Movie Diary 3/13/2019

The World, The Flesh, and The Devil (Ranald MacDougall, 1959). Another big impression from childhood: the barren avenues of New York, the trash blowing through the streets as Harry Belafonte wanders alone after an apocalypse. (Great detail on that point: Belafonte putting his garbage in a street bin, as though it matters.) Still an interesting end-of-the-world piece, albeit dated in some of its concerns. Co-starring tragic Inger Stevens and glib Mel Ferrer. Good, tart dialogue from MacDougall, who also adapted Mildred Pierce.

Five Feet Apart (Justin Baldoni, 2019). Aside from a strong central performance by Haley Lu Richardson, this movie has a couple of things to recommend it: the effective “world-building,” which in this case takes place entirely within a hospital wing for cystic fibrosis patients, and the director’s canniness in using the widescreen frame to keep the characters at a distance from each other (they must maintain the distance in order to prevent infection). Unfortunately, the final third of the film short-circuits these notable attributes. (full review 3/15)

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