Sunday, April 16, 2006

libeled lady

ok, so you can call me nuts, but i'm just crazy about old movies. not any old movies, of course, but Libeled Lady received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture in 1937. Directed by Jack Conway, the movie is a comedy/romance of the 30s and, to be honest, i couldn't help laughing out loud several times while watching it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

dark passage

Before saying a few things about this one, i have to make an observation which puzzled me a bit, although making me very proud. As probably any person with some interest in movies noticed, IMDB not only has a list of Top 250 movies as voted by users, but also lists with votes by genre. In this latter category, each genre has a Top-rated list of titles, and a Bottom-rated list of titles. All genres but one: film noir is the only one which only has a Top-rated list.
As for Dark Passage, it's the first Delmer Daves i watch, and it's also the third (i hope i'm not wrong) in the famous Bogart-Bacall series of movies. Noir thriller, it uses the subjective camera technique in the first part, doubled by first-person narration and manages to create quite an atmosphere. We get to see what escaped prisoner Vincent Parry -wrongly accused to have murdered his wife - sees, we get to share his fear of not being caught, we practically get into his shoes, all careful and afraid. Until he gets lucky enough to find a taxi driver who recognizes, yet believes in him. So Vincent decides that the best way to be able to hide from the police, as well as from all the people who spotted his pic in the newspapers is to have his face arranged. To get a plastic surgery, that is. And this is the gimmick of the movie. Only after he gets a new face, can we step out of Vincent's shoes and get a grip while observing him from the outside. Only then, does the camera move off, that is. What follows is typically noir, with Lauren Bacall performing beautifully as the caring, loving woman by his side, as well as Agnes Moorehead acting impressively as the psychotic, obsessed one. So...hold your breath and cross your fingers, and don't miss it if you're a noir addict.

modern times

each time i watch a silent movie, i am looking for the magic described by Paul Auster in "The book of illusions". i want those people on the screen to be so expressive and develop such a powerful story, that i can develop strong feelings myself. I haven't yet watched all Charlie Chaplin movies, but so far, i haven't been dispappointed by any of them.
Although a quasi-silent movie, Modern Times has everything for one of the best in the silent era. Set in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the movie is mainly a social protest, dealing with the major issues of people during the 30s: unemployment, poverty, and hunger. The very simple story manages to millitate strongly against people being dehumanized due to machines in the Industrial Era, also by bringing a touch of fun. Actually, the same touch of fun goes on during the entire movie, making possible a very optimistic end:
Gamin: What's the use of trying?
The Tramp: Buck up - never say die. We'll get along!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

good, old reminder habit

i've watched and will soon post impressions: Marnie, Match Point, Dead man, Spellbound, Brokeback mountain, Ice Age 2, Basic Instinct 2, Witness for the prosecution and Violence des echanges en milieu tempere.