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  • Jimmy the Gent

    Jimmy the Gent

    ★★★½

    What does it say about the Depression that films from this era so often had scenarios where one could get rich quick, and in some highly improbable way? Maybe it’s like the lotto fantasy of today’s world of wealth disparity, and the more we see these types of schemes, the bigger underlying problem we have. Anyway. In this one, the premise is a pair of rival companies of ‘genealogists’ who take advantage of cases where a rich person dies suddenly…

  • The Spirit of the Beehive

    The Spirit of the Beehive

    ★★★½

    So what is meant by the spirit of the beehive, the title of this movie, and the impressionist painting we get from it? It’s a world where bees viewed in their hive through glass move in angry, chaotic directions. It’s an absolutely desolate landscape. A joyless marriage. A forest where if you’re not careful, you might pick a deadly mushroom. A sister with a sadistic side, who enjoys playing little tricks on you, and chokes the cat. A world where,…

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  • The More the Merrier

    The More the Merrier

    ★★★★½

    I’ve fallen in love with Jean Arthur. She is funny, cute, romantic, and utterly charming in this film. Her hair and outfits are exquisite. The way she moves her body is so endearing, in everything from getting out of a car, to skipping around her apartment in madcap moments, to dancing. I love the little squeak in her voice and the fact that she was 43 when this film was made. Her reaction to being kissed on the neck on…

  • Strike

    Strike

    ★★★★

    A film which makes the case for communism, depicting capitalists as the wealthy few who exploit the masses, and the inevitable reaction to the conditions of the industrial revolution. Put more softly, it makes the case for organized labor, and for workers to utilize their strength in numbers in order to get more humane and equitable conditions – e.g. a living wage, and for children to not be exploited. At the time the film was made, during the softer period…