Movie Diary 6/16/2020

Light of My Life (Casey Affleck, 2019). Affleck also wrote and stars in this post-plague movie, in which most of the world’s female population has perished; he roams the land (British Columbia as location) with his pre-adolescent daughter (Anna Pniowsky). She dresses as a boy to avoid the predatory focus of strangers. The film is effectively nerve-wracking for its duration, almost to the point of being sadistic about it, and it slips into conventional solutions at times. But it’s compellingly shot and scored, and the two lead actors are superb. Did this not get released at all? I guess not, but it’s a worthy film.

Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951). Not in my top 12 for Hitchcock, but a good one for teaching, with more set-pieces than you can shake a stick at. Was there this much humor in the Patricia Highsmith novel? It’s been a long time since I read it, but I don’t think so. Some of the jokes keep the movie from going too deep, but Hitchcock gets some weird mystery going on between Farley Granger and Robert Walker.

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