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The Anti-Romantic

What Éric Rohmer said of one of his characters could be said of him as well: He was committed to “redoing all of ­Rousseau in reverse.” His films are anti-­romantic. They reject romantic notions of liberation and autonomy. They critique the cult of romantic love. They warn against a romantic . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fallen Men of Film Noir

In the mid-1940s, Hollywood began to make a new kind of crime film. Combining sex and violence, lust and greed, the “noir” was distinguished by the darkness of its themes and photography. Double ­Indemnity (1944) was, as a critic noted in the New York Times, “the first of the . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Lose a Cold War
(and Why)

North by Northwest’s style is so impeccable, its tone so effervescent, that many viewers fail to grasp the film’s seriousness. Ernest ­Lehman, the screenwriter, did not help when he described the film as an insubstantial caper in the vein of James Bond, “something that has wit, . . . . Continue Reading »

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