While I suspect that the rampant depictions of vice (and propensity towards it) is one of the unfortunate but inevitable concessions of a racist system fumbling its way towards tolerance, it has an extraordinary effect that is likely impossible to find in the rest of the Freed unit’s output. Cabin in the Sky is one of the most robust and immediate explications of moral theology I’ve just about ever seen in an American picture. Free of the obligation to hew…
Kind of a slog and then an hour in it transforms into one of the most astonishing American films I've ever seen??? Just... ok!
Two scenes in this made my hair stand on end; one involves a bourgeois Constantinople patriarch writing out the life of his daughter and her fiance (our protagonist) for an eternity in his living room. The other involves a rich American woman receiving the polite kiss of a young man. Her face in that moment defies description.
This film is truly one of those surprises that can only come from an era between eras.
So simple, and yet it almost totally eluded me on last viewing: Malick's main musical motifs here - Grieg's "Ases dod," Kilar's "Exodus," Part's "Silouan's Song" and Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia" - all naturally build to ecstatic resolutions through repetition and release; undulating waves of emotion that emerge not so much as a climaxes but as walls of sheer catharsis. Encountering each of these pieces in the context of a late Malick work invites eager anticipation - who couldn't after the…
Since Looper and Breaking Bad, I have struggled to put my finger on a deep sense of dissatisfaction inherent within Johnson's compositions involving actors, which are simultaneously brisk, clean, and efficient, and yet bereft of texture, detail, or a lively perspective. They are actually pretty blandly imagined; organized according to the most basic and brutish principals of dividing space between a face and whatever else happens to be around or behind it.
In a similar sense, Johnson's facility with said…