Innocents in Paris (1953)

deGaulled After the war, France was a mess — an agricultural economy with a bad reputation world-wide because of near universal collaboration with the Nazis. America resolved to rebuild Europe and part of the plan was to cast Paris as a romantic place. The instruction went out to US and UK studios. The US studios… Continue reading Innocents in Paris (1953)

I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Drunk on Acting I love movies. I love getting caught up in the all the cinematic flows that filmmakers know how to weave. But the things I value and study in film are the things that are cinematic. Some movies aren’t movies. They’re distributed and displayed as movies but they are simply exercises in another… Continue reading I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Pods, Plots and Plodders Once in a while Hollywood produces a movie that decades later gets adopted by American industrialised secondary education. That’s because teachers confuse various notions of ideas and think that movies are a great teaching tool. So to teach the evils of communism, show “1984.” War? “Private Ryan.” And on and on… Continue reading Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Hiroshima Mon Amor (1959)

The Pull of Connection I saw this thirty or so years ago. I don’t remember it moving me profoundly, but then so many things at that age routinely inject you with massive change without you knowing. Seeing it now gives me great, great appreciation for what it is. And though I have been previously exposed,… Continue reading Hiroshima Mon Amor (1959)

An Inspector Calls (1954)

Inspecting the Story If you want to understand film, the first thing on the list is narrative structure, specifically cinematically structured narrative. If I were teaching in film school, I would introduce this subject in a semester’s worth of detective narrative. Nowhere are more tricks pulled, more folding made than in this general notion of… Continue reading An Inspector Calls (1954)

Ikiru (1952)

Bad Kurosawa Oh what a curse to be a genius! Here we have a nearly perfect film, perfect in all the ordinarily engineered respects. It is rather haunting, and if you choose to watch it you will find it memorable. But Kurosawa is not merely a maker of well engineered films, together with perhaps a… Continue reading Ikiru (1952)

Trents Last Case (1952)

Hidden This should be a superb movie in the mystery tradition. It has a truly complex plot that has several reveals, and a suitably Holmes-like detective. The problem is that we see the detective working things out like a Poirot would. But we learn absolutely nothing until the end. So I cannot recommend it on… Continue reading Trents Last Case (1952)

Indestructible Man (1956)

Jack Webb at 287,000 Volts This is an absolutely horrid little film, not worth watching. It is a cheap blend of “Frankenstein” and the popular TeeVee show “Dragnet”, with a little “Third Man” thrown in. Dragnet started as a radio show and this project would have been better as a radio show. In fact, I… Continue reading Indestructible Man (1956)