Filmmaking tradition shaped by exile
The name Ophuls is one of the most revered in French cinema, and “Shadows of the 20th Century: Ophuls Film Festival” is a chance to put the work of father and son filmmakers in a rich cultural and historical context through June 8.
The UCLA-curated program includes screenings of Marcel Ophuls’ World War II documentaries “The Sorrow and the Pity” (1969), “The Memory of Justice” (1976) and the Oscar-winning “Hotel Terminus” (1988), plus a Monday conversation with my Times colleague Kenneth Turan on the influence of Ophuls’ family’s exile from Europe on his work.
Also on the program are films directed by Ophuls’ father, Max, including the preexile German hit “Liebelei” (1933) and Hollywood classics such as “Letter From an Unknown Woman” (1948) and “Lola Montès” (1955). Info: www.cjs.ucla.edu.
Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers.
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story
Director Daniel Raim’s captivating documentary on storyboard artist Harold Michelson and researcher Lillian Michelson not only chronicles their mutual adoration and respect, but also Hollywood’s love for them, and the joy they derived from their work. (Sheri Linden) NR.
The Lost City of Z
Based on David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller about the British explorer Percy Fawcett (well played by Charlie Hunnam), James Gray’s rich, meditative and deeply transporting adventure epic is the sort of classical filmmaking that feels positively radical. (Justin Chang) PG-13.
Azazel Jacobs’ exquisitely funny-sad romance stars a superbly matched Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as a long-married couple whose feelings for each other are rekindled at the most inconvenient
possible moment. (Justin Chang) R.
Norman: The Modern Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Subtle, unsettling, slyly amusing, Israeli director Joseph Cedar’s first English-language film provides Richard Gere with a splendid role as a hustler forever on the make in Manhattan. (Kenneth Turan) R.
A Quiet Passion
Cynthia Nixon gives a brilliant performance as Emily Dickinson in Terence Davies’ masterful biographical portrait of the great 19th century poet, which begins as a razorsharp drawing-room comedy before edging almost imperceptibly toward tragedy. (Justin Chang) PG-13.
Genial and engaging with a fine sense of humor, this story of making movies in World War II Britain stars Gemma Arterton and a marvelous Bill Nighy and makes blending the comedic with the serious look simpler than it actually is. (Kenneth Turan) R.
FRENCH DOCUMENTARIAN Marcel Ophuls is the focus, along with his filmmaker father, Max, of a festival, “Shadows of the 20th Century,” curated by UCLA.