Film #285: “Guys and Dolls” (1955)
Guys and Dolls. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. United States, 1955.
Guys and Dolls isn’t a bad film, but it isn’t necessarily a good one either. To me, the film’s biggest problem is that it isn’t all that memorable. There’s a lot of other movies I would rather watch and certainly a lot of musicals that I think outshine Guys and Dolls by a very wide margin. There isn’t much to see here besides pulp entertainment. You might even be at a loss to find that.
Memorable moments: None that come to mind.
Film #172: “Double Indemnity” (1944)
Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder. United States, 1944.
Double Indemnity was my first film noir. That’s a large part of the reason why I decided to watch it. There was something a bit mysterious about the film to me. I knew I would love seeing a film with a style I had never seen before.
Double Indemnity is such a fantastic film. I love old movies, but there’s something about this one that’s even more special. I think it’s just so well-written and so well-made that it was able to consistently keep my interest. Additionally, the cinematography is brilliant. The light is not only indicative of the setting, but of the mood of the narrative. When the plot turns darker, this is reflected in the cinematography. There are lot of long shadows, moody darks and piercing lights, all of which make Double Indemnity a very exciting film to watch.
Memorable moments: The sexual tension, the cinematography, “Yeah. Two ‘F’s, like in Philadelphia.”
Film #141: “Citizen Kane” (1941)
Citizen Kane. Orson Welles. United States, 1941.
I just saw this film for the first time recently and I was justly amazed. Though I myself would be incredibly reluctant to refer to any film as “the greatest of all time,” I can certainly see why so many place this label upon Citizen Kane.
Not only does the film continued its ability to keep attention, but watching it now makes it immediately apparent how much this film has inspired filmmakers, changed the art of cinema and shaken up the Hollywood system. Welles’ narrative is revolutionary, as is cinematographer Gregg Toland’s photography. It is very clear that both men heavily influenced their respective fields with this film.
Citizen Kane is a film worthy of its acclaim and practically demanding of multiple viewings.
Memorable moments: The opening, the beautiful mirror reflection shot, the eerie and stunning final sequence (pictured above)
Film #28: “The Gold Rush” (1925)
The Gold Rush. Charles Chaplin. United States, 1925.
Before I left for school, I watched the first half of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, only to have to take it out of my DVD player and return it that night before finishing it. A few weeks later, the original 1925 cut of Chaplin’s The Gold Rush came to me via interlibrary loan. So despite having seen the first half of another one of his films, The Gold Rush is the first Chaplin film I have seen in its entirety, as well as my first silent feature film in general.
I knew beforehand that I would end up respecting The Gold Rush. Never did I think I would be so entertained, as well. It is truly a testament to Chaplin’s talent and comedic prowess that even after 85+ years since the release of this film, it is still able to elicit laughs from viewers.
The Gold Rush is so charming, so well-made and so refined in its gentle slapstick. Chaplin is proof that you don’t even need genuine dialogue to made a good film. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I know I certainly enjoyed watching this film. I plan to watch more of Chaplin’s material. Hopefully his other works will also succeed in filling me with the same sense of wonder.
Memorable moments: The teetering cabin scene, the opening sequence, Chaplin’s “little tramp” character
If you’ve seen the recent review of Sinnui Yauman, you should know that I’m back to writing reviews, hopefully on a somewhat regular basis. Things are much calmer here, so I’m more able to get back at this again. A few things…first, I’ve decided to rename my blog ‘The Urban Filmmaker,’ mostly because I’ve discovered another blogger with the name name of ‘1001+ Movies.’ That, and I feel my new blog title is a bit more original. Also, I’ve signed up with a service called Disqus, so now you can leave comments on my posts. God only knows why you aren’t able to do this directly in the first place… Why does Tumblr always have to be so non-conformist? ;)
Films coming up soon:
~ The Gold Rush
~ Guys and Dolls
~ Nuit et Brouillard
~ North by Northwest