Tuesday, June 28, 2011

People On Melodrama

- Brigitte (Brigitte Borchert) fires up her beach-worthy Victrola and blasts "In a Little Pastry Shop" to the delight of her fellow PEOPLE ON SUNDAY. Ms. Borchert appears in the film and, in a mildly revealing documentary that appears as a supplement on the Criterion disc, discusses her memories of its making. Most notable is the fact that she received double the pay of her cast mates and spent her per diem on sausage and potatoes. Like I said: mildly revealing.

- At the end of their outing, Wolfgang and Erwin are down to one cigarette and compelled to share. They smoke and have a laugh about the emptiness of Wolfgang's promise to call Brigitte (his fling-for-a-day) for a follow-up date. It's probably my favorite moment in the film, signaling their exhausted resources as well as their loyalty to each other. My review, for GreenCine, can be found here.

- A wholly different seaside outing ends badly in Raffaello Matarazzo's THE WHITE ANGEL. One of the amazing things about the films in this Eclipse set is the filmmakers' willingness to whimsically dispatch characters -- minor and major -- to their doom, all in service of the feverish plots.

- A rare moment of calm allows Guido (Amedeo Nazzari) a chance to reflect on the hand dealt to him by the screenwri- er, fate. My take on the exquisite Matarazzo set is not yet published but should be soon enough.

UPDATE: Here is said review.

Font Fetish

One of the many pleasures of watching Criterion's new edition of the Ulmer/Siodmak/Wilder/Zinnemann/etc.-helmed PEOPLE ON SUNDAY is that the pristine restoration allows the viewer to luxuriate in the Weimar-era graphic design and architecture. I will be posting a link to a review shortly.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"I live. Isn’t that challenge enough?"

CHAINS (1949, Raffaello Matarazzo)
TORMENTO (1950, Matarazzo)
NOBODY'S CHILDREN (1952, Matarazzo)
THE WHITE ANGEL (1955, Matarazzo)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Give Myself a D+

Spurred by Dennis Cozzalio and the need to interrupt the silence of the last two months lest some pornographer declare imminent domain on my site, I've decided to take a stab at Professor Ed Avery’s Cortizone-Fueled, Bigger-Than-Life, Super Big-Gulp-Sized Summer Movie Quiz.