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  • Dance, Girl, Dance

    Dance, Girl, Dance

    ★★★★★

    Great start to TIFF’s Dorothy Arzner retrospective - and a longtime favourite. During her introductory remarks, series programmer Alicia Fletcher mentioned that she made it through two post-graduate film degrees without once seeing an Arzner film. That’s disheartening, and one hopes the canonizers are recalibrating their watch lists as we speak, but it also reminded me of my good fortune in having grown up indiscriminately immersed in the studio age buffet laid out by PBS stations during the ‘80s. I…

  • Till the End of Time

    Till the End of Time

    ★★★★½

    Director Edward Dmytryk puts on a clinic in blacklist-ready filmmaking.

    You've seen this film in plenty of footnotes to articles on Wyler's brilliant BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. It's the other "three soldiers come home" movie released in 1946. I'm not going to argue that it's better, but it's no also-ran.

    The themes are similar: social dislocation, existential dread, battlefield trauma, vicious physical challenges, and the whole gamut of concerns that come under the heading of "post-war readjustment"; but Dmytryk's…

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  • Gone to Earth

    Gone to Earth

    ★★★★★

    Blog post from my ancient site (Fenruary 2009) - click here to see the accompanying images.

    For more recent thoughts - see our Jennifer Jones podcast episode, here.

    The Squire Root of All Evil

    Gone to Earth represents the confluence of three of the most important elements in my mental universe: Powell & Pressburger, Jennifer Jones, and (proto-)animal rights. So don’t expect anything resembling objectivity from me on this one (or at any time, really)

    But I suppose we can start…

  • The Salvation Hunters

    The Salvation Hunters

    ★★★★

    Caption-packed transcendentalist allegory snatched from the grim jaws of the dredging crane.

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  • Pola X

    Pola X

    ★★★★★

    Full Metal Melville

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    ★★★★

    Irresistible entertainment and a travesty of history. But who wants to hear the truth about "Good King Richard" when Errol Flynn is there to retcon the ol' Lion-Heart into Bernie Sanders? Flynn is indisputably the star (just in case the title didn't give it away), but every member of the incredible cast gets a chance to shine (including Una O'Connor as the real hero of the tale). The DeHavilland-Flynn chemistry still burns as brightly as the Technicolor.