Movie Diary 3/22/2020

The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2019). A droll noir from the director of 12:08 East of Bucharest and Police, Adjective. A lot of the pleasure is in the putting-together of pieces (some gritty in the manner of 70s cop pictures, some exotic – like the use of a whistling language in the Canary Islands), and in watching a nimble cast step through the paces.

Seven Men from Now (Budd Boetticher, 1956). Still lean, still good, still provides a kind of mathematical satisfaction. John Wayne’s production company had Burt Kennedy’s script, but Wayne bowed out of playing the role himself. That would’ve been a different movie, as the Duke would surely have brought humanity to a role that works better in Randolph Scott’s terse style – Wayne’s presence would’ve warmed the film’s bracing existential chill.