If you haven’t seen it yet, run out and watch the hilariously dark Argentine comedy Wild Tales, a series of individual stories about revenge fantasies becoming actualized. I also really like the Belgian romance Three Hearts – the leading man has a weak heart in more ways than one.
I did see Insurgent, from the Divergent franchise, and it is what it is – young adult sci-fi with some cool f/x. Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is a satisfying bio-doc that features lots of clips of the great Orson himself.
My DVD/Stream of the Week is the dark, feminist Western The Homesman. It is available on DVD from Netflix and streaming from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Video and Flixster.
You can’t get any more surreal than the Luis Buñuel- directed and Salvador Dali co-written Un Chien Andalou from 1929. And you can’t film anything more cringe worthy than the slicing of a human eyeball. Un Chien Andalou is LITERALLY textbook surrealism and airs on Turner Classic Movies on March 29.
On March 30, TCM brings us an overlooked film noir, While the City Sleeps (1956). When a zillionaire dies and leaves his media empire to his feckless playboy son (Vincent Price), the scion cruelly dangles the CEO job in front of the company’s top talent, plunging them into a ruthless competition. Whoever solves the Lipstick Killer Murders will win the prize, and plenty of backstabbing in the board room ensues.
While the City Sleeps benefits from a killer cast. Star columnist Dana Andrews (and the audience) weighs in on the side of old school Thomas Mitchell – but it’s going to a tough fight against arrogant George Sanders and oleaginous James Craig (here even more slippery than Sanders). One of these guys is having an affair with their new boss’ trophy wife (Rhonda Fleming). Ida Lupino is a cynical free agent. And Andrews his using his own girlfriend (Sally Forrest) as bait for the serial killer! A tragic figure in real life, John Drew Barrymore, has a small but important role. The cast is so deep that noir leading man Howard Duff is stuck playing the cop.
While the City Sleeps is directed by one of the giants of cinema, Fritz Lang, the German auteur of Metropolis and M. After WWII, Lang had an productive noir period in Hollywood, churning out Moontide, Scarlet Street, House by the River, The Blue Dahlia, The Big Heat, Human Desire (my favorite Lang noir) and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.