How do you solve a problem like Maria? That’s the question on many people’s lips in You Were Never Lovelier, a stellar 1942 musical about an American dancer (Fred Astaire) who is mistaken for the secret admirer of Maria Acuña (Rita Hayworth), an Argentinian hotelier’s daughter. As embodied by Hayworth, Maria is a clever and… Read more »
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019) revolves around a refusal of a woman to be looked at. Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) will not sit for her own portrait, because she knows that portrait is the means to take her into an unwanted marriage with an unknown man. It’s the 18th century, though, and… Read more »
Magical. That shouldn’t be the word that describes a film about a sleazy arrangement that allows executives to use an employee’s apartment for lurid affairs. The title The Apartment should bring to mind booze, broads, and empty promises. Instead, it makes us think of a fragile romance that slowly, achingly enables two people to grow… Read more »
Guest post by Ronda L. Sewald. As part of its 2020 film series, Love! I’m in Love! Classic Black Cinema of the 1970s, the IU Cinema will be screening John Berry’s romantic comedy Claudine (1974), at 7 pm on Thursday, February 6th. Claudine stars James Earl Jones in the role of Roop, a charming garbageman,… Read more »
In 1918, an amnesiac soldier named Smith is still recovering at an English asylum after months of dealing with shell shock. No family has claimed him; in one agonizing scene, an elderly couple are shown Smith to see if he’s their son, both sides horribly disappointed that he isn’t. Taking a walk in the foggy… Read more »
When it comes to romantic comedy, classic Hollywood has everybody beat. If you haven’t seen a rom-com from the 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s, you’re denying yourself one of life’s greatest joys. There are many I could recommend, but for my money, the gold standard may just be George Stevens’s The More the Merrier (1943).