Blind Spot Series 2017: The Bad Seed (1956)

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The Bad Seed (1956)
Directed and produced by Mervyn LeRoy
Screenplay by John Lee Mahin, based on a novel by William March and a play by Maxwell Anderson
Cinematography by Harold Rosson
Edited by Warren Low
Warner DVD (2:09)

The passage of fifty years can certainly lessen the impact of some movies once considered powerful at the time of their release. If any of the impact from a film’s initial run survives, there has to be something going for it. In many ways, the impact and power of The Bad Seed (1956) has certainly lessened. We’ve seen plenty of other evil children in the movies since 1956 (The Excorcist, The Omen, The Good Son, etc.) so watching one from 50 years ago may seem almost quaint. Yet Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) still holds up as quite a hellion.

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The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) Steve Kloves

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The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
Written and directed by Steve Kloves
Produced by Paula Weinstein and six others
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus
Music by Dave Grusin
MGM DVD (1:54)

The Fabulous Baker Boys represents yet another 80s film that I missed when it originally appeared. That’s probably a good thing. I feel sure I didn’t have the life experience in 1989 to properly appreciate the film. I do now.

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Victoria (2015) Sebastian Schipper

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Victoria (2015)
Directed  by Sebastian Schipper
Produced by Catherine Baikousis and nine others
Written by Sebastian Schipper, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Elke Frederik Schulz
Music by Nils Frahm
Cinematography by Sturia Brandth Grøvlen
In German and English with English subtitles
Adopt Films DVD – interlibrary loan (2:18)

Anytime you hear someone talking about Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria (2015), I’ll bet it takes less than 20 seconds for them to mention the film’s “gimmick,” which is Schipper’s decision to shoot the 138-minute movie in a single take. I’ll admit it: I’ve presented the film to people this way. I suppose depending upon how you talk to people about it determines how much importance you give to the gimmick. Is it really a gimmick? Or is it a device?

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