Movie Diary 4/21/2014

Black Caesar (Larry Cohen, 1973). Blaxplo-tainment from the estimable exploitation man Cohen. Some potent scenes throughout (when you see a shoeshine kit set in front of an American flag, you have a pretty good sense that the climax is going to be killer). Fred Williamson is the star.

Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967). Watch the opening eight minutes and take notes, because that’s how to open a movie. And hey, what about all those who disapproved of this film and said it was irresponsible in its excitement over glamorous criminals? Yeah, they were right.

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (Budd Boetticher, 1960). Hadn’t seen this one since Boetticher introduced it at the Telluride Film Festival in the early 1980s. Ray Danton is one cold gangster, but he’s definitely got strategies.

Al Capone (Richard Wilson, 1959). Rod Steiger – well, you get it. Helluva fun performance to watch.

Honey (Valeria Golino, 2013). First feature directed by the actress. And except for a few wobbles in the vicinity of over-patness, it has some good things in it. (full review 4/25)

La Ultima Pelicula (Raya Martin, Mark Peranson, 2013). Lark that owes equal dues to Dennis Hopper, Godard, and Apocalypse Coppola. So it’s got that demographic sewn up. (full review 4/25)

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