Movie Diary 4/8/2019

Ash Is Purest White (Jia Zhangke, 2018). Another strong film from the inventive Chinese filmmaker, featuring a particularly deft performance by Zhao Tao (also the director’s wife) as a sort of female take on GoodFellas‘ Henry Hill; she can’t get along without the buzz of living a life in the underworld. I contribute some thoughts about it to the Scarecrow blog, here.

Five Graves to Cairo (Billy Wilder, 1943). A re-visit to a well-liked wartime offering, Wilder’s second film as director. Wilder’s blend of broad comedy, suspense, and bittersweet poignance is already in place. And, of course, Erich von Stroheim as Rommel.