Mike Leigh announced himself as a unique, powerful new voice in British cinema with Bleak Moments, a stunning debut and a masterpiece of understated melancholy. Adapting his own theatrical play for the screen, Leigh follows Sylvia (Anne Raitt) through a life of quiet desperation in suburban South London as she attends to her developmentally challenged sister (Sarah Stephenson) and attempts to forge romances with her awkward professorial boyfriend (Eric Allan) as well as a shy, guitar-strumming newsletter duplicator (Mike Bradwell). Uncomfortable silences, botched flirtations, and fleeting hints of warmth and humor punctuate Sylvia’s aching descent into solitude, compassionately portrayed by Leigh as symptomatic of humanity’s struggle to communicate and connect.
The themes, images, and cultural vernacular of Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz continue to haunt David Lynch’s art and filmography—from his very first short, The Alphabet, to his latest series, Twin Peaks: The Return. Arguably, no filmmaker has so consistently drawn inspiration—consciously or unconsciously—from a single work.
Alexandre O. Philippe
Childhood friends Pietro and Bruno experience maturity, loss, and the rediscovery of an unbreakable connection when they reunite in adulthood to build a cabin on the rugged slopes of the Italian Alps.
One of the major achievements of twenty-first-century cinema thus far, Béla Tarr’s mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance.
Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky