Movie Diary 5/11/2022

Happening (Audrey Diwan, 2021). France in the early 1960s: Abortion is outlawed, and a student is pregnant. I’ll review this tomorrow, and try to talk about more than just its astonishing timeliness.

The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1969). This impressionistic film was restored a few years ago in an incredibly sharp, vivid rendition – an absolute wow. I wish I’d seen in on its first release – it’s timeless, for sure, but also stylistically of its time.

The Thirteenth Chair (Tod Browning, 1929). Early-sound adaptation of a whodunit stage play. Creaky, weird as hell, but interesting to watch, not least because Bela Lugosi plays an inspector who comes in and really galvanizes the action. Lugosi unleashes some very practiced, athletic gestures, and his voice is commanding, even if he wrestles with the accent – at one point he declares, “My words are perfectly plain!” and you have to grin a little.