william steig drawing

Luchino Visconti

This is the Problem: Writing About Film

marlene How can I communicate the importance of a film without one dimensionalizing it and destroying its magic? I don’t know. I never want to discuss cinema in a leaden and academic way, but what other way is taken seriously? Emotional discussion of film is often dismissed as juvenile, and this is unfortunate, but also strange. I have no interest in seeking objectivity through art, and since our idea of the objective in regards to art criticism means “from a white, male perspective”, it has no interest in me either. Now, let me make this very clear, because there seems to be a little confusion: This is not a blog about race, and it is not a blog about gender. It […]

Le Notti Bianche (White Nights)

Count Luchino Visconti di Modrone is my beloved. Grand and operatic. Never fearing the theatrical or taboo (but never vulgar for vulgarities sake). You see, we are exactly alike. The Count was an interesting man. A member of the Italian aristocracy and the Italian Communist Party. He was open with his homosexuality, and photographs men in a way unlike any other directors I’ve seen. He showcases their beauty. Le Notti (based on the Dostoevsky short story) has an unusual cast, all actors I associate with different directors simply because I saw them in other movies first. Marcello Mastroianni (Fellini’s man), Maria Schell (Rene Clement’s girl), and Jean Marais (Cocteau). Schell (with the most expressive eyes) plays Natalia, an innocent girl […]