Posts Tagged ‘Fritz Lang’

A scandal is a fine time to recommend a flick

October 1, 2009

The other day I recommended two films related to the Polanski affair (which I’ve written about far too much for something I claim to care so little about), but today it occurred to me that there’s one film that captures much of what this predicament is all about, and it’s neither a documentary nor a film directed by Polanski himself: Fritz Lang’s Fury (1936).

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In many ways, Fury is Lang’s most affecting work, as well as a remarkable inversion of the film that most consider to be Lang’s magnum opus, M. I’m not really sure what it is about the Polanski affair that causes me to think of Fury, though it must have something to do with the subjects interrogated by Lang, Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney:  justice, guilt, revenge, mob mentality, etc. It treats all of these subjects critically yet sensitively, which is more than I can say for most of the people participating in the discourses surrounding Polanski’s predicament.

I don’t recommend Fury to imply that Polanski is innocent of anything, nor that he should somehow try to seek revenge for the injustices perpetrated against him by the American legal system; I’m only trying to link a state of affairs in the cinematic world with a state of affairs in the non-cinematic world—after all, Fury dramatizes the unique way in which cinema can shed light on dark situations beyond the movie theater.

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Heads-up re: TCM, 8/7

August 7, 2009

Dear readers, my brain’s a bit crispy this morning: the Deerhunter/No Age/Dan Deacon show last night at the Memorial Union Terrace was really excellent (it’s funny how much slack one essentially has to cut a musician with regard to how they sound live vs. how they sound on their album; Deerhunter sounded roughly 65% cruder live than they do on, say, Microcastle, but I’m also sincerely glad that this is the case), but as my Republican friends (and Mark McGwire) like to say: that was in the past and we’re not here to talk about the past, we’re here to talk about the future… like, what’s playing on TCM today.

“Summer Under the Stars” continues with 24 hours of Glenn Ford. You’re probably trembling with excitement at the prospect of seeing Ford lust after and get all tangled up with Rita Hayworth in Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946; 110 minutes), which will be on at 7:00PM; I’m genuinely thrilled about seeing that one. You’re also on the fence about watching Ford in the original 3:10 To Yuma (1957; 92 minutes), which will be on at 10:30PM. Finally, you’re dismayed by the absence of Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1953), because watching Ford get revenge for Gloria Grahame by punching a smarmy Lee Marvin’s teeth in never gets old. To laugh off your disappointment about this lack of Lang, you’re going to check out Ford and Henry Fonda in The Rounders (1965; 85 minutes), a western-comedy directed by Burt Kennedy, at 12:15AM. Not a bad day at all, really.

The rest of the schedule is here.