Movie Diary 6/4/2009

tetro2Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola, 2009). For a while I was pulling for ol’ Francis, greatly enjoying the black-and-white cinematography and the unfussy grasp of place (Buenos Aires) and the pleasant sense of a guy making this particular movie just because he pleases to do so. But this is a really pretentious film. (Screens at SIFF 6/10, Coppola and Vincent Gallo in attendance.)

Amreeka (Cherien Dabis, 2009). Palestinian mother and son come to Illinois for a new life; the expected difficulties ensue. (Screens at SIFF 6/13 and 6/14)

OSS 117: Lost in Rio (Michel Hazanavicius, 2009). Just about the same as the first OSS 117 movie, thus regularly uproarious. The credits sequence, scored to a lunatic Dean Martin cover of “Gentle on My Mind,” and the hero’s acid trip are among the highlights. (Screens at SIFF 6/14)

Deception (Irving Rapper, 1946). Somebody had a lot of fun writing the character of the egomaniacal composer, and Claude Rains has a lot of fun playing it. The Erich Wolfgang Korngold music is also an attraction in this Bette Davis/Paul Henreid melodrama.