B̶r̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶D̶o̶n̶l̶e̶v̶y̶ Angelique stan account.
Fourth favorite is a recent watch that I particularly dug.
Jaws is many things, among them: a spectacular economic success, a western on the ocean, and a fraught, triangular romance. I'm far from the first person to say any of these things, but the film's craftsmanship, perfect pacing, and status as the summer flick that started it all nevertheless tend to overshadow its genre qualities, qualities which are just as flawlessly constructed as the more eye-catching aspects of the film.
There are countless westerns about small groups, trapped together and…
Double Indemnity 1944
I love this movie beyond measure. I love its chokingly lyrical (and so very Raymond Chandler), inch perfect screenplay. I love its dark humor, and the absurdity of glamorous Phyllis and anxious Walter skulking around a grocery store so aggressively sterile it seems to come from inside the monolith in 2001. I love the long takes, and the way the austerity of Billy Wilder's shooting style contrasts so perfectly with the labyrinthine language and tale it's recording. But, most of…
L’invitation au Voyage 1927
L’invitation au Voyage is about going out to turn inward — leaving the comfort of one's home to rediscover what one holds inside.
In a theme bar full of sailing imagery, complete with portholes on the walls, and an intense sense of exoticism, director Germaine Dulac's protagonist finds refuge from her philandering husband and life of empty routine. Initially uncomfortable and, perhaps, ashamed, she sits alone, hiding behind the high collar of her fur, watching the youthful merry-makers around her.…
The Naked and the Dead 1958
I am sure there have been hundreds — thousands? thousands! — of dissertations written about American war films, as well as dozens of books. I've not read any of them, but I feel like I might need to start now, because the main thing The Naked and the Dead left me with is immense curiosity about the kind of men different generations of war films want Americans to value and respect.
The sweet, unsophisticated country boys from small towns are…
Pather Panchali 1955
Women are alone.
Sarbajaya is alone. She has time only to prepare food and care for her family. Sometimes, she can eat, but we never see her sleep — not once. There is no Sarbajaya, apart from her responsibilities.
Her husband gives their children money because he loves to see them joyful; Sarbajaya is miserly so that she can give their children the food they need to stay alive, if only just. She is the source of discipline in their…
Cat People 1942
Cat People is a quietly devastating look at one woman's life, and the impact social pressures and expectations have on her ability to live freely, told through the vehicle of horror. Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon) is deeply alone, telling Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) on the very day they meet that he's her "first real friend." (Her word choice is terribly touching, suggesting a hopeful optimism that "only friend" would not have conveyed.) It's hard to tell if Irena…