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Though the political allegory leaves the master/slave class structure ominously intact, the psychological extravagance of the Oedipal plot, and of Lang’s architectural treatment of its flows and surges, verges on hysteria if not ecstasy.Astonishingly, the almost complete 148 minute version of the film sustains this all-out momentum far better than its variously abbreviated avatars, even Giorgio Morodor’s 1984 rock-and-roll treatment. escapee (Marcel Dalio) depart Frau Elsa’s farmstead refuge and make their way to Switzerland and freedom.The catch here is that multiple lists, and lists of lists, can exacerbate the problem of finding films that really matter to you, assuming that film viewing is something other than a simple pastime.
Today’s long post is a guest shot from my old friend Lee Poague.
Lee is a consummate movie buff, author of numerous books on Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Susan Sontag and others…you can see a list here.
So Rudy’s question is deeply pertinent, and is likely to become ever more complicated going forward.
The digital revolution that has helped to create the problem of too many movies and too little time also offers some remedies.
Lee was a professor for many years at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, teaching courses on film.
A few months ago, I asked him for a list of films he might recommend. Our firstborn’s first social outing involved an April Sunday perambulator ride across North Street to attend a backyard picnic at Rudy and Sylvia Rucker’s home—in Geneseo, New York, 1976.
Purportedly the most expensive film ever made at the time of its initial 1927 release, Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece was subsequently and severely recut and exists in multiple versions, most recently a nearly complete restoration incorporating footage from a 16 mm print discovered in an Argentine film archive in 2008.
Written by Lang’s then wife, Thea von Harbou, combines gothic and futuristic elements in a dystopian fable of technology run socially and sexually amuck.
Lange of murder is confirmed in the reverse shot, in which two of their number acknowledge the gesture and return the salute. Romantic comedy in ‘30s and ‘40s Hollywood attracted some of the industry’s most accomplished (and attractive) talents, both on screen (Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Irene Dunne, Cary Grant) and behind it (Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder).
Justice here is ad hoc, as it will be three years later at the end of John Ford’s , when John Wayne’s escaped convict and Claire Trevor’s exiled saloon girl depart from Lordsburg for Mexico to start a new life beyond the reach of American law. Lange is best known to his mid-thirties Parisian contemporaries as the author of the idealistic, anti-fascist “Arizona Jim” western stories confirms the uncanny Renoir/Ford affinity, as does the raucous good humor of the publishing cooperative that flourishes in the absence of the film’s villain-cum-publisher, whose return from presumed death leaves M. Director George Cukor’s smartly mounted production of the Philip Barry stage play features Grant along with Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart, all in top form; luminous, witty, surprisingly vulnerable.
With this guest post on Rudy’s blog, I’ll throw out some suggestions of my own to exemplify the process.