‘Wings of Desire’ – Angels over Berlin on FilmStruck

“There are angels over the streets of Berlin,” insists Wim Wenders in his lyrical fantasy Wings of Desire (Germany, 1987), but these are like no angels you’ve never seen. Bundled in dark overcoats, they watch over the city with ears open to the heartbeat of the human soul, listening to the internal musings and yearnings […]

Harry Dean Stanton stars in the Palm d'or winning film by Wim Wenders

‘Paris, Texas’ on FilmStruck

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, Paris, Texas (1984) is the first American film where German filmmaker Wim Wenders carved his own vision into the American landscape (both physical and cinematic). Just two years after his dispiriting experience directing Hammett for producer Francis Ford Coppola, he returned to the U.S. […]

Young Dais and Ryohei Suzuki in the hip-hop musical gang war thriller from Japan

‘Tokyo Tribe’ – gonzo gang war musical on Amazon Prime Video

The films of Sion Sono, who is fast closing in on Miike Takashi as Japan’s cinema wildman rebel, are increasingly outrageous, unhinged, extreme, and unpredictable, pushing expectations as well as boundaries, and trying anything and everything in a wildly creative (if unfocused) attempt to refresh familiar genres. Tokyo Tribe (Japan, 2014), adapted from a graphic […]

Anna Pavlova stars in the 1916 silent movie epic directed by Lois Weber

Silents Please: Lois Weber restored and ‘The Covered Wagon’ on Blu-ray

Shoes (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) The Dumb Girl of Portici (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) The Covered Wagon (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) Lois Weber holds a place in film history as the first major woman film director in Hollywood. What’s often forgotten in that honor is the talent that gave her a successful 25 year making films for […]

Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni in Michelangelo Antonioni's drama from his "trilogy of alienation"

Mastroianni and Moreau in ‘La notte’ on FilmStruck

La notte (Italy, 1961), the second film in Michelangelo Antonioni’s “trilogy of alienation” (it’s bracketed by L’avventura, 1961, and L’eclisse, 1962), stars Marcello Mastroianni as a celebrated novelist in Milan who has nothing left to say and Jeanne Moreau as his quietly unsettled wife who can’t seem to express all the disappointment building up behind […]

Woody Allen and friend in the comedy co-starring Diane Keaton

Woody Allen’s ‘Love and Death’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

In Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen spoofs epic Russian literature, Chekov plays, and Bergman movies with a mix of philosophical vaudeville and Borscht Belt one-liners and sight gags. It was his sixth feature as a director and his third screen appearance with Diane Keaton, who gets as many punchlines as Allen does, and often […]

Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorese gangster epic with Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Casino’ on Netflix

“In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.” Five years after his gangland masterpiece GoodFellas, Martin Scorsese reunited with writer Nicholas Pileggi and stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci […]

John Cassavetes, Britt Ekland, Peter Falk, and Gena Rowlands

John Cassavetes is ‘Machine Gun McCain’ on FilmStruck

John Cassavetes was doing his Orson Welles thing—by that I mean acting in whatever movie paid well so he could finance his own, personal productions—when he took the lead in Machine Gun McCain (Italy, 1968), an Italian mob picture/heist movie hybrid shot in large part on location in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. […]