Tuesday, 14 December 2010


The Servant [1963]

Interesting yet slightly underwhelming class drama, directed by Joseph Losey. Remember reading a great article in Sight & Sound about the Joseph Losey/Harold Pinter collaborations and this seemed to stand out for its potential. Great dialogue alright, and many awkward, absurd moments (particularly the bizaare ball game Bogarde and Fox play together towards the end of the film) that set the film apart from its contemporaries, but it was mired by too much 60s zaniness, especially the debauched ending. Brilliantly directed though, confined angles and hidden viewpoints all in one house. Bogarde was great as well.

Night and the city [1950]

Why didn't anyone tell me that this film revolved around the London wrestling circuit of the 50s? A tense thriller it wasn't - Richard Widmark, normally so venal and terse, was flouncing around like a bratty teenager and I couldn't help but laugh at the wrestling scenes. Bear hug him Gregorius! Silly film.

Lift to the scaffold [1957]

Disappointing Louis Malle film, made me realise why Malle is so often disregarded. A slightly contrived premise, but nevertheless one that could work with enough suspence: Jeanne Moreau gets her lover to murder her rich husband, he forgets to clean up the scene of the crime and returns, only to get stuck in the lift when the building is locked up for the night. Mostly revolved around Moreau (who I often find dull and underwhelming anyway) wandering around the city reflecting on whether her lover has ran away at the last minute. Also contained a ridiculous side plot focuses on a young couple who steal the lover's car and get into various kinds of trouble. Didn't make me pine for more.

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