As the summer movie season began, the first thing one might have detected was a sense of irrelevancy. That there would be a phalanx of sequels, comic book heroes and retreads of well-known pop-culture material. What was less evident at first was a sense that many of this year's offerings were not just familiar but ... unnecessary.
The death of Claude Chabrol this weekend provides further proof that the masters of the Nouvelle Vague, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (depending on how you determine its origin), are all in their sunset years even as their films, new and old, continue to shine.
An earlier entry on Woody Allen was left incomplete, not from any attempt to create suspense but solely due to the limitations of my cut-and-paste editing technique, which sometimes proves to be biased toward the first task.
Sydney Pollack, director, producer and surprisingly effective character actor, was one of a handful of filmmakers who emerged in the early days of television drama and graduated to a successful career in feature films, establishing himself in the late '60s and '70s as the director-of-choice for some of the most prominent movie stars of the New Hollywood.