I’m glad Katy and Nick liked this movie… in fact, I’m glad I liked it the second time around. It’s just as good as I remembered, even without the director and Farmer John around to influence my thinking. I guess from here it’ll play on PBS then I’ll never hear about it again, but was fun while it lasted.
Watched the four-hour TCM reconstructed version over a few days. Liked it pretty well. Excellent intro to McTeague’s character: finds an injured bird while mining and picks it up… another miner knocks it out of his hand, so McTeague hurls the guy down a hill. Oh, and the slang between McTeague and Marcus is fun. The elderly neighbors and junk dealers provide nice counterpoints to McTeague’s relationship with his wife, and the movie keeps coming back to the heavy-handed theme of greed. I’d wondered if it had just been a four-hour movie in 1924 that Stroheim had edited himself whether anyone would talk about it half as much today. Is it THAT important a film, or is the fact that most of the footage was destroyed by the studio the thing that makes it important? Anyway, cool movie, glad I saw it. Not quite as nice as Sunrise (but what is?) and the story’s a bit of a bummer. Appropriate ending, anyway (and nicely tinted desert scenes).
Sure seems like a much more enjoyable movie the third time around. No need to keep the details and characters straight this time, just appreciate the look and the story and the excellence of the whole thing. In theaters I remember spending too much time reading subtitles and not enough time looking at the visuals. Looks disappointingly small and plain on TV, though. Katy seemed to like it.
Jan 2022: This was the second post on this blog – that’s a long time to go between viewings of this movie. I’d been wanting for months to rewatch it with Katy but finally watched alone the night Gaspard Ulliel died. There is a LOT of killing in this, maybe she’s not keen to see so many people shot and stabbed and blown to bits.
Wonderful movie, maybe the best of the Taisho trilogy. Starts and ends very free-flowing, dreamlike… little bit of storyline in the middle there. Suzuki shifts to different scenes and characters within the same shot. Lots of color, flowers, unexplained images. Beautiful.
Man with mustache and large hands apparently likes a girl who’s afraid of old women and cherries. He also likes a german girl with her “hair in the japanese style”. Or maybe they like him, or nobody likes anybody – I was mostly gazing at the flower petals, really. A meddling mustachioed man with a hat and cane threatens everyone with his gun. Maybe some or all of them die by the end of the movie.
Katy didn’t like it and is mad that I made her watch it. Guess I won’t try showing her Yumeji next week.