Movie Diary 6/28/2022

Tahara (Olivia Peace, 2020). An afternoon of grief counseling at a Jewish high school, rendered with formidable attention to detail and a screen shape that goes even narrower than academy ratio. I’ll review it on Friday, when it opens at Seattle’s Grand Illusion.

Jigsaw (Val Guest, 1962). British procedural film, and we do mean procedural: After an opening sequence – a prelude to murder that demonstrates an interest in Hitchcock and Psycho – the film is a relentless parade of investigation and interrogation. The pace never flags, and the use of real locations (in and around Brighton) is convincing. For all of the Dragnet-style doggedness and the manly joshing of the cops (the leads are Jack Warner and Ronald Lewis), the two most striking characters and performances are female: the victim, played by Moira Redmond, and a lonely near-victim, played by Yolande Donlan, an American actress who was married to Val Guest; they create poignant snapshots of lost, overlooked souls, caught up in the process of crime.