The opening shot looks mundanely common but the space and flow into the department store include two moments where what our eyes are trained to see suddenly shift and we follow something else. Perspective becomes misdirection, which moves from the mise-en-scene to the narrative level, a story about the literal control of sight and thus the mind. Routinely dismissed compared to the other Premingers of this era, perhaps because of absurdity of the plot (which is not that different from…
Peaks in the middle with the visual joke of Joel McCrea on top of the hotel, busting the lights and creating "HOT EUROPE." It's that kind of winking amusement one requires from Hitchcock, the sense that even though the situation may be serious, there's still time for jokes and romance (what else are we fighting for?). The film is essentially a negotiation of producer Walter Wagner's attempt to enlighten the American people to the war across the Atlantic and Breen's…
A tale of phonies
Made by phonies
In second hand clothing
Who enjoy playing as phonies.
Flowers and garbage.
"Russell's most exciting moments are three-layered: a familiar narrative or comic convention is exaggerated into a transgressive act, then grounded with a flurry of humanizing psychological detail."
-Dan Sallitt, 2002.
American Hustle would easily fit into the same realm as Pain & Gain, The Bling Ring, and Spring Breakers in the excess/over-belief in the American Dream run of films that amounted to…
Not charted on maps
But preserved in paintings.
"Car le temps de l'amour
Ça dure tojours."
I could talk about how this film's structure finally achieves the blissful melancholy that has been at the heart of all of Wes Anderson's films. I could talk about the precision of his framing and tracking shots, and how often he finds visual comedy through a perfect edit, or the slight entrance of new material into the frame. I could talk about…