Susan Sontag

  • Susan Sontag


    1. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr) Tarr continues his magistral collaboration with Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai, who wrote Sátántangó as well as the source of this film, The Melancholy of Resistance (New Directions).

    2. Southern Comfort (Kate Davis) You’ll never forget this documentary’s wise hero—he animates a brave community of the transgendered in the rural South—who is dying of ovarian cancer.

    3. La Pianiste (Michael Haneke) Won the best-actor/actress prizes at Cannes but didn’t even make it into the New York Film Festival. Not Haneke’s best film, but Isabelle Huppert

  • Susan Sontag


    1. Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang) Is Yang as great as Hou Hsiao-hsien? Well, he’s different. See this.

    2. Faithless (Liv Ullmann) Ullmann’s best work by far, with one of the greatest film performances ever, by Lena Endre.

    3. L’Humanité (Bruno Dumont) A very ambitious film about looking and about guilt.

    4. Beau Travail (Claire Denis) A dazzling riff on Melville’s Billy Budd. You’ll never forget the final scene, when the amazing Denis Lavant starts to dance.

    5. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami) The best-known Iranian director has made another incomparable film.

    6. Hamlet (

  • Susan Sontag

    1. The Second Circle (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1990) There’s no director active today whose films I admire as much. The Days of Eclipse (1988) is, I think, his greatest film.

    2. Close Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990) Iranian cinema has been the great revelation of the last decade. Close Up is my (and, I’ve heard, Kiarostami’s) favorite of his films.

    3. The Stone (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1992) Chekhov’s ghost features in this film meditation about a night at Yalta’s Chekhov Museum.

    4. Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993) I’ve been a Mike Leigh fan since 1977’s Abigail’s Party (as good as Molière). Naked is, I suppose, his

  • The Cuban Poster

    IN CAPITALIST SOCIETY, POSTERS are a ubiquitous part of the décor of the urban landscape. Connoisseurs of new forms of beauty may find visual gratification in the unplanned collage of posters (and neon signs) that decorate the cities. It is an additive effect, of course, since few posters to be seen outdoors nowadays, regarded one by one, give any esthetic pleasure. More specialized connoisseurs—of the esthetics of infestation, of the libertine aura of litter, and of the libertarian implications of randomness—can find pleasure in this decor. But what keeps posters multiplying in the urban areas