Movie Diary 1/26/2009

bittervictoryBitter Victory (Nicholas Ray, 1957). Spare antiwar movie, with Richard Burton and Curt Jurgens as the British officers sent on a mission in North Africa, with issues of cowardice and jealousy much to the fore. The widescreen black-and-white photography is especially eerie in the desert night scenes, with Ray adding the kinds of touches (the look on Burton’s face when he knifes a man, for instance) that make his movies so wrought with trouble.

Were the World Mine (Tom Gustafson, 2008). Teen in drama class mixes an elixir described in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, spritzes it around, and the homophobic small town turns gay. Hey, it’s a better plot than High School Musical 3. (full review 1/30)