Wednesday, March 15, 2006


A virus has laid me low this week, and I have seized the opportunity to watch some movies. As a public service, I have stayed out of the theaters, but I've seen some great stuff here at home.

First on my list was Notorious, a film I'd read about and never seen. It is a thing of Hitchcockian beauty, a film-noir romance in elegant black and white. The sets are exotic: postwar Miami, postwar Rio. Ingrid Bergman plays a tortured soul, American daughter of a Nazi, a woman with a blighted reputation, recruited by the Feds to spy on old family friends. Cary Grant plays a role with hard, hard edges: a spy who is not above beating a woman to get his point across, incapable of saying that he loves her. Claude Rains plays Sebastian, and if I tell you too much about him, I'll spoil the movie for you.

Hitchcock draws us in with seductive camera work, luring us into the minds of his characters. As much is said with the camera as is said with dialogue, and the dialogue is elegant too: every word carrying double and triple freight.

You can look anywhere on the web if you want spoilers: I'm not going to go there. Seeing this movie "blind" as I did was a pleasure I hope you will have as well. My recommendation is thumb's up, and don't bother with the multiplex: there's nothing there this week to compare to this.


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