Yearly Archives: 1964

What We Ate in That Year (1964 review of A MOVEABLE FEAST)

From the Bard Observer, September 9, 1964. -– J.R.

What We Ate in That Year

A MOVEABLE FEAST, by Ernest Hemingway, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 211 pp., $4.95.

In the spring of that year, long after he was dead, a book of his was published and it was a good book. He had not written a good book for quite some time and the critics were beginning to worry. They had wanted to say something good about him now that he was dead, but there were no good books to say good things about except for those written twenty and thirty years ago, and they (the critics) had already spoken enough about the earlier ones anyway.

The new book was about Paris of long ago when he and his friends were writing the earlier books. In those days there was Miss Stein and Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis and Ford Maddox Ford and several others. Some were good and some were very good and others were not so good at all. He was not like the others because he was not a homosexual or an alcoholic and he did not have bad breath or look evil. Much of the time he would write, and during the times that he would not write he would walk the shaded avenues or go to the races.… Read more »

Bard College Film Schedule (Fall 1964)

From the Bard Observer (September 9, 1964). I ran the Friday night film series during most of my time at Bard College, and in many cases, I was booking these films in order to see them for the first time (although, as I recall, not in the cases of North by Northwest, Zazie, Jules and Jim, This Sporting Life, Freaks, or The Phenix City Story). –- J.R.

Sept. 12 KEY LARGO(See page 4 for a review.) [Note: this was a reprint of James Agee’s original review of this film in The Nation.]


Sept. 18 TROUBLE IN PARADISE. Continental comedy borne up out of the early thirties, directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

THE PASSION OFJOAN OF ARC. Mlle. Falconetti suffers in public and in silence. Directed by Carl Dreyer in 1928.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________         Sept. 25SAWDUST ANDTINSEL Also known as “The Naked Night”. The only Ingmar Bergman film Bard can afford (also one of the best). A circus setting; made in 1953.

Also: “Jammin’ the Blues,” 10 minutes of Lester Young, Harry Edison, Jo Jones and others.

Oct. 2FREAKS/THE PHENIX CITY STORY A double feature devoted to le film maudit: 2unconventional American “B” pictures—the first an unclassifiable and unsettling 60-minute story of sideshow life, the second a sensational “exposé” of corrupt Alabama politics, filmed on location.… Read more »

Early Film Reviews (August 1964)

Two movie columns published in Summer ’64, a newspaper published by Columbia University and Teachers College in August 1964, while I was attending summer school there in Manhattan. I recall having seen Hitchcock’s Marnie and Renoir’s Boudu Saved From Drowning that same summer for the same publication, and reviewed at least the former, but apparently either this review never ran or my printed copy of it hasn’t survived -– more likely the former.

That Man from Rio is being released this spring in an attractive, restored 2-disc Blu-Ray package by the Cohen Film Collection, along with de Broca’s follow-up feature. Up to His Ears (Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine, 1965). I’m still hoping for an eventual release of  the long-unavailable Five Day Lover (1961), which I recall as my favorite de Broca feature….One thing that I now think I got wrong about That Man from Rio is cross-referencing it with North by Northwest, when a comparison of Belmondo with Douglas Fairbanks (whose work I hadn’t encountered at the time) would have been far more apt. The shots of him running in this film are even more beautiful in some ways than those in Breathless, and some of his acrobatics are stunning.Read more »

“Doctor Kubrick”: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Movie

From the Bard Observer, March 30, 1964. The greatest teacher I’ve ever had, by far, was Heinrich Blücher, the husband of Hannah Arendt, who taught for many years at Bard College, and this was one of the two pieces of mine in the Bard Observer that he made a point of telling me that he liked. (The other one was an extended personal report on the Montgomery March that had appeared the previous spring.) From my present vantage point, I think this may have been my first really serious film review. I’ve done a light edit on it while transcribing it. -– J.R.


“Doctor Kubrick”: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Movie


The story is from Peter George’s Red Alert….A crazy American general sends a squadron of nuclear bombers to get in a first strike at Russia; after frantic efforts and unspeakable confusion, the American President manages to recall or have destroyed by the Russians all but one; this gets through and drops its bomb, which triggers off a nuclear death belt the Russians have secretly contrived; the picture ends with the world due to follow shortly.

– from a review of Dr.Read more »