Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)

In catching up with lesser or minor Hitchcock it becomes easy to forget how fully and perfectly integrated and complete a film he could turn out, if allowed the (half-) chance. In Notorious, famously named by Francois Truffaut as the film in which Alf got the closest to delivering his original intentions exactly, a sigh … Continue reading Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)

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Round-Up: Pollet, Guitry, Robson/Lewton, Mizoguchi

Mediterranee (1963, Jean-Daniel Pollet) If the endless circuit of repetitive simulations and duplications continues then we should at least attempt to find some ecstasy, some liberty and some echoes of what we have lost within it. Jean-Daniel Pollet’s essay film is an edifice (strong yet weak, monumental but crumbling, still just together but ready to … Continue reading Round-Up: Pollet, Guitry, Robson/Lewton, Mizoguchi

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)

The Postman Always Rings Twice has been kicked so severely out of consideration as a top-drawer noir (in favour of more obviously auteurist works, or those with the stamp of approval from twenty-first century mannerists) that it is now probably somewhat underrated. Never mind all that because it’s a film rich with pleasures; from the … Continue reading The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)

Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Two more silent Mikio Naruse films, both from 1933. Every-Night Dreams is currently the more acclaimed of this pair, perhaps because it’s story and feel is closer to some of the social realist Hollywood films  or melodramas of roughly the same period (albeit while remaining distinctly Japanese). It is a film which attempts to present … Continue reading Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)

“What was it like?” It’s a question often asked to a filmgoer once they have returned home, leaving behind their cinematic companions and rejoining those friends or family who wished to remain in the sunlight, not submitting themselves to the darkness of the auditorium and its resulting hints of eyestrain. Sometimes the filmgoer wishes they … Continue reading Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)