Night of the Hunter (1955)

I recently re-watched a movie which has somehow slipped quietly from everyone’s minds, Night of the Hunter (1955). Really, though, it never was in anyone’s mind as it failed to appear anywhere in the Oscars, even in a year that was slim pickings and saw a half dozen movies selected which would be lauded andContinue reading “Night of the Hunter (1955)”

All the President’s Men

There are at least two kinds of detective stories, some which are driven by clues and some which are fueled by the characters. Great writers blend the two seamlessly, but even among Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries there is a special appeal to A Study in Scarlet because it is a great pleasure toContinue reading “All the President’s Men”

The Ladykillers

The Ladykillers is one of the great comedies, and comedies are a hard thing to pull off. Why is this so? Since the primary aim of comedy is to let you give yourself up to laugher for a few hours, albeit such an aim does not preclude the inclusion of deeper currents of thought, thereContinue reading “The Ladykillers”

Cleo from 5 to 7

Cleo from 5 to 7 begins with a consideration of death. The only color in the film is that of the tarot cards in the opening sequence; after that there is an exquisite black-and-white. The color had illuminated a gritty world which the descent to monochrome masks just in time to face the despairing Cleo’sContinue reading “Cleo from 5 to 7”

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men, Sidney Lumet’s most famous movie, is deceptively simple in its presentation. The tricks employed are famous: the continually sinking camera and the continually narrowing lens bring you closer and closer into the claustrophobic action; the parts of a single heated dialogue were often filmed weeks apart as part of a lighting schemeContinue reading “12 Angry Men”

Dunkirk

Excerpts from Nolan’s diary: 1 I awoke this morning feeling today will be extraordinary, ambitious, and groundbreaking. Not ordinary thoughts of ordinary men, but I am no longer an ordinary man. Last night I got my hands on a camera with untapped potential, and I am going to tap it. I’ve had ideas since whenContinue reading “Dunkirk”