An insufferable movie snob wanders off the beaten track, comes back and talks about what he has seen.
My Week of Movie Watching
April 27, 2015
The Iron Rose – This moody 1973 horror flick from Frenchman Jean Rollin has no blood, virtually no violence, and only the tiniest smidgen of sex. Despite all that, it manages to be a surprisingly involving film. The Boy (Pierre Dupont) and the Girl (Francois Pascal) decide to pop into a cemetery for some privacy during their date. Trouble arises when it gets dark, and they can’t find their way out. The girl was uneasy with going in in the first place, and her fear gradually gives way to a full-on mental breakdown. What made this film so interesting to me is the location - Amiens Cemetery. The massive tombstones and rusty iron fences, coupled with raw, windy weather create a palpable sense of fear and paranoia. Recommended.
Cops – 1922 short film by the great Buster Keaton. In this one Keaton is sold a family’s furniture by a con man, and has to escape hundreds of cops when he inadvertently drives his wagon of booty directly into a police parade. I love Keatons’ talent for creating physical comedy, and this 18 minute piece is jammed with it, including a couple of sequences with a horse, and a switcheroo with a rich man and a cab that is amazingly simple, but brilliantly executed. Recommeded.
Tokyo Drifter – Another entry from Japanese maverick Seijun Suzuki. Drifter follows a loyal hit man as he finds himself caught in a power struggle between his boss and a vicious younger upstart. The plot may be familiar, but what Suzuki does with the visuals decidedly is not. Shunning realism, he employs obviously artificial sets, and fills the screen with bold, loud yellows, pinks, and greens. It’s a bit disorienting at first, but culminates in an exhilarating, original film experience. Recommended.