Something Of A Round Up.
I’ve watched a couple of great films over the past few weeks, but not written about them.
Three of the great American Film Noir pictures, Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce, Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai and Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat were released on Blu-ray in recent months. All three remain essential viewing in an age that bears striking similarity to the hardboiled and cynical period in which Noir shone, if you’ll excuse the contradiction.
The Lady From Shanghai is a thrilling looking piece of work, with Hayworth diving on the rocks, viewed through Welles’ telescopic camera-point. The sequence shot against the backdrop of an aquarium is downright otherworldly. The other two features stage their overt and unusual tales in much more familiar worlds, with theirs stories of ambition in the wake of the Second World War.
I also caught up on the last few releases from Masters Of Cinema. John Ford’s Two Rode Together and Walter Hill’s Hard Times impressed greatly, but I was left frustrated by Drunken Master, the iconic Jackie Chan vehicle directed by Yuen Woo-ping. While I can admire the scale of the choreography (and would happily place it in line alongside Chaplin, Keaton and Tati), I found the film to be a bit of a bore.