Here’s a little taste of my next “Sightings” column, which appears biweekly in the “Pursuits” section of the Saturday Wall Street Journal:
Fifty years ago, a film director known for his fluffy musicals rolled up his sleeves and shot a movie about a great artist–and it was good. Not only that, it made money.
Vincente Minnelli’s “Lust for Life,” which was released on DVD last week, is that rarity of rarities, a high-culture Hollywood biopic that isn’t unintentionally funny. To be sure, the snobs of the day tittered at the thought of Kirk Douglas playing Vincent van Gogh, and even now the film doesn’t get much respect, though a few latter-day critics have gone out of their way to praise it. One of them is David Thomson, the much-admired author of “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film,” who calls “Lust for Life” “as moving as anything in the American cinema.” He’s right…
As always, there’s lots more where that came from. See for yourself–buy a copy of tomorrow’s Journal and look me up.
UPDATE: The Journal has posted a free link to this column. To read the whole thing, go here.