PRINT December 2007


James Quandt


1 These Encounters of Theirs (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet) Straub-Huillet’s final feature, a declamatory pastoral about gods and mortals, has a grandeur and passion that make Huillet’s death last year all the more grievous.

2 Pour vos beaux yeux (Henri Storck) The eyes have it in Storck’s 1929 ocular minimasterpiece, lost for four decades and now beautifully restored by the Cinémathèque Française.

3 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu) Already the subject of critical backlash, Mungiu’s grim Palme d’Or winner at Cannes treats abortion less as an issue than as a pretext to explore the distortion of everyday life by a totalitarian regime.

4 Useless (Jia Zhang-ke) Jia confirms his status as the bard of the new China in this devastating inquiry into fashion design and expendable humanity, sartorial metaphor giving way to tropes of disposability, oblivion, burial.


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