Archive for August, 2008

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Movie poster of the week: Day of Wrath

August 29, 2008

Opening today at the IFC Center in a gorgeous new print, is a 65th anniversary revival of Carl Th. Dreyer’s masterpiece Day of Wrath. Made during the Nazi occupation of Denmark in 1943, and set during the witch hunts of the 17th Century, Day of Wrath is beautifully austere, heart-stoppingly thrilling and ineffably strange. Its abiding visual impression—and the reason why this Polish poster (designed, as far as I can glean, by Lucjan Jagodinsky in 1957) is so perfect—is of pale faces in white collars looming in the darkness. But there is also a lovely wind-in-the-trees sequence of pastoral bliss that counters the encroaching gloom.

The Danish poster is also very striking, with the memorably named Herlof’s Marte looming over the consciences of the pastor Absalon and his young wife Anne (Lisbeth Movin, looking remarkably like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched. Did the producers of that show watch Day of Wrath before they cast it?)

But one of my favorite Day of Wrath posters is the huge French quad hanging behind the Quay Brothers in this photograph:

I once saw that poster for sale, twenty years ago in Paris in a movie theater box office window on Rue Mouffetard, but I had a choice between buying that or a poster of Ordet and I chose the latter since Ordet was then, and probably still is, one of my all-time favorite films. But I’ve always regretted not getting both.

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New stuff

August 27, 2008

After letting this site lie dormant for much of the summer I’ve finally added some new films and pithy remarks to the screening log, if anyone cares. Scroll down to the bottom of that page for the old stuff. I still need to drop some science about Desplechin’s Christmas Tale, Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City and Bergman’s The Touch. Watch this space.

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Answered prayers

August 26, 2008

Wim Wenders’ masterpiece Kings of the Road has been one one of the films I’ve most been looking forward to on DVD, so I was especially thrilled to see this beautiful new series of Wenders films from Axiom in the UK. I have no idea how the transfers themselves look because even DVD Beaver has yet to hold forth on them, but the covers are superb.

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Movie poster of the week

August 8, 2008

GETTING STRAIGHT

In honor of BAM Cinematek’s tribute to Elliott Gould, starting today, I present this ’stash-tastic poster for Richard Rush’s 1970 campus comedy Getting Straight. Tom Milne in the Time Out Film Guide calls the film “muddled” and “dated” with “mannered direction” from Rush, but says the film is “distinguished by Elliott Gould’s marvellously grizzly performance as an ageing dropout who decides to drop back in again.” The film plays on Tuesday. My wife and I once met Gould (one of my very favorite actors) in an elevator at Lincoln Center in his pre-Friends and Oceans 11 revival period, and briefly discussed Bergman’s The Touch which we had just seen on a faded VHS. My wife told him it was under-rated and he replied “Oh, it’s very under-rated!” Take it from the man himself and see it on August 21st.