Girl With a Suitcase (1961)

Million Dollar Baby

I watched this together with Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby.” I knew I would be challenged by that film (you can read my comment), and I wanted something that I knew would be a safe island after the offences therein.

I chose this. Its between “Million” and “Nights of Cabiria” and more perfect than both in my view. The spine of this film is a story of a prostitute/dancer, an adventuress with few skills for the job. We see some encounters that provide insights, not into her character so much, but what limits her, and that matters because we discover many of those same limits in us.

Its a good film, largely forgotten today because its merely competent and not showy or overtly experimental as so many from that block were. But if you want an antidote to those bad films of good men, come here.

It has the economy of Eastwood, in fact this very tradition is where he learned his directorial craft. But its economy directed toward conveying the environment, the context in which our two characters find themselves. It’s geared to the context not the actors, who after all can only tell you what is in themselves, not is what is in their world.

It has the depressing rootlessness of those early Fellini films, but it emerges from the real world we see instead of being an overt essay on what we know is Fellini’s perspective that starts from the very beginning. This emerges.

Posted in 2007

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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