Direkt zum Hauptbereich

Odd Man Out (Reed, 1947) #TSPDT #469

An underground rebel is wounded during a heist and tries to evade the manhunt in Belfast.

The story is of a steady decline towards the unsurprising end of terrible consequences. James Mason is quite astonishing as the soft-spoken hero, whom you just cannot imagine of doing anything as bad as scaring a child, let alone a robbery. Obviously, he does both in the film and much more. His endless odyssey which is much less about him than the various Belfastian characters towards him and - although explicitly denied by the filmmaker in a bizarre opening title card - ultimately about the struggle for independence in Northern Ireland (or any similar situation)

There were two or three moments in the film that didn't hold up for me as well as they should, but the crazy painter and his bizarre co-inhabitant made it all up - a bold selection of outright frightening men from the fringes of society. There is no need to decipher the symbolism (payoff might be even bigger) - it's simply enjoyable through and through.

As mentioned above, Mason is an extremely effective anti-hero, with his light frame, his haunting looks and there seems to be something eating away at him. Even when I watched him on a vintage TV show he radiated a kind of possession. Must be big fun to work with such an actor.

Study this for great character sketches (great film)


Beliebte Posts aus diesem Blog

Time of the Gypsies / Dom Za Vesanje (Emir Kusturica, 1988)

A supernaturally gifted boy from a Gypsy community is forced to survive in the world of crime. The intriguing qualities of Kusturica's films I've seen is his relentless depiction of basically crazy communities. Not just agreeably potty, they're usually outright interstellar-nuts. Here, he follows the fate of the rather harmless boy Perhan, that leaves for Italy in hope of a better future for him and his loved ones. There are some enormously interesting images in the film that kept ringing long after. The ritual in the river and the last scene in the church ruin (with a horse standing somewhere far back in the image...). After sketchily mapping out the scenes it is surprising how rigorously three-acty the screenplay is constructed. The first act seems quite long in terms of time and number of scenes, but there is also a lot of imagery spent on depicting life in this crazy universe, which makes the second part in Italy much more believable. And there is a certa

Gandhi (Richard Attenborough, 1982)

The famous bio-pic of one of the most astounding man ever to live. It's been a while since I've watched the film, but what most lingers in my mind are the breathtaking visuals, the enormous scene at the funeral and Ben Kingsley's absolutely fantastic performance. Sometimes a film maker has everything at the right place: a great script, a fantastic lead, and an absolutely astonishing locations to set the story in. This is one of those cases. I consider writing a good biopic one of the hardest things to do. Especially in the case of Gandhi, the biography is so rich and full of details, it takes a master surgeon to disentangle the many possible strands the plot could follow. Attenborough chose to focus on the bizarre stubbornness of Gandhi. The first couple of scenes keep repeating that theme on less important incidents, but throughout the story Gandhi's will to perservere is gradually exemplified at increasingly difficult situations. Although there is the dange

Au revoir les enfants (Louis Malle, 1987)

During second world war the monk running a boarding school for upper-class kids hides Jewish kids. This highly personal movie is very touching and manages to avoid all the pitfalls of being overly emotional. Music and editing are very subdued and carefully used to underline situations. This makes the story ring true (which it was) and gives the viewer good time to settle into the universe that these kids live in. There are many quite complicated scenes and I was interested in one particular: When Jean gets invited on parent's day by the mother of his new best friend into a posh restaurant. In that very restaurant there are Nazis at one side of the room and an elderly Jew sitting on the other side. The table of the family is right inbetween. Many things about France during the war are told during this scene, I'll just try and focus on camera placement. The focus shifts twice in the scene: From the family table to the French Jew's table  (who I have been t