I Married a Witch (Rene Clair) ***1/2 - This predates Bewitched by a few decades. This is a rather funny fantasy-screwball comedy about a politician who falls in love with the resurrected witch who his Puritan descendant burned at the stake. I've only known Fredric March in dramatic roles before now. As it turns out, he's a great comic actor too and Veronica Lake, who would NOT fall in love with her? The film is still funny after all these years and the special effects are still pretty good too.
Gojira (Ishiro Honda) **** - Pacific Rim got me in the mood to finally
catch up to this film. I've only seen the Raymond Burr Americanized version and
of course the ridiculous Roland Emmerich one. This original Godzilla movie,
despite the crude effects (yes, it does look like a guy in a suit stomping on
cardboard miniatures) is somehow more compelling and gripping than most CGI
behemoths being released in Hollywood today. One thing that surprised me, quite
pleasantly I might add, is that this film has as much in common with Shohei
Imamura's Black Rain as it does the
original King Kong. It's a monster movie
for sure but also a thought-provoking, poetic anti-nuclear drama as well.
Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr)
***1/2 - Bela Tarr is one of the handful of major filmmakers I still haven't
seen a single film from...until now. I had no idea what to expect since I had
very little idea of the plot. Basically, it's about a young man running around
doing favors and errands and in his town a giant stuffed whale shows up as a
freak show attraction and causes chaos in small Hungarian town. This film
features some very elaborate long takes that's impressively directed and
visually stunning. I don't know how much I'm missing in terms of the Hungarian
history and culture and the many implications and subtexts of the story but what
I saw was definitely something. It's not for all tastes, for sure but it's a
fascinating piece of film.