Movie Diary 5/8/2022

Paris Belongs to Us (Jacques Rivette, 1961). Baffling events, unromantic city views, a theatrical production of Pericles, cameos from French New Wave filmmakers. It has little of the buoyancy of the Nouvelle Vague, but it does exude a sort of chess-playing fascination. It’s one of those movies that seems to hint at another film, unshot or cut out, going on around the margins, but that never comes into view, like the conspiracy alluded to by some of the characters.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Richard Lester, 1966). Vaudeville jokes and Sondheim songs and Lester’s startling New Wave devices. A riot. It had been a while.

The Shadow of the Cat (John Gilling, 1961). Some Brit horror, about a greedy family and a fraudulent will. The murder of the family matriarch is witnessed by her cat, which leads to the murderers becoming obsessed with killing the pet. If this sounds like a dumb idea for a movie, you’ve got it right, and the distorted POV of the cat-cam doesn’t help. Barbara Shelley is in it. Amazingly boring, despite a few mucking-about-in-a-dark-basement scenes and an effective quicksand demise.

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