Saturday, June 09, 2018

Kiss Me Deadly


1955, US, directed by Robert Aldrich

A deeply cynical, and ultimately exceptionally bleak, film -- though of a piece with much pulp writing of the 1940s and 1950, this must have felt like a real cinematic slap in the face in 1955, with its generally anti-heroic characters, easy betrayals and casual violence, and the pall of broader threat. The location work is also striking -- some fascinating shots of mid-century LA.

Das letzte Schweigen


2010, Germany, directed by Baran bo Odar


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

L'Homme de Rio


1964, France/Italy, directed by Philippe de Broca

Thursday, May 10, 2018

White Material


2009, France, directed by Claire Denis

Isabelle Huppert in is top form here, while Claire Denis's work is typically strong, and less elliptical than in some of her 2000s work -- which is perhaps the more effective for this particular film. The sense of societal collapse is cogently and succinctly sketched in, and if I still have some vague sense of discomfort about the depiction of the African continent, Denis is trying to tease out something very challenging, including in her critique of the role of white settlers, about both her own relationship with Africa and cinematic depictions thereof.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé


1955, France, directed by Robert Bresson

My first viewing of the Criterion Collection restoration of this remarkable film -- and as much as the visuals are striking, it was the soundscape that came across even more strongly on this occasion (particularly in the tension of the titular escape). I still find Bresson to be tough going at times, primarily for his unique and uncompromising approach to performance, but this is one of the key texts. Bresson's star, François Leterrier, went on to a career as a director in his own right, though in a very different register, helming several scattershot popular comedies in the 1980s. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Too Late for Tears


1949, US, directed by Byron Haskin

Lizabeth Scott is in very fine form as a very fatale femme -- stay well back. Like Woman on the Run, this is a modest film in its ambitions but the whipsaws of the plot and the performances are generally pleasurable (and Dan Duryea plays an entirely atypical Dan Duryea part -- when he's not the least sympathetic person in the movie you know you're in uncharted waters). 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Voyage à travers le cinéma français


2016, France, directed by Bertrand Tavernier

For anyone with even a passing interest in classic French cinema, this is a treasure -- Tavernier is an exceptional guide to the (French) films that marked him, while also setting them in their broader cinematic history. In addition to clips from pictures ranging from the iconic to the obscure (such as Jacques Becker's early film Dernier atout), there is some wonderful interview footage -- including a memorable sequence when director Henri Decoin performs a note-perfect impression of Jean Gabin, with whom he worked on two impressive films.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Lion King


1994, US, directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

Index

List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States