Monday, April 13, 2015

The Horse's Mouth

1958, UK, directed by Ronald Neame

A terrific portrayal of the artistic temperament that's surely one of the best films on the creative/destructive potential of art and its makers, and yet one which resists the temptations of cliché. Alec Guinness's characterization of Gulley Jimson is quite wonderful -- apparently the actor had been fascinated by the story for years, and ended up writing the script -- capturing an entirely convincing amalgam of genius and (sometimes inadvertent) rogue. It's not hard to see some of the makings of his later Fagin, either, both in voice and gesture. I found the soliloquies on the meaning of art genuinely moving and the film's ability to transition smoothly between the (sometimes broadly) comic and the profound reminded me of some of the best of Leo McCarey.  

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States