Ollie and I delve into the post-surrealistic world of Second Wave Luis Buñel with 1950’s “Los Olvidados!” Along the way, we learn to pronounce Buñuel, get a lesson in Surrealism and debate the pros and cons of a relentlessly bleak narrative. It’s fun!
This week, we’re back with more Preston Sturges! Only, instead of taking a hard look at America and wealth and art, we’re taking a hard look at trying-to-kill-your-wife! Yes, it’s 1948’s “Unfaithfully Yours” where Rex Harrison really overreacts to a couple of lines in a detective’s report and plots to kill his maybe-not-actually-cheating wife and then hilarity ensues.
We are back with MOAR DICKENS! This time, it’s the literally ill-advised “Oliver Twist” from 1948. David Lean was told not to make this movie, but he did and oh boy here it is! It has a lot of problems with some sticky antisemitism issues, but it’s also a brilliantly made film in a lot of ways. So . . . what can you do?
Guillermo del Toro said about this and “Great Expectations”:
Most people remember David Lean for his big-scale epics, like Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, or The Bridge on the River Kwai. But here he is at his most precise and poetic. Both movies are epics of the spirit, and both are plagued by grand, utterly magical moments and settings; whether showing Oliver’s mother straining and in pain, by intercutting with a flexing branch of thorns, or by lovingly lingering on Miss Havisham’s decaying splendor, Lean understand the need for hyperbole in order to manage the larger-than-life Dickensian archetypes. Some of the passages in both films skate the fine line between poetry and horror.
One of these days we’ll get back to spooky scary movies with monsters and ghouls, I promise! Until then, however, we’re looking at David Lean’s cinematic classic “Great Expectations” from 1946. Del Toro himself said that Lean’s Dickens adaptations “skate[d] the line between poetry and horror.”
It’s a beautiful film and really the only question I’m seriously left with. WHY IS PIP 40 YEARS OLD?