“The Name of the Rose,” April 11, 2022 (1986), DVD. I saw this when it first came out, but hadn’t seen it since. Jean-Jacques (J.J.) Annaud’s reworking of Umberto Eco’s 1980 global bestselling—if not always read—novel is well worth re-watching. William of Baskerville (Sean Connery as a Holmes-like Franciscan friar sleuth) arrives at a Benedictine monastery in Italy with his novice assistant, Adso von Melk (a 15-year old Christian Slater in his first role) to investigate a strange death in this strange place. More deaths follow and the secrets of the monastery’s library taunt the rationalist friar. Faith vs. reason battle alongside struggles over economic justice and injustice (the Church’s exploitation of the peasantry), and the horrific power of the inquisition – here in the person of F. Murray Abrahams. Torture battles with reason. It’s also a story of love and lust. Like Fellini, Annaud favors unusually character-laden faces for his actors. These include the stars mentioned above but also the ever dramatic (over-acting?) but charismatic William Hickey as a Franciscan with apocalyptic premonitions, Ron Perlman as a Benedictine hunchback with a dangerous past, as well as numerous stars from around Europe. Getting this on the DVD allowed me to view the director’s commentary as well as the film. That was really informative and interesting about everything from sets and costuming, to casting, relations with particular actors in the cast (he did not like Abrahams at all), the one major sexual scene with Slater and a beautiful young woman (Chilean actress Valentina Vargas), and how this film developed and was filmed. It was well worth watching. I find most director commentaries very unsatisfying.