Movie Diary 8/12/2018

The Meg (Jon Turteltaub, 2018) and Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda, 1965). I’m just idly wondering whether anyone else in the world saw these two films last Friday. Show of hands? The Meg is a giant-shark picture, and not as much fun as the trailer suggests. My review here. Le Bonheur is Varda’s third film, and a rather amazing one: about a man who lives a happy life with his wife and children, and then meets another woman, with whom he is also happy. But there’s no simple free-love 60s interpretation for this situation. The combination of the pastoral colors and Varda’s scrupulously ambiguous attitude makes for a remarkable film, with a memorably happy-creepy-crawly fade-out. I saw it in a restored digital print at Edinburgh Filmhouse, where it looked great. (Note to self: revise 1965 Ten Best List, stat.)

The Stars Look Down (Carol Reed, 1940). Mining-town drama, with Michael Redgrave as a student who gets out of the “pit” to pursue a career as an advocate for the mining union, only to fall victim to Margaret Lockwood’s conniving femme fatale (she’s been jilted by Redgrave’s pal Emlyn Williams). Made with Reed’s dynamic eye, even if some of the supporting characters are on the stock side.

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