Movie Diary 3/18/2009

Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2008). The sounds of animals during the transition from light to dark, an endless stratum of clouds over a plain, a rainstorm that gathers in the distance through a car window and swiftly envelopes a scene: Reygadas is clearly in another zone. (full review 3/27)

Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008). Kurosawa understands space; the first 15 minutes or so of this film are like a case study in how to convey emotional information through visual terms. Just when you think the movie’s a snug fit for festival audiences, Kurosawa takes it off the rails for a while, as though reminding us, “No, I’m this kind of filmmaker.” (full review 3/27)

The Edge of Love (John Maybury, 2008). Dylan Thomas, lying in piss in the gutter outside a pub — that’s the way it goes in this arty slog. (full review 3/20)

Detective Story (William Wyler, 1951). A night in the precinct, and an oddball collision of Actor’s Studio mannerisms (Joseph Wiseman is especially lively) with Hollywood police procedurals. Lee Grant is funny and different in her Oscar-nominated film debut; she was blacklisted almost immediately.