Movie Diary 3/6/2017

The Dragon Painter (William Worthington, 1919). Sessue Hayakawa produced this vehicle for himself, in which he plays a rough painter touched with savage genius (really a Toshiro Mifune character thirty years before the fact, complete with leaping physicality). The painter is taken in by a mentor, and entranced with his elder’s daughter (Hayakawa’s wife, Tsuru Aoki); the young painter believes her to be a lost princess of times past. Nice evening at the Paramount theater, with live music by the Aono Jikken Ensemble.

A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961). I had never seen this title from this era of British film. The Criterion disc looks great. Rita Tushingham’s first movie role, and she well suits the kitchen-sink mode. It has aged better than some of Richardson’s other films. No title song, however (it was written for the stage play). Great ending, too.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962). Tom Courtenay is just right in this gritty drama, which goes wandering at times but generally holds up. Another pretty good ending, at the very least.

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