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  • Love in the City

    Love in the City

    Antonioni section only: "Tentato suicidio"

  • The Thief of Bagdad

    The Thief of Bagdad

    Most of the visual effects in this almost hundred-year-old film look more convincing than the CGI in any number of modern action movies; Fairbanks' physique holds up quite well too; most importantly the spirited sense of fun and adventure and romance and character (e.g. the pivots in the "bad guy" rival suitors' personalities, not to mention the thief's own) and danger and spectacle and magic all fly a carpet in circles around present-day efforts, if efforts are even really being…

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  • An American Tragedy

    An American Tragedy

    Liberated from the gravitational pull of the movie-business star system - no Dietrich or Cooper or Jannings here to demand more attention from the camera and the gaffers than is due - Sternberg in An American Tragedy may have realized his ultimate film, both his most hypnotically spellbinding and (eventually) his most riotously funny. The trance he incants encompasses not only wide shots of characters moving through landscapes, and these shots lap-dissolving into one another, but even the behavior and…

  • Killing Time

    Killing Time

    Brilliant as b(/B)lack comedy, audiovisual treat (e.g. an excellent and retrospectively prefigurative/synechdochic opening composition; a running commentary muttered under the breath) and naturalistic observation. Extremely funny monologue is made funnier by its casualness - goldenly absurd lines tossed off like they were nothing - and broader physical gags are enhanced by their juxtaposition with serious pain, which in reality is never without its own ridiculousness. Gets suicide, and also gets its failed attempts as microcosm for life, the forestalling of…