Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Courtesy of the Criterion Collection.

A seemingly simple film that reveals deeper levels of profundity upon further reflection, Roberto Rossellini's "The Flowers of St. Francis" is basically a series of vignettes that takes Italian neo-realism back to the 13th century. 

Have you ever been to Timbuktu (incidentally, it is spelled Tombouctou in Mali)? No? Well nor have I, so I found "Timbuktoubab," the documentary, riveting.

Upon watching the restored version of "Bambi" on DVD this week, I was struck by how familiar the story felt. Then I watched the accompanying documentary on the making of the film, wherein contemporary Disney staffers acknowledged their debt to this 1942 film when they scribed and animated "The Lion King." Long before Simba witnessed his father Mufasa's death on the African Serengeti, children worldwide experienced their first vision of birth, death, and rebirth through "Bambi."

The Criterion Collection

This year has seen some terrific releases on DVD, but none is better than the Criterion Collection's three-disc set, "The Battle of Algiers." First released in 1966, "The Battle of Algiers" was reissued in theaters across the country in 2004. It enjoyed a too-brief run in San Antonio in May 2004. The film's distributor, Rialto, told me that it didn't do too well in San Antonio so it was pulled after one week.

Drawing On The East

Oct 28, 2004
© Disney. All rights reserved.

For better or worse, the current state of cinema's animated output can be traced back to 1992's blockbuster film "Aladdin." Not only was it a groundbreaking film with its breakneck pace, marvelous songs, and increased use of computer-aided animation, but it also established the "star turn" in animated films, with its zany genie voiced by Robin Williams.

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