Thursday, July 23, 2020

Godard and Lewis

Watched Godard's TOUT VA BIEN (1972) the other night. His large-scale, multi-level set for the meat-packing plant brought to mind Jerry Lewis' similarly impressive "dollhouse" set from THE LADIES MAN (1961). I love the photo of Lewis directing on the camera crane.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Gloria (1980)

John Cassavetes wrote and directed this story of a woman with mob ties who takes on the role of protector to a little boy after his family is murdered. Gena Rowlands is excellent in the title role, bringing the right combination of charm and toughness to the character. Cassavetes manages to make the film suspenseful and touching in equal measures without hitting a false note.

Cowboy (1956)

This was an offbeat Western about greenhorn Jack Lemmon teaming up with seasoned cowboy Glenn Ford to learn the ropes of riding the trail and herding cattle. Ford appeared in so many films for Columbia Pictures around this time; it seems he was called on to portray virtually any kind of character they needed filled. He's effective here in the quieter, more introspective moments. Lemmon gives a typically excellent performance as the greenhorn who has his eyes opened to the realities of life on the trail. The beautiful color cinematography is a highlight.

Monday, July 06, 2020

R.I.P. Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)

The great composer Ennio Morricone has passed away at 91:

I was just listening to the soundtrack from Salo last night and thinking about Morricone's versatility as a composer. This theme was such a brilliant choice to contrast with Pasolini's shocking images that follow in the film.