Movie Diary 8/6/2012

The Candidate (Jay Roach, 2012). Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, vamping along the outline of the script, and trying to get a message out, too. (full review 8/10)

M (Joseph Losey, 1951). First time seeing this hard-to-see movie, with David Wayne in the role of the child-killer. Reading about it for years, I had always gotten the impression it varied quite a bit from the Fritz Lang original, so it came as a surprise that so many scenes line up exactly with the first version. Interesting movie, though, and terrific grasp of Los Angeles locations.

Mr. Klein (Joseph Losey, 1976). Alain Delon is the title character, a complacent Parisian during the Occupation who can’t understand why he is being confused with this other, definitively Jewish, Mr. Klein. The movie is proportioned just right in its authentic-feeling milieu and its Twilight Zone undertones.

The Go-Between (Joseph Losey, 1970). One of Losey’s real success stories, and third collaboration with Harold Pinter – a great choice of material, for both of them. Another hard-to-find movie on DVD, and why on earth would that be? (The reason for the Losey-watching is an upcoming talk at the Frye Art Museum.)

Phaedra (Jules Dassin, 1962). Dassin’s films are also for the Frye event. I remember hearing about the pretentiousness of this movie (Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins enacting Greek myth) ‘way back in my earliest days of reading about foreign films, but I had never seen it before. And while it lives up to its reputation, I pretty much enjoy looking at any black-and-white European movie made between 1951 and 1965, so there’s that going for it.

At What a Feeling!, the week of 1980s reviews begins on an Olympian note, with a take on Bud Greenspan’s 16 Days of Glory.

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