Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Week of Movie Watching

Torch Singer – Another Paramount pre-code film. This 1932 offering has Claudette Colbert as an unmarried singer who has a baby out of wedlock, gives it up, then becomes a torch singer and finally a radio star, before deciding that she wants to find her daughter. This was surprisingly good, and quite poignant. Recommended.

I Fidanzati – My first exposure to the work of Ermanno Olmi, and it won’t be my last. Clocking in at less than 80 minutes, this simple story of a young couple separated by a job transfer packs a huge amount of loneliness and longing into its little frame. The dialogue is sparse, so Olmi illustrates his main characters thoughts through simple little flashbacks, and quiet observation. A brilliant film, highly recommended.

Milk – Gus Van Sant’s examination of the life of murdered gay politician Harvey Milk. Sean Penn is superb in the title role, as is Josh Brolin in the role of the troubled Dan White. I loved the way the film doesn’t just take the easy way out with the White character, making him a homophobic psycho. There are levels to this guy that the movie hints at, but doesn’t spell out, and it the film is the better for it. Recommended.

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