Movie Diary 11/18/2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013). The shaky-cam is gone. That’s a good start. (full review 11/22)

In a World… (Lake Bell, 2013). Credible directing debut for the actress, and, no question, a fun cast has been assembled.

Easy Living (Mitchell Leisen, 1937). A fur coat drops on Jean Arthur as she rides the open-air bus, and a delightful Preston Sturges-penned situation ensues. It’s good to see this every few years.

The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962) and Chingachcook: The Great Snake (Richard Grosschop, 1967). The first is a West German Western, based on a Karl May novel; the latter is an East German adaptation of Fenimore Cooper. Both films foreground the Indian characters, although Lex Barker is imported for Silver Lake as the buckskin-clad May hero Old Shatterhand. It’s a really vigorous piece of moviemaking, and I hope Quentin Tarantino has seen it, because it would flip his lid. Chingachcook is the second in the very popular series of DEFA-produced Westerns, starring Gojko Mitic, who played the Native American roles and became a huge star because of them (the Americans are the capitalist oppressors, the Indians the sympathetic heroes).


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