Monday, 10 June 2013

Films This Week

(Click here to read my general introduction to the 'Films This Week' series of posts.)

Signs of Life
Watched Bedlam. It's good, but it feels like a lesser work somehow. Apart from final shot of Karloff waking up as he's being walled in, nothing really stands out. Also, the positivity of the ending doesn't quite ring true – it seems at odds with the unbending pessimism, the bleakness, that's gone before it (both in the film itself, and in the rest of Lewton's oeuvre). Death is good, and there is darkness in everyone. 
Went to see Signs of Life, which felt like the kind of small film that I see at EIFF (and which is then never seen again). It definitely becomes a different kind of film halfway through, and I think it was the first half I really responded to: the rhythm, the mundanity, the absurdist humour. But that's not to say the second half wasn't enjoyable too. The photography is also beautiful throughout, and what a location! A very strong debut.
Went to see Behind the Candelabra. Soderbergh's on good form this year (this might be even better than Side Effects). I found it quite terrifying – there's something almost vampiric about Liberace. But there's a lot of fun to it, and by the end it's very moving: its exploration of power, ego and image never overshadows its simple probing into human relationships. Michael Douglas is terrific (I'd somehow never taken in how good he is, or maybe he's just better here?). I'm very pleased to hear that Soderbergh already has plans to make more TV.
Behind the Candelabra

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