delirium, as represented in the haunting opening sequence of his often overlooked 1952 “Something to Live For” — a series of slow dissolves between a curtain rising on a Broadway show, a woman (Joan Fontaine) peering between her fingers in a close-up step-printed to look like […]

Super Mario

One of the great revelations of the last decade has been the breadth and depth of the Italian popular cinema, at last made available to non-Italian speakers through the subtitling efforts of companies like Raro Video and NoShame, as well as the private initiatives of many public-spirited cinephiles on the net. Thanks to the […]

Secrets and Leisen

One of the most assured stylists of the studio era, Mitchell Leisen was able to balance wonderfully robust, built environments (thanks to his training in production design) with a sensitive direction of actors — qualities on display in a pair of hard-to-see Leisen films that recently surfaced. The 1950 “No Man of Her Own” […]

Hitting Bottom

The Titanic may have sunk a hundred years ago, but the great ship is still steaming along for the home video industry. Seemingly every cable channel documentary and TV movie about the 1912 disaster has suddenly reappeared in the marketplace (and James Cameron’s blockbuster is returning to theaters in computer-generated 3-D this week), but […]