Wednesday, May 16, 2007

His Girl Friday (1940)

*****
USA

Maybe the things I miss most about Hollywood in the age of studio contracts and vertical integration are the overlapping dialogue and the good-looking people who mastered it. In this famously frenetic newspaper comedy with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell at their peak - driven as they are by Howard Hawks and his incomparable gift for giddy chaos - so many people talk so fast at any one time that it becomes difficult to figure out what's happening when and to whom exactly. And it becomes more difficult yet to care about such formalities when you're having an absolute ball.

dir: Howard Hawks
wr: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur
ed: Gene Havlick
cast: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Helen Mack, Porter Hall, Billy Gilbert, Abner Biberman, Ernest Truex, Cliff Edwards, Clarence Kolb, Alma Kruger

Turtles Can Fly (2004)

****
Iran/Iraq

The first film to be shot in Kurdistan after the US invasion (though the story itself takes place during the lead-up to the war). It's a strange, disconcerting portrait of a world where children take on adult roles (often with an eerie sense of resignation) and where grown adults are rare and thoroughly ineffectual.

wr/dir: Bahman Ghobadi
cast: Soran Ebrahim, Avaz Latif, Saddam Hossein Feysal, Hiresh Feysal Rahman, Abdol Rahman Karim, Ajil Zibari