Monday, June 28, 2010

Touch of Evil (1958) - Orson Welles

So so so so so good. Loved this film. Love Orson Welles' work. Love this genre of film - a dark, brooding film noir (supposedly the last film noir from the classic noir era - early 40's to late 50's).

Coming in at #54 on The List, this is one film that probably should be a bit higher up than it's slot.

I wish I could say I watched this uninterrupted, curled up with a coffee in a cozy winter living room - but the truth is that it took me three days of stopping & starting to finish this fantastic film (ahh, life). I intend to one day watch it properly, that is, so that the flow of the film is not lost.

I am pressed for time at the moment and will dot point random thoughts about this wonderful piece of cinema, as opposed to a review of sorts.

A. It has to be said - why oh why is Welles such a fatty boomba in this? Hee hee. He is on a looong list of famous male celebrities who were hot in their youth, but turned into unattractive fatty boombas (Elvis, Brando, Travolta, Jack Nicholson, etc etc).

B. What's with Janet Leigh and hotel rooms? Sheesh. :)

C. The kidnapping scene of Leigh, in said hotel room, is absolutely terrifying, in a very unusual way. Well done, well done, that scene.

D. Charlton Heston is freaky looking. Spray tan a'la trying-to-be-mexican? Hmmmm...

E. Welles' performance was astounding. His giant physical form was menacing on screen. He towered over every one and every thing, it seemed. I marvel at how one can act and direct with such clarity.

F. Marlene Dietrich! WOWZA. awesome gorgeous, slightly haunting performance, in her small supporting role. Welles' captured her unique face with such divine use of light and shade.

G. A review of this film would be nothing without mention of the famous opening tracking shot- but there are, in my opinion, even more notable moments throughout the entirety of this film, in terms of brilliant filmic technique and excellent shots (lovely low angles, for instance). Welles was ahead of his time, it seemed, in making cinema. Or perhaps it is more a case of his creating a new style of cinema, pioneering new technique.

Well, that's a wrap.
I wish I could discuss this film in a more intelligent way than "I loved it" and "Orson Welles is obese", but I'm incredibly sleep deprived at present and can only muster the above.

5 out of 5 monkeys

Next up - "Mr Smith Goes to Washington"
"The Third Msn"

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