The Lady from Shanghai ★★★★½

Slight upgrade; new fleshing out of my old (2006) review here, but the funny thing is that I'm kind of artificially tempering my enthusiasm in that piece; actually I was almost totally enchanted by my second viewing of the film, after being left both dazzled and befuddled when I first saw it. I do think that my original criticisms still make perfect sense, but that there's so much packed into this movie that I can hardly even be bothered to dwell on any negative elements. The camerawork in the entire film is stunning in its agility, as though other films of the time were anchored and this one is free to roam. You can mistake it for no other director, much like any given shot from Notorious marks it as Hitchcock and Hitchcock only. And the finale, of course, is as extraordinary as advertised even if it doesn't deserve to have overwhelmed everyone's memory of the rest of the movie. It one-ups The Red Shoes in advance by wisely positioning its total throw-out-the-rules attitude toward narrative filmmaking at the end of the movie rather than the middle; and frankly, it still looks fresh, like something from Unseen Cinema. The fountain of brilliant ideas in Welles' brain must have been truly bottomless.