Saturday, September 26, 2009

RECENT WATCHING 2nd Half of September

ive been busy and would like to blog a few of these things, especially in some of sort of film noir round up, but is a recap of my recent watching i dont feel like expounding on full time

MAN'S CASTLE - a suprisingly well done exercise in early sound film (1933) directed by early american master frank borzage and starring a young spencer tracey and loretta young, two stars who will obvious do much better. this early work is a nice indication of things to come for all

MONA LISA - the breakthrough film by famed irish director neil jordan (the crying game), this one stars bob hoskins, robbie coltrane, and a particular bad ass turn by michael caine. its a noir-ey, twisty crime film that is filled intrigue and whatnot. hoskins in crime movies is pretty much always a must watch

CARL TH DREYER: MY METIER - a criterion doc on the life and unique style of the great danish direcor carl theodor dreyer (passion of joan of arc, ordet). very surprisingly, this was very poorly done and not terribly informative. dreyer was a fascinating personality and this doesnt do him justice.

COUP DE TORCHON - i was shocked i enjoyed this film. i normally find french post new waver bernard tavarnier's to be incredibly boring but this one was exciting and sorta felt like claude chabrol instead. a young and oft naked isabelle huppert stars in this thriller of a serial killer/moralist living french occupied algeria prior to the breakout of the war.

A COLT IS MY PASSPORT - one of the films in the newly released Nikkatsu Noir collection from Eclipse; this is a tarantino esque noodle western from the 60s (...japan). not much of a cohesive or interesting plot, but this had great music and some cool camera work

GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA - a 90 minute interview with general idi amin and a profoundly interesting look into a charismatic and completely insane director. i can honestly see how the people of uganda were so taken with him. he is so swarthy and well spoken cannibal!

THE NAKED AND THE DEAD - this is a gritty war movie from the late 50s that seemed like it would be pretty ahead of its time. however, now it just looks like every 'war is heck' overlong films from the 50s. by no means bad but by no means interesting

RANCHO NOTORIOUS - fritz lang's worst film. i cant even remember if i wrote about this already. lets just say that germans probably the best choice to direct pleasant western flix

THE LONG NIGHT - now this is one hell of a film noir! starring henry fonda and directed by the great anatole litvak, this dark tale tells in flashback the events that led to the murder of a magician (wonderfully played the always entertaining vincent price). dare i say this is "smoldering?" an absolute must watch for noir fans!

SCANDAL SHEET - '...she didnt get married, she got murdered.' yup,, another smoldering film noir from the 50s. though not as good as THE LONG NIGHT, this is still a pretty entertaining flick. broderick crawford plays a tough as nails newspaper editor with something to hide and john derek is the rookie with a nose for the truth. OOOH! directed by phil karlson who also did...

THE PHENIX CITY STORY - ive been wanting to see this one for a while but was very disappointed with the true crime feel of the film. that genre is really hard to pull off and unless its in the ultra auteur hands of sam fuller to jules dassin, it just comes off as boring. and this unfortunately is really dull.

THE HUMAN CONDITION TRILOGY - will blog about this VERY VERY soon..