Monday, February 13, 2012

SHAME (Steve McQueen, 2011)

****
USA
The phrase ‘Misery porn’ never seemed so apt. The pacing and the composition render it thoroughly immersive, and with a velvety-woozy Manhattan backdrop, ‘immersive’ is exactly how I like my misery porn.

And the performances are so unaffected (and am I allowed to say ‘raw’?) that they impact you on a primal level and even lend the cliché-riddled narrative an emotional force it doesn’t properly earn.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (Louis Malle, 1958)

****
France
When Jeanne Moreau looks at the camera as at a lover, there is no need to suspend disbelief. She has you comfortably wrapped around her finger.

She wasn't yet famous when Malle directed her in this, but she already carries herself like a movie star. She takes her allure for granted.

The rest of the film is a little bit all over the place plot-wise, but relaxed about it.

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