If you’re looking for films from this century, you won’t find much from my second half of June 2016 list, but I hope you’ll find some to consider (and maybe one to avoid).
The House on 92nd Street (1945) Henry Hathaway
20th Century Fox DVD (1:28)
The House on 92nd Street is a strange bird. It starts as a semidocumentary, complete with voiceover narration about the ongoing struggles and activities of the FBI (made with the full cooperation of J. Edgar Hoover, who can been seen in the film) and using actual agents on camera. Hathaway (or more accurately, producer Louis De Rochemont, who was the driving force behind the film) incorporates stock footage of FBI agents and actual criminals, making 1945 audiences wonder whether they were watching a crime drama or a documentary.
While July seems a pretty light month, this might be a good time to catch your breath and recover from June, which is turning out to be quite a month for film noir. Unless indicated otherwise, the following releases are Blu-ray, Region A.
Just a few items of interest this morning while I’m trying to gather my thoughts for my next movie review…
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Written and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Richard Vernon
Cinematography by Georges Perinal
Edited by John Seabourne
Music by Allan Gray
The Archers Films
Criterion Collection DVD – borrowed from Ann G. (color; 2:43)
Every now and then you encounter a film that speaks to you in vastly different ways depending upon your age and life experience at the time you see it. Roger Ebert spoke to this often when discussing his long-term relationship to the film La Dolce Vita (1960). Such films never change, but our life situations and ways of thinking do, tricking us into believing that we’re seeing a different movie at age 40 than we saw at age 20, for example. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is one such film, yet whereas La Dolce Vita takes place over the course of only seven days and nights, Colonel Blimp covers decades.
I don’t know if this is true in your neck of the woods, but today is Insanity Day around here. That’s right: it’s the last day of school. Prepare yourselves…
We’re busy decorating the library today and kids have already been busting down the doors since Monday, so if your life is as crazy as I think it is right now, you might need some good news. Here are a few distractions to help you keep your sanity (if you have any left by this point):
Many of these have already been covered previously, but I hope you’ll find something here to investigate. When you do, please let me know.
Directed and written by John Michael McDonagh
Produced by Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez-Marengo, James Flynn, and others
Cinematography by Larry Smith
Edited by Chris Gill
Music by Patrick Cassidy
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox DVD – library
(This film was recommended to me by my friend Ann G.)
Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) hears many confessions in his remote Irish seacoast village. One Sunday he hears the confession of a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who has long since died. The man informs Father James that he’s taking his revenge out on him, that he will, in fact, assassinate the priest in exactly one week, although he knows that Father James is innocent, a “good priest.” The man even tells Father James when and where this killing will occur so that he can set his house in order.