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About autonomouscritic

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  1. Thank goodness some of us get up to make a sandwich between the films.
  2. That was a wonderful movie--a fitting little silent to screen after the stop-motion greats of Ray Harryhausen. In the history of animation, there weren't many better than Jay Ward ("The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," "Dudley Do-Right," et al) when it came to fusing charming irreverence with sharp satire as a method to appeal to an interminably polarized kids/adults age demographic. Cinematically, it's a shame that most kids these days would probably sooner watch dreary, computer-driven rubbish like "Shreck," than "Prince Achmed" or-- worse still--an enduring classic like "Pinnochio."
  3. Certainly the best and most evocative film noirs are in black and white, but if I had to pick a great color one, it would be Polanski's hypnotic "Chinatown," thankfully shown recently by TCM (finally, I have a crisp, letterbox print!). In addition to the aformentioned titles, don't overlook "Cat People" (with a great, tormented performance Simone Simone, an atypically ambivalent femme fatale) and "Out of the Past" (with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and Jane Greer), both directed by the brilliant Jacques Tourneur.
  4. The thing that surprised me was how much longer it was; it's amazing that over 30 minutes of footage was recovered for this restored print and some 30 minutes are still missing. Extra titles added in hopes of explaining the lost portions of the film are awkward and lend the new version a certain episodic clumsiness that does seem to confuse rather than clarify. The ending is a bit heavy-handed as well; somehow, I remember earlier versions of the film as being more morally ambiguous. But the magnificent visuals in "Metropolis"--among many elements, Lang's masterful use of miniatures, his meticulously arranged compositions and thrillingly ambitious use of camera movement--remain as hypnotic and haunting now as they ever were. I can't help but love looking at this film.
  5. Yes, "Metropolis" is also a novel, written by Thea Von Harbou, wife of director Fritz Lang.
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