Movie Diary 7/13/2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009). Notable participant: cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, the guy who did Amelie. The photographic values (digital, I assume) of this movie are stupdendous. The students are growing up, too. (full review 7/15)

strangerThe Stranger (Orson Welles, 1946). Finally a print that isn’t a public-domain experience – the first time I’ve seen this movie look so good. And although its place in the Welles canon is usually ranked low, it’s a terrific film.

$9.99 (Tatia Rosenthal, 2008). All kinds of weird combining here: the sardonic-magical-realist ideas of Israeli author Etgar Keret, whose Jellyfish was a fine picture; the world of stop-motion clay-figure animation; and a distinguished cast of Australian voices (including Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia). It works, though. (full review 7/17)

The Unmistaken Child (Nati Baratz, 2008). Documentary about the search for the Tibetan kid who might be the reincarnation of an important lama. A few stranger-than-fiction moments, plus some awesome locations. (full review 7/17)

Zombies of Mora Tau (Edward L. Cahn, 1956). Cheap Sam Katzman production, with Allison “50-Foot Woman” Hayes in a featured role. The undead are held in their semi-world by their attachment to stolen diamonds sunk off the African coast. They can only be killed by fire, as we are repeatedly reminded. The underwater scenes appear to be filmed on a dry set with bubbles being blown out of the deep-sea helmets. Lousy.