Cinema: On an Island of the Mind

The Gift, a 40-minute movie made by a young commercial artist named Herbert Danska, cost exactly $3,123.17—or approximately one ten-thousandth of the sum spent on Cleopatra. But sometimes talent is worth more than Taylor. The Gift is the most brilliantly original U.S.

movie released so far in 1962, a stylistic tour d'esprit that employs a subtle and modern language of cinema to release a mood and distill a moment of great inward sweetness and intensity.

The mood is the complex and precarious mood of creative crisis and the moment comes in the life of a middle-aged painter (Kees Van Dyk) who is beginning...

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