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  • One Potato, Two Potato

    One Potato, Two Potato

    ★★★½

    This low budget and low key story of a custody battle impacted by a bi-racial marriage largely avoids any heavy-handed moralizing which makes it, despite the of its time social problem elements, watchable today. Fittingly it was distributed by US art film distributor Cinema V which also distributed the better 1964 film Nothing But a Man.

    But the most eyebrow-raising element of this movie is the playful end credit music that follows an incredibly downbeat conclusion. It's like ending a Tarkovsky film with Henry Mancini's Baby Elephant Walk.

  • The Barefoot Contessa

    The Barefoot Contessa

    ★★★

    Motivated to see this one (which has a mixed reputation overall it seems) based on its appearance on Jonathan Rosenbaum’s alternative to the AFI Top 100 films list. The film about a proud Spanish peasant girl (Ava Gardner) who becomes a Hollywood starlet and Italian Contessa is told in flashback at her grave site by the various characters who knew her (ala Citizen Kane, The Bad and the Beautiful etc.). There are some good bits proving Mankiewicz still had plenty…

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  • The Last Wagon

    The Last Wagon

    If you watch enough Cinemascope films that were released by Fox during the mid-fifties you start to realize that the camera typically seemed imprisoned. While the pretty vistas became more awe inspiring as the result of the wide frame the filmmaking became more staid, with little but static shots and minimal cuts (an occasional pan, but few tracking shots). As the filmmakers technical tools became more cumbersome montage took a back seat, and even exotic location shot scenes could seem…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★

    Hate to give this ambitious and audacious, but completely ridiculous, film a fence-sitting 3 star rating; but the haters are right, and the lovers are right. Everyone is right!