Short b/w movie. Girl died in a public park or public something, and grieving parents (entitled to big payoff from the city) are there to identify her before the funeral. Funeral director suddenly says he recognizes her as his own missing daughter. Argument ensues, until earthquake knocks everyone down and turns movie to color. Weird.

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“I have a friend,” the first girl says. And I settle in for what will surely be a darkly weird six-minute short. But nope, it’s just three girls talking to a DV-cam. The third girl is psychologically torturing the second for putting a hole in her stocking. Whatever.

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As far as I can remember, nothing happens in this little movie. But it was twice as long as I thought it’d be so I fell asleep and can’t be sure. Pretty graphics, like MirrorMask but more boring.

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Man and woman are contestants on game show, go back to her place after. She argues with her ex-husband in the evening, her “sister” in the morning, then her “sister” kills the man with a big knife. Neighbor Reporter sees the killing, bring the cops, they don’t believe her. She hires private eye, then investigates on her own. Finds out woman had siamese twin who died. Gets trapped, brainwashed at woman’s ex-husband’s suspicious psychiatric house, then twin kills doctor/ex-husband. Cops now believe brainwashed reporter, but she won’t help them anymore, only repeats that there was no body because there was no murder.

Amazing that in such a hitchcock-referential movie, IMDB and I can only think of three direct sources:
Rear Window, for the obsessive voyeurism
Rope, for the body in the couch that everyone walks around and sits upon
Psycho for the killing the “main character” 30 minutes in and switching focus to someone new, and for all the psycho-babble.
I guess Sisters just intensifies the sources, makes you all-too-aware of the references if you’ve seen the original movies. Strange then that Sisters itself is getting a remake.

Best visual gag: the cake decorator tool, which in close-up looks like a long dagger dripping blood.

Has that extreme-70’s-interiors look and red red fake blood of the early David Cronenberg movies sometimes. Cronenberg must’ve seen this at some point before making Dead Ringers.

Love the Bernard Herrmann score, love the split screen scenes. Movie’s far from a perfect thriller, but it’s definitely satisfying. Great, great ending (private eye on phone pole still watching the couch at a train station).

Crimeboss sends Andy to cadet school to be a police mole, and Policeboss kicks Tony out of cadet school to be a gangster mole. They spend a few tense scenes trying to find out each other’s identity and sabotage their own team’s operations. Eventually everyone’s paranoid… and then the gangsters kill Policeboss. Even though Andy swore loyalty to Crimeboss, he’s been working closely with Policeboss for 10 years, and he takes the death hard, ends up killing Crimeboss himself. Another police mole blows Tony away at the end, and Andy kills him, ending up head of the police division himself, with nobody (apparently) knowing where he really came from.

Great movie, tense in all the right places, uses quick flashback cuts to pack a lot of backstory into a pretty short movie. Could easily have been as long as Heat. I wonder if Scorsese’s remake will be.

Oops, director Andrew Lau and star Andy Lau are not the same person.

Starring:

Leonardo Dicaprio:
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Matt Damon:
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Mark Wahlberg:
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Vera Farmiga:
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Alec Baldwin:
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and Jack Nicholson:
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Great picture quality on my downloaded copy, but forgot it had no subtitles. Movie seemed to show statues and masks in a museum setting, then as part of daily life, and finally in a large storeroom in a government building. Half an hour long.

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Harvard Film Archive, or someone they’ve quoted, says: “This collaborative film, banned for more than a decade by French censors as an attack on French colonialism (and now available only in shortened form), is a deeply felt study of African art and the decline it underwent as a result of its contact with Western civilization. Marker’s characteristically witty and thoughtful commentary is combined with images of a stark formal beauty in this passionate outcry against the fate of an art that was once integral to communal life but became debased as it fell victim to the demands of another culture.”

Chris Marker wrote the commentary, not a bit of which I understood. Actually I got the word “mask” a few times. Don’t think this will help Katy’s research any, but she graciously watched it with me anyway.

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More straightforward and less poetic than it usually gets credit for, pretty much a straight half-hour documentary about the holocaust.

More educational, more heartbreaking, more shocking, more horrible and a far better movie than any of the 60-minute PBS documentaries I’ve seen on the subject, any two-hour fictionalized concentration-camp movie, any three-plus-hour Steven Spielberg feature.

The poetic parts are mostly at the start and end, and in the juxtaposition between the 50’s color film and the 30’s-40’s b/w stock footage. Must be hard to craft an artistic film against this sort of imagery. Jean Cayrol (Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour) wrote the commentary and Chris Marker was assistant director.

Katy, if I seemed a little depressed on Sunday night, this is why.

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