friday random ten, 1973 edition
happy anniversary to neal and sonia

what i watched last week

Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946). Normally when a movie wins Oscars only for art direction and cinematography, your expectations aren't all that great ... pretty pictures, absent any other qualities, aren't enough. When the film in question is based on a classic piece of literature ... well, my hopes weren't very high. But this is a fine movie, with mostly excellent performances (the casting is what matters, I suspect) and a feel for Dickens that overcomes any condensation of the plots. At times, it plays like an old-fashioned horror story. #360 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time.

Sparrow (Johnnie To, 2008). Hard to describe this one ... what if Johnnie To made his version of In the Mood for Love? No, that's not really accurate. If anything, it's close to the spirit of early Godard, with its seeming disregard for plot and its willingness to be obscure while focusing on the charming interaction of the characters. When it was over, a friend said it was "cute," and he wasn't wrong, but that's a bit of a surprise coming from the director of films like The Mission and Fulltime Killer.


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