Quick Hits: Including a Rainy Day Film Fest

In a Lonely Place

dir. Nicolas Ray – 6.0 – There is always something magical about watching film noir starring Humphrey Bogart, a man who personifies the vocal cadence of these bleak portraits. Moments of possible happiness are quickly dashed when you remember that nothing ends happy in this genre. In a Lonely Place does not disappoint.

Alphaville

dir. Jean-luc Godard – 5.2 – Godard is a very divisive director. I always hope that I will enjoy his film and I occasionally do. This was not one of those times. Alphaville is an interesting story but not one with which I am unfamiliar. There are several interested edits and instances of photography but overall I would suggest passing.

Rome Open City

dir. Roberto Rossellini – 6.9 – Rome Open City is, thinking back, the first non-English film I watched. (I say non-English because foreign leaves a sour taste in my mouth.) the film is just as powerful on a second viewing. It is not often when you can watch a film which completely altered our thinking about cinema, while wikipedia suggests it is the second Italian Neo-Realist film it is the first one post-World War II I am of the opinion that ROC is the film the truly launched the movement. With it’s proximity of its subject matter casts a documentary feel to this film there is a forced empathy that any viewer should experience.

RAINY DAY FILM FEST

Paisan

dir. Roberto Rossellini – 6.4 – Part two of the loose War Trilogy by Roberto Rossellini a this powerful collection of six short films about the relationships between American soldiers with the native Italians during the liberation of the nation. Some stories are better than others, episodes two and five are especially touching and, alone, make this film a necessity to me.

Germany Year Zero

dir. Roberto Rossellini – 6.8 – If the final film in the War Trilogy does not break you heart the way it did mine I am not sure I could ever write a recommendation for you. I have watched doxens of films about World War II and the vast majority of them personify the heroism of soldiers and civilians standing up against the Nazi party. Germany Year Zero is a special experience as you are taken into the lives of German’s trying to exist shortly after the end of the war. This includes war orphans, and former soldiers who struggle coming to grasp with their war experiences in a new Germany. Germany, Year Zero should be required viewing for everyone, perhaps the entire War Trilogy for prospective, but definitely this film.

The Naked Kiss

dir. Samuel Fuller – 6.5 – I am not shocked very often and I take pride in this. The moment that Kelly’s profession clicked my mouth dropped and at one specific moment (if you have seen it you know what I am talking about) my jaw thudded to the floor. I supposed I don’t think about the subject happening at the time even though I know that it does. This is difficult to speak about without ruining anything. Very fine film.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

dir Jaromil Jires – 5.9 – I cannot be certain that I will every fully understand what I watched. Any film requiring so much effort to unpack is a gift to the future. I could be vastly overestimating the film but the imagery will undoubtedly stick with me for many years to come. The film is fascinating but could be very uncomfortable to many viewers and knowing this makes it difficult for to to suggest the film widely but for the specific few it will be a joy.

Beastie Boys Video Anthology

dir. Nathanial Hornblower and Spike Jonze – 6.5 – Half of these videos are boring hip-hop videos. The other half at amazing takes on cinema. Especially Body Movin’, I mean come on, it is wonderful. The standout from this collection, and I haven’t listened to the mixes or the commentaries but the 5.1 mix sounded like it was going to fracture my foundation.

Jimi Plays Monterrey

dir. D. A. Pennebaker – 5.9 – I closed my day with some more music. Having already watched the Monterrey Pop Festival there was little new here but it was nice to see a small club performance before Jimi returned to the States.

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