Movie Diary 10/9/2018

Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964). Dreyer’s supremely formal depiction of a woman (Nina Pens Rode), no longer young, who is surrounded by a politician husband, a pianist lover, and an old flame. In case you ever wondered whether material that delved into the deepest kind of emotional turmoil could be played in a very artificial manner (the majority of the movie seems to consist of people sitting demurely on couches and talking without looking at each other) and still be shattering, this proves it.

Piccadilly Third Stop (Wolf Rilla, 1960). Weird British thriller about an extremely slippery con man (Terence Morgan) who enlists a ragtag crew to rob a safe. It features William Hartnell (the first Dr. Who) as the safecracker, Yoko Tani as an easily-seduced foreign visitor, Colfax, WA, native John Crawford as a blustery American high-roller, and Mai Zetterling as his two-timing wife. Dandy little guest-star role for Dennis Price, as a don’t-fuck-with-me casino owner.The jazz score helps, and so does the genre set-up, even though a lot of it feels, well, generic. Rilla directed Village of the Damned the same year.

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