Movie Diary 6/6/2009

The Taking of Pelham 123 (Tony Scott, 2009). Ripples of critical respect for Tony Scott in recent years? Can the director of Top Gun be evolving somehow? Pelham, reassuringly, suggests not. Pure cheese. (full review 6/12) 

Arrowsmith (John Ford, 1931). Ronald Colman and Helen Hayes in the Sinclair Lewis story, a peculiar but grown-up movie property with some nicely Fordian moments of humor and beauty.

Le Amiche (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955). Splendidly restored by The Film Foundation, this movie shows Antonioni becoming Antonioni, or at least on the way. The dialogue-heavy storyline tends toward soap, but the sense of a new kind of disenchantment manifesting itself on screen is strong.

Kimjongilia (N.C. Heiken, 2009). Testimonials about the lunatic, murderous reign of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, supplemented by some remarkable propaganda films excavated from the many years of closed-off dementia. (Screens at SIFF 6/12 and 6/13)