Some came running (1958)
Returning, relations, relatives. A not so nice view of postwar small town America, told with tremendous rhythm, flow, and atmosphere. Dialogue, expressions, poses, sets, lighting – all works together.
As dated and mean as this sometimes is, it stays in my book of masterful melodrama.
cut, copy, paste
The hugely talented Jonathan Keogh has edited together a very impressive »supercut« of our beloved 1001 movies (plus some extra titles). Prepare to be overwhelmed:
Sleeping dogs (1977)
The nice start deftly and effectively mixes personal with political, in a few minutes defining our male protagonist and setting the stage. Breakup and escape are followed by isolation, growing repression and reluctant rebellion – not choosing is also a choice. Everything is depicted with unspectacular ordinariness and helped by an uneven but evocative soundtrack.
Things happen too fast and rhapsodic at times, though, making this engaging tale rather unrealistic. Probably not in my dystopian book.
Local hero (1983)
»Apart from it being Trudi, it was nice«
Patient, nuanced, and oddly melancholy comedy about change, choices – and a rabbit. Leisurely takes its time without loud laughs, focusing instead on low-key, tongue-in-cheek jocularity.
A warm, gentle look at an endearing down-to-earth world devoid of bad guys. In my most unhurried and understated book of everyday magic.
The man with the golden arm (1955)
The hardships of leaving your past behind – sometimes necessary, often nigh impossible. As so often in moviemaking, important phases are compressed and rushed, unfortunately lessening believability.
Traces of the sentimental, melodramatic silents are mixed with hints of the approaching, realistic sixties. In my book of character and detail.
Wake in fright (1971)
An unusually long and measured build-up – then some kind of dazed obsession slowly takes over as things go from bad to worse in the Outback.
Strong, strange, and prejudiced. In my book of stuck masculinity.
Dead ringers (1988)
»Tell me about my uterus«
The B movie vibe is very strong in this gynecological feel-bad tragedy from the master of bodily unease. Touches on themes of identity and dependence on a number of levels; siblings, children to parents/grownups, singles to couples and threesomes.
In my weirdest book of symbiosis and doppelgangers.