Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Les Grandes familles

1958, France, directed by Denys de la Patellière

One of Gabin's more patrician roles -- as formal, in many ways, as his turn in Le Président some years later --  with the actor playing a tough-nosed paterfamilias/CEO, whose rigidity has troubling consequences for those around him (though Gabin  didn't always play lovable parts, this character is unusually uncompromising). It takes the film a few minutes to find its feet: the initial tone confused me greatly, as it implied a rather more comic film than was to follow. Bernard Blier also has a fine role as Gabin's factotum. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Education de prince

1938, France, directed by Alexandre Esway

I've no prior familiarity with the work of Alexandre Esway, though he worked with many of the greats of French cinema -- including, here, Henri-Georges Clouzot as a writer, though there's little sign of Clouzot's later directorial preoccupations. The film was mostly of interest as one of the last lingering entries in Louis Jouvet's filmography. It's a slice of Ruritania very much of its period, and by the standards of his pre-war work, Jouvet has a larger role than was the norm, playing a kind of fixer avant la lettre, charged here with the eponymous education of a prince who is to take over the throne in his invented homeland. The film probably deserves to be slightly less obscure, for Jouvet is very enjoyable -- the role is hardly a stretch, but it's well-suited to his persona, and there are several nicely-turned lines to savour. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

X-Men: Days of Future Past

2014, US, directed by Bryan Singer

Friday, August 18, 2017

Baby Driver

2017, UK/US, directed by Edgar Wright

Thursday, August 17, 2017


2017, UK/US, directed by Christopher Nolan

Effective and affecting. Nolan's structural approach lends the film and its events a genuine power, with the use of a series of parallel storylines -- albeit not parallel in terms of their timelines -- creating a deepening resonance as the film progresses. It's obviously an extraordinary male film, as would have been likely when focusing on a single military event in the 1940s, and of course is very much concerned with its place in the mythologization of the British wartime experience, too. As a spectacle, I found it to be deeply moving -- huge in scale, with the resources very much up on the screen, but also respectful and sober. 


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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.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States