Alexander Nevsky, January 13
Judith Rosenberg on Piano. F. W. Murnau's version of the legend is a masterwork of chiaroscuro, with Emil Jannings as a subtly mischievous Mephistopheles.
Roberto Rossellini's episodic tribute to the People's Saint is constructed with crafty simplicity, rich humanity, and earthy joy.
A medieval knight challenges Death to a game of chess in Ingmar Bergman's iconic work of cinematic philosophy. “A magically powerful film.”-Pauline Kael
Bergman's stark medieval allegory of faith, sexual violence, and revenge. “Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspire(s) with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge.”-Time Out
Bresson gives us Lancelot and Guinevere and the end of the Arthurian era, a brave experiment in sound, image, and souls.
Lech Majewski's tale of medieval fury and faith is “beautiful, mystical.”-L.A. Times
Sergei Paradjanov's visionary retelling of a Georgian epic is “a spectacle so steeped in folk symbolism it could be a ritual.”-Village Voice
In an austere, transcendent dramatization of the trial transcripts, Robert Bresson conveys the mystery of the woman and the reality of the saint.
Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Carl Dreyer's 1928 film focuses on the face as landscape of the soul. “One of the greatest of all movies.”-Pauline Kael
Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Fritz Lang's two-part superproduction of the 13th-century saga that also inspired Wagner's Ring cycle. “Stunning . . . very highly recommended.”-Chicago Reader
Bruce Loeb on Piano.
Frantisek Vlácil (Markéta Lazarová) creates an astonishing evocation of the chaos and fury of the Middle Ages, a knights' tale of religious intolerance, sexual repression, and violence.
Sergei Eisenstein's first sound film, with a score by Prokofiev, is both a splendid formal exercise and a forceful portrayal of a nationalist hero, its medievalism inflected by the imminent danger of Nazi incursion into Russia.
Andrei Tarkovsky's epic, otherworldly portrait of the 15th-century Russian icon-painter is “a superproduction gone ideologically berserk.”-Village Voice. “Not to be missed.”-Chicago Reader