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Kauffmann: Films Worth Seeing

Films Worth Seeing

Araya. Made in 1959, acclaimed at Cannes but skimpily released, this exceptional documentary is very deservedly brought forth again. Shot in stunning black and white, this account of salt workers on the coast of Venezuela tells the truth about their lives in quasi-poetic style. (Reviewed 11/4/09)

Chelsea on the Rocks. For a hundred years the Hotel Chelsea in New York has been a haven for artists of every kind, some of them quite eminent.. Now that this cherished hostel is in danger of disappearing, a documentary goes a great way to preserve, mostly with interviews, its atmosphere and effect. (11/4/09)

Disgrace. The distinguished novel by J. M. Coetzee has been made into a distinguished film. A Cape Town professor, middle-aged and reserved, has an affair with a student and is soon enmeshed in more than predictable problems. John Malkovich excels as the no longer quite so self-assured professor. (10/21/09)

35 Shots of Rum. Paris, warm, convivial, generous, except that this time almost all the Parisians are black. Claire Denis’s film about a man and his twentyish daughter is perceptive and inevitably a bit sad, in an endearing way. (10/7/09)

Stanley Kauffmann is The New Republic's film critic.