Movie Diary 1/9/2022

Riders of Justice (Anders Thomas Jensen, 2020). Mads Mikkelsen and his half-assed crew plot revenge against a gang; comedy, mostly, ensues. Skillfully done, with a hard-to-resist concept, as is true of so much of Jensen’s work. Also, it’s a Christmas movie.

L’assassin habite au 21 (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942). I have been wanting to see this for many years, ever since buying a T-shirt with its poster printed on it in a shop in Cannon Beach, Oregon. (Life is mystifying.) Having assumed it was a straight crime thriller all this time, I was surprised to find it a murder comedy, about a serial killer who leaves his calling card with his victims. The killer lives at a boarding house at (you guessed it) number 21, so the police inspector (Pierre Fresnay) moves into the place disguised as a priest; his brassy galfriend (Suzy Delair, from Quai des Orfevres) tags along. The film is bright and funny and odd, with a terrific ensemble. Thank you, Criterion Channel.

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