Movie Diary 3/16/2009

pitz2White Hell of Pitz Palu (Arnold Fanck and G.W. Pabst, 1929). Another “mountain film,” the German genre I’ll talk about this coming Sunday (see here for details) in the course of discussing the end of the great age of German cinema of the 1920s. Leni Riefenstahl plays one of the leads in a mountain-climbing saga that makes it look as though the actors were frequently in danger for their lives. Among the spectacular sequences: a nighttime rescue mission in the mountains, the search party dropping into icy crevasses lit by torches. The footage throughout is extraordinary; there isn’t a lazy set-up in the movie.

Duplicity (Tony Gilroy, 2009). Spy movies ought to be about the way people either trust each other or don’t (whether they’re spies or not), and Gilroy gets that. Great credits sequence, too. (full review 3/20)