Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Week of Movie Watching

Frankenstein – The 1931 James Whale version, with Boris Karloff as the monster. Considered a classic, but in reality, it’s deeply flawed. Colin Clive is embarrassingly campy as the mad scientist, and Karloff doesn’t get to do anything but walk around and moan. You’d do well to check out the vastly superior Bride of Frankenstein from four years later, when Whale added some pathos and real depth to the monster.

The Human Condition (parts 1 and 2) – I actually saw the conclusion of Kobayashi’s magnum opus first, but it still holds up well, even seeing it out of order. In these 2 segments, the idealistic Kaji (the great Tatsuya Nakadai) takes a job managing a mining camp, and is undermined by a corrupt system. The HC films are unflinching in their depiction of the excesses of WW2 Japan, and part two might be the best of them all, as Kaji fights to save Chinese POW’s forced to endure brutal treatment in the mines. Recommended.

No comments: