Movie Diary 3/5/2023

Till (Chinonye Chukwu, 2022). Catching up with ’22 stragglers. The story is a straightforward account of the brutal murder of Emmett Till and his mother’s fight for justice, and the cast, led by Danielle Deadwyler, is strong. Director Chukwu, who did the rather arty Clemency, does not take the kind of drab this-is-for-the-historical-record approach you might expect with the material, instead opting for a busy visual strategy using frames that crowd the screen, a design that culminates in several powerful moments – for anybody who watches movies for their formal attributes, anyway.

Interiors (Woody Allen, 1978). Hadn’t seen the Woodman’s first “serious” picture in many years, and it does not hold up especially well. In particular, the dialogue tends to be about exactly what it is about, with little variation on the spectacle of people moving around rooms declaring their resentments. There is one gag in the picture, the cutaway to the minister at the wedding ceremony, awkwardly holding a champagne glass and looking on. I suppose the movie is the extension of the material about Annie Hall’s Gentile family in that movie, but without the humor. But without the humor. Who needs that in a Woody Allen movie?