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Monday, 15 January 2018

The trouble about these Hollywood dames ~ Dix Steele (Humphrey Bogart)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


15 January


On first viewing Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in In a Lonely Place (1950), as screened at Saffron Screen, on Monday 15 January 2018 at 8.00 p.m., in the restored form from 1977



If Peter Bradshaw (@PeterBradshaw1) is right that it falls to consider In a Lonely Place in the category of noir, then maybe the flavour of the inauthentic that pervades everything is apt – or, contrariwise, maybe it is a reaction to a film that seems to aim at being plausible, but where so much remarkably does not succeed in giving that impression, that, as its saving grace, we invoke the concept of film noir ?




Attribute to Grahame’s character Laurel that she has seen it all before (with Mr Baker)*, or that Humphrey Bogart is a case, before the diagnosis existed (or before Taxi Driver (1976)), of post-traumatic stress disorder, but :

* Roger O. Thornhill (Cary again, with Hitchcock in North by NorthWest (1959)) is far more alarmed, though wildly drunk, by having been set behind the wheel of a car than Grahame as passenger – we see the vehicle objectively career, and also from the driver / passenger point of view - on one heck of a ride (we should either not have been shown that at all, or, if we are not intended to withdraw our belief, Grahame has not to react as if this is quite usual driving)

* As Adam Feinstein made a very case for, at Cambridge Film Festival 2016, Michael Curtiz did some unjustly neglected work with The Breaking Point (1950), and not just in Casablanca (1942) (with this film’s male lead and Bergman) :



* This film just shows why Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur (2011) was really so conventional (it felt as if, without acknowledging it, it was importing Peter Mullan from Ken Loach / Paul Laverty’s My Name is Joe (1998) ?)


All of which is calling out for some other film-references (assembling here, in alphabetical order) :

* The Artist (2011)

* Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

* Mulholland Drive [Dr.] (2001)

* […]


End-notes :

* But Laurel doesn’t seem to have the signs of having seen it all before even of Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) (even though, obviously, the oral sex in the gents is mightily toned down from what Truman Capote wrote – fancifully, although collected with three other stories in a slim volume, IMDb calls it ‘a novel’…)




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

We ? Who the hell are we to think that we're suddenly special ? (work in progress)!

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


This accreting load of twaddle is Our mistaken notions, in twenty-first-century Western so-called society, that we are all individuals – rather than just another batch of conformists














Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Some comments on Molly’s Game (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


14 January


Some comments on Molly’s Game (2017) (watched at The Light Cinema, Cambridge, on Wednesday 10 January 2018)






When not supposedly being both therapist and self-critical father, Larry Bloom is otherwise shown as a beastly father, ignoring his wife’s pleas for Molly, and invoking the word weak as an alleged synonym for tired : perfectly psychologically reasonable, then, that both Player X (Michael Cera) and, before him, Dean Keith (Jeremy Strong), prove dangerously attractive as the types of character who like to crush others (even if it can also be personally costly to know them).


[...]





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Two laundromats near Staines, formerly Middlesex

Some premonitions, prognostications and precautions about the promise of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


11 January


Some premonitions, prognostications and precautions about the promise of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Three Tweets about Bound (1996) [by The Wachowskis]

Three Tweets about Bound (1996) [by The Wachowskis]

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


9 January

Three Tweets about Bound (1996) [by The Wachowskis]








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Three Tweets about Alexander Korda's The Four Feathers (1939) (and some images)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 January


Three Tweets about Alexander Korda's The Four Feathers (1939) (and some images)
















Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Film hype decoded : A Dictionary of Tweets

Film hype decoded : A Dictionary of Tweets (#FilmHypeDecoded)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 January

Film hype decoded : A Dictionary of Tweets (#FilmHypeDecoded)


Inspired by the extraordinary true story





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Some thoughts on being reacquainted with Suspicion (1941)

Some thoughts on being reacquainted with Suspicion (1941)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


1 January

Some thoughts on being reacquainted with Suspicion (1941)







Ingrid Bergman (Dr. Constance Petersen) and Gregory Peck (John Ballantyne), then joined by Michael Chekhov (Dr. Michael Brülov) for more dream-work, in Spellbound (1945)¹




Leo G. Carroll (Dr. Murchison) - joined by Ingrid Bergman (Dr. Constance Petersen) here in a link to the near-dénouement



The surges in Franz Waxman's score² for Suspicion (1941) go from emotional peaks, as when Lina overhears herself effectively described (by her mother, within) as dull and so impulsively kisses Johnnie, to ones - reverting to form ? - of terror, at what he might have done, or be³.


We scarcely see the exterior design of Lina and Johnnie's matrimonial property, when they return from honeymoon⁴, but we soon become acquainted with the fact that what we must assume is some sort of large cupola, at all sorts of times of day, has the shadow of its struts cast onto the living area and stairs.


Just as those surges, as part of Hitchcock's vision, help overwhelm with terror what is reasonable in us, too, likewise, more and more – without our doing much more than taking it for granted – does it turn from a benign compass to an imperious clock to an alarming web... ? :


Maybe, in this famous scene, we credit it - if we think of its plausible origins at all - as cast by the full moon, but, then, with all that it traditionally implies about sanity (Johnnie's ? Lina's ?)...



End-notes :

¹ Seemingly titled, in Italy, io ti salverò ('I will save you') :


² Waxman, under the category 'Music (Music score for a dramatic picture)', was nominated for an Academy Award (in 1942).

³ In 'Murder - With English on it' [originally published in The New York Times Magazine (3 March 1957 ; 17, 42)], Hitchcock chooses to say In Suspicion, the story of a wife who suspects her husband of being a homicidal maniac, I had to make [my emphasis] the suspicion ultimately [my emphasis] a figment of her imagination. The consensus was [my emphasis] that audiences would not want to be told in the last few frames of film that as popular a personality as Cary Grant was a murderer, doomed to exposure. (The article is collected as part of Faber & Faber's film series on directors, in Hitchcock on Hitchcock (London, 1995), pp. 133-137.)

However, although the article does not cite this reference, hitchcockmaster finds ample evidence that, after principal shooting, Hitchcock found that the film had been cut down to 55 minutes, out of the fear mentioned (which arose from preview screenings at RKO, and after changes of personnel made by the studio, that lost Hitchcock the support of the two men most closely involved with the film). The article also shows that few people liked the ending of the film, as duly completed in post-production and released.


⁴ Our best chance to see this hallway, and how especially it is lit from above, comes from at 28 : 43 (in the colour version), whereas, when Lina comes in from riding and meets ‘Beaky’ (Nigel Bruce) for the first time (at 38 : 30), the property appears to have a perfectly flat façade (which gives little away what is supposed to be behind it).

One reviewer (quoted by hitchcockmaster³) somewhat disapproved of the use of the image cast by the putative cupola, calling it, in The Times, an effective, if a little crude, use of shadow (4 December 1941).

Post-script : Since the above was written, this still has been found, which appears to show the exterior (from an angle) :





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)