Movie Diary 6/29/2009

Underworld (Josef von Sternberg, 1927). Known for its influence on later gangster pictures, this film is alive in many different ways. The production design carries the Sternberg stamp, but so does the precise sense of gesture and facial expression, especially in Clive Brook’s performance. This screening at Port Townsend’s Rose Theatre featured live-music accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra, who came through with a splendidly moody score.

Seventh Heaven (Frank Borzage, 1927). Luminous performances by Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor in Borzage’s stirring love story, one of those films in which each moment seems thought-through and totally committed. 1927 was a pretty awesome year – and then sound had to come in.

Young and Innocent (Alfred Hitchcock, 1937). This one wears well, so clear and light you barely notice the skill that oozes out of it. One of Hitch’s most “acted” cameos, too.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Carlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier, 2009). Number Three rarely improves the series, but Scrat is here. (full review 7/1)