Lawyer and cinephile. Programmer for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Apparently hewing closer to Patricia Highsmith's novel (which sits unread on my bookshelf) than did Anthony Minghella's adaptation, Purple Noon concentrates on the procedural aspects of the crime—the murder, the forging of the fake passport, liquidating his assets, and the like. It didn’t delve into the class envy that so fascinated Minghella. And for those of us who came to The Talented Mr. Ripley first, Purple Noon’s Ripley is quite a departure. He’s not an ingenious improviser committing a crime…
Pea Brain: You call this noir? It’s a dopey police procedural, lacking in tension and style, with a last-second revelation that makes absolutely no sense. For my money, this is the weakest entry in Criterion Channel’s Columbia Noir series.
Normal Brain: Look, the whodunnit is a let down, but it’s a fascinating historical document on representation. How many movies of that era feature an Asian-American co-lead? How many explore the “just how American are you” question at the root of…
Having transcendent actors in your movie can be both a blessing and a curse. Who else but Liv Ullmann can convey resentment, self-pity and admiration all in one (minute-long) side-eye at her mom at the piano? But the bounty of talent in Autumn Sonata proves to be a crutch for Ingmar Bergman, who leans hard into performance, perhaps to distract from the thinness of this scenario. And so poor Ullmann, who fully inhabited the dutiful, timid Eva early on, is…