Daily Archives: March 3, 2019

An Introduction to Carl Dreyer for BBC Persian

Here’s a link to this short video — broadcast on March 3, 2019, and directed by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa — without Persian voiceovers:

https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.rosenbaum.18/posts/10156418932724926?notif_id=1551589585224363&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic

I usually use Facebook to promote my posts here, but this time I’m doing the reverse. — J.R.

JR reading in Dreyer doc

DreyerCU

Gertrud

[03/03/2019]… Read more »

Fascinating Rhythms [M]

 

M

Rating **** Masterpiece

Directed by Fritz Lang

Written by Thea von Harbou, with Paul Falkenberg, Adolf Janesen, Karl Vash, and Lang

With Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Grundgens, Ellen Widman, Inge Landgut, Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur, Franz Stein, and Theodor Loos.

It’s unthinkable that a better movie will come along this year than Fritz Lang’s breathtaking M (1931), his first sound picture, showing this week in a beautifully, if only partially, restored version at the Music Box. (The original was 117 minutes, and this one is 105 — though until the invaluable restoration work of the Munich Film Archives, most of the available versions were only 98.) Shot in only six weeks, it’s the best of all serial-killer movies — a dubious thriller subgenre after Lang and three of his disciples, Jacques Tourneur (The Leopard Man, 1943), Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, 1960), and Michael Powell (Peeping Tom, 1960), abandoned it. M is also a masterpiece structured with the kind of perfection that calls to mind both poetry and architecture and that makes even his disciples’ classics seem minor by comparison.… Read more »

Scenes Not From a Mall [MY COUSIN VINNY & WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP]

From the Chicago Reader (April 24, 1992). — J.R.


MY COUSIN VINNY

*** (A must-see)

Directed by Jonathan Lynn

Written by Dale Launer

With Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne, Lane Smith, and Austin Pendleton.

WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP

*** (A must-see)

Directed and written by Ron Shelton

With Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell, Cylk Cozart, and Kadeem Hardison.



“Why is this film so popular?” Michael Sragow asked a little plaintively about My Cousin Vinny in the New Yorker last week. Then he suggested an answer: “Perhaps because it gives Pesci a chance to combine his commercial signature, pop scabrousness, with old-fashioned virtues like ‘heart.’” This hypothesis implies that audiences go to comedies for highly esoteric reasons — just like some film critics.

Personally, I’d rather believe that My Cousin Vinny is popular for reasons that have more to do with reality and recognition — specifically, with an appreciation of American regionalism that most contemporary American movies never even attempt, much less convey. At least that’s what I like about the movie, and it’s also what I like about White Men Can’t Jump, the other most popular American comedy around at the moment.… Read more »