Movie Diary 7/14/2021

Wait Until Dark (Terence Young, 1967). A completely random choice, and a good time. I had remembered that Alan Arkin dominated more, but he seems to have less screen time than Richard Crenna. Much of what Young does is standard-issue play adaptation, tweaked with the occasional faux-Hitchcock raised camera angle. There are some splendidly staged moments, including the beat when Audrey Hepburn realizes what’s going on, played not in close-up but in a suggestive middle-distance shot, the space around her newly charged with uncertainty. Arkin’s beatnik act seems way ahead of the rest of the old-fashioned movie, like a Nichols & May routine dropped into a Doris Day-Rock Hudson picture.

The Truffle Hunters (Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw, 2020). Saw a lot of documentaries last year, but managed to miss this study of the truffle business in Italy. It is indeed engrossing, and easy on the eyes, stuffed with memorable characters and evocative landscapes. And yet you still want to know: How did the filmmakers get access to some of these moments?