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Oct 23, 2020

MGM, 1934, and our most mismatched pair of films yet: Sidney Franklin's tale of overheated Victorian repression, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, and Lubitsch's lavish, Hollywood-transposed Austro-Hungarian operetta, The Merry Widow. We discuss Laughton vs. Gielgud, Lubitsch vs. Mamoulian, innuendo in the Year of the...


Oct 16, 2020

On this Acteurist Oeuvre-view Setsuko Hara episode: a tight, noirish family melodrama by Ozu, Tokyo Twilight (1957), paired with a loose, sprawling family melodrama by Naruse, Daughters, Wives and a Mother (1960). The first gives us the bitterest Hara we've seen since The Idiot, while the second challenges her persona...


Oct 9, 2020

A new year, 1934, and our first studio, Paramount, shows its ability with satire and sympathy for the underdog. It's the Year of the Code, but that doesn't seem to have much applicability to our two films, Cecil B. DeMille's feminist jungle adventure comedy Four Frightened People and Mitchell Leisen's occasionally...


Oct 2, 2020

In this Setsuko Hara Acteurist Oeuvre-view, two films by Mikio Naruse, The Sound of the Mountain (1954) and Sudden Rain (1956). We discuss the ways that the casting of Setsuko Hara in the first film seems to respond to Ozu's "Noriko trilogy" (especially Tokyo Story, although it was released only two months later), and...


Sep 25, 2020

Universal, 1933: Two little-known James Whale Pre-Codes that adopt divergent attitudes toward adulterous wives. First, treated as farce, in By Candlelight: Paul Lukas plays a butler who gets himself in trouble by masquerading as his playboy boss in order to have more refined erotic adventures. Then, treated as tragedy,...