Movie Diary 2/18/2019

Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972). The Seattle Art Museum is doing a Bergman series and this one was up. And it was in 35 mm., no less – in the opening shots, Sven Nykvist’s camera was catching the light through mist in such a way you could see about eight different colors in it. The director’s work with actors seems even more concentrated here than it does elsewhere in his filmography, so that everyone on screen seems stirred by some almost supernatural force.

Never Look Away (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2018). The only remaining nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category left for me to see – hey, it’s 188 minutes long, it took a while to get around to it. I liked H.v.D.’s The Lives of Others, and figured The Tourist could be chalked up to studio interference or Hollywoodization or whatever. But there’s no excuse for this, the saga of a young artist (Tom Schilling) who grows out of the Nazi era only to be buffeted around by the oppressive East Germans and the trendy aesthetes of the West. Although it has lots of melodrama, it denies you the satisfactions of melodrama. Just not a good movie – and it’s 188 minutes long.

The ‘Burbs (Joe Dante, 1989). Hadn’t seen it in 30 years, but always meant to re-visit. Fun, silly, ably turned. Hard to beat the sibling duo of Henry Gibson and Brother Theodore. Was the Rick Ducommon role originally intended for John Candy? It feels that way. The movie doesn’t go all the way with what it seems to want to do.

North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959). Bulletin: It’s still great.


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