The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by Errol Morris
In the wrong mood, Shanghai Blues might feel like a bit of a headache. Watching it this morning, it felt revelatory. One moment it's like Seijun Suzuki made a 30s screwball comedy, the next it has all the post-war, fin de siecle sweetness of Radio Days. None of these flavours are subtle or sparing, but boy do they make friends in the pot.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
‘Be a mensch’. If a single line defines ‘The Apartment’ – possibly Billy Wilder’s best, and one of my favourite films – then it’s this one. ‘Mensch’ comes from Yiddish, a language whose adoption in American cities only narrowly predates Hollywood’s adoption of Wilder, who had fled Europe and the Nazi threat. It means, as Dr. Dreyfus reminds us, ‘a human being’. Few films are as warm, as kind, or as human as this one, without sacrificing an awareness of…
I'm enjoying the Decalogue more and more as it moves further away from the moral quandary format. This episode - my favourite so far - hit me on a gut level. Instead of manoeuvring his pawns into an irreconcilable moral formation, Kieslowski sets his lovers loose. The pleasure is that you can't quite make out the dilemma you're looking at.