Mid-August Persian Cats (Weekly Links)

Yeah, so the last two Best-of-Year lists (1941 and 2000) were supposed to publish in consecutive weeks, not on the same day, as they did last Sunday. These things happen when you go away for a week, even though I swear I got the scheduling thing right. I was giving some film talks on a cruise ship that traveled from New Jersey to Bermuda. Maybe you already knew this, but Bermuda is very, very nice. Anyway, movies I reviewed for the Herald for the 4/30 week:

Mid-August Lunch. “Charming. Winsome. Adorable, even.”

No One Knows About Persian Cats. “A rough, unfinished quality, which suits the subject.”

Soundtrack for a Revolution. “Nothing beats the power of the archival footage.”

And one of those summer preview things.

Movie Diary 4/21/2010

Night Editor (Henry Levin, 1946). Yeeeooow, a revelation: this is a tough, lurid B-noir with a good eye and a pulpy plot that carries a distinctly Cornell Woolrich feel (although the overall vibe is clearly influenced by Double Indemnity). William Gargan slumps miserably throughout – and he’s the hero – while Janis Carter (Framed) provides juicy stuff as an untrustworthy dame.

One Girl’s Confession (Hugo Haas, 1953). Cleo Moore is the strangely placid quasi-vixen who does jail time for a righteous theft and gets into trouble again when freed; clumsy and cornball, but it hits a lot of nice conventions.

The Back-Up Plan (Alan Poul, 2010). Jennifer Lopez in one of those vehicles that could’ve been shuffled around the usual crowd of chick-flixens; she deserves better, but apparently there’s not going to be another Out of Sight. (full review 4/23)

Soundtrack for a Revolution (Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman, 2009). No matter how many times you’ve seen the footage of the Civil Rights marches and sit-ins, it never loses its power. The only real problem this movie has is trying to weave its new wrinkle into the mix: the importance of music to the movement. That’s a great idea that makes it easy to forgive the awkward stitching. (full review 4/30)