Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RIP Anthony Minghella (1954-2008)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sisters (1973, Brian De Palma)

****
USA



The first of De Palma's Hitchcock homages/rip-offs, this one is fabulously served by his still healthy trash sensibility. Margot Kidder plays recently and traumatically separated Siamese twins, one of whom is a hazy fashion model and one of whom is, naturally, homicidal. One of them knifes her lay for the night. Through her rear window, newspaper reporter Jennifer Salt witnesses.

De Palma has a ball with the premise, hurling at you buckets of blood, grotesque scar tissue, self-consciously leaden yet uncannily eerie psycho-sexual exposition and - from Kidder - one of the great horror movie performances. Revelling in her faux-naive sex-appeal, she plays her early scenes with a devilish sense of humour to match Carole Lombard's. And when the mood switches to hysterical melodrama, she's more than up to the task.

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Chloƫ in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, 1972)

****
France




The last of Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales concerns a happily married bourgeois businessman who spends his afternoons with an old crush, contemplating adultery. It's the kind of literate, minor-key ethical quandary that Rohmer executes with such routine knowingness and precision as to make it seem slight. Though, of course, it's anything but.

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