Movie Diary 11/28/2011

Torrid Zone (William Keighley, 1940). The movie’s so fast-moving and wise-cracking and appealingly played, it almost completely distracts you from noticing what the hell it’s about and how it feels about its subject (Front Page re-do in the foreground, with jerkhole Pat O’Brien conniving to re-hire James Cagney to manage giant corporate banana operation, and insurgent leader George Tobias trying to get a revolution going in the background). Also in foreground: Ann Sheridan.

Kinyarwanda (Alrick Brown, 2011). Different threads of story tie together in Rwanda during the genocide, all in an expected way. (full review 12/2)

Empire of Silver (Christina Yao, 2009). Epic financial-dynasty stuff, with great head-spinning tides of court intrigue: kidnappings, suicides, scandals. And yet not quite enough of that. (full review 12/2)

Clearcut (Peter Richardson, 2006). Remarkable documentary about the early 21st-century Culture War in Philomath, Oregon, a microcosmic portrait of America in the era of Fox News. It’ll show on KCTS’ “ReelNW” series on Dec. 12.

At What a Feeling!, pause to ponder The Philadelphia Experiment, an X-Files movie before its time.