‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ shown at Jersey City Loews on Saturday
by Sam Juliano
Dave Hicks’s marathon film noir countdown is over, and the young man deserves all the credit and veneration that’s due to him for the tireless research, re-viewings and painstaking attention he focused on this noble enterprise for the better part of four months. Coming on the heels of his previous project, the annual countdown that launched with 1930, Dave has demonstrated an incredible resilience and committment, that has resulted in lists that many will now use themselves as reference tools. After admitting the overwhelming difficulty in choosing a Number 1 film between his two final choices, Dave went with Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success (1958) as his top film, with Jacques Tourneur’s seminal noir Out of the Past (1947) as the first runner-up. Rounding out the top ten are: Kiss Me Deadly, Criss Cross, The Killers, In A Lonely Place, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Rififi and The Asphalt Jungle. Dave is planning a final post, where he will discuss his agnonizing numerical placement, and the final decisions to disqualify some borderline noirs in his qualification process. Again, this was a monumental undertaking, and kudos to you Dave!
Down in the Bayou, filmmaker Jeffrey Goodman is also nearing the end of his own long-running series, choosing a best film of ever year in cinema all the way up to 2009, and Goodman’s bold and audacious choices have led to some terrific discussions in the comment sections, not to mention some fabulous personal; anecdotes of discovery and first-time viewings. It’s bound to be a spectacular finish at The Last Lullaby, as Goodman moves further on preparations for his new film Peril.
At Wonders in the Dark, Allan’s new millenium Top 100 countdown is already attracting loads of comments, though it’s just barely moved into the 80’s, with nearly three months more capsule essays ahead, as the polling winds all the way down to Number 1. Voters are urged to enter their own Top 25 at the corresponding tab over the site header.
Finally, last but by no means least, Dee Dee will be interviewing Film Noir specialist Tony d’Ambra on some of the greatest noirs in a post that will appear at Darkness Into Light (Noirish City) and WitD over the upcoming days. The chemistry between these two will no doubt result in a priceless converstion, and I simply can’t wait!
With a wedding occupying my attention on the prime viewing night, Saturday, I worked out a viewing schedule that included the afternoon of that same day, as well as an appearance at the Jersey City Loews Landmark movie palace on Friday for a screening of Robert Mulligan’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird with the kids, that proved to be a most memorable evening. At midnight I raced over to Manhattan to catch an exhilarating Asian feature The Good, the Bad and Weird, which appeared on the countdown last week, as per Allan’s great regard for it. I was disappointed with the latest James Ivory-Ruth Prawer Jabvala collaboration, The City of the Final Destination, though as always it’s lushly filmed and very well acted, (especially by Laura Linney) But it’s dramatic underpinnings are listless, with events failing to connect, and nothing ever reaching a boil. Having seen what we got with The Remains of the Day, Howards End, Maurice, A Room with a View and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, lets just say that this is less than a minor footnote.
A superb Phillipine film, Lola launched the Tribeca Film festival on Thursday, and although I was rather disappointed not to win approval for a press pass, and was not thrilled with paying $19 a ticket, but still bit the bullet and attended the first of what will be four appearances at the festival this week with Lucille and Broadway Bob, including the highly-controversial Ticked Off Trannies With Knives, which may be picketed by members of the angry gay and lesbian community, who feel the film offers some slanderous stereotypes. I hope to have a review of Lola topping the diary here.
Lola **** (Thursday night; Tribeca Film Festival; Village East Cinemas)
The City of the Final Destination ** 1/2 (Sat. afternoon; Montclair)
The Good, the Bad and Weird **** (Friday at midnight; IFC Film Center)
To Kill A Mockingbird 1962 (Jersey City Loews; Friday night)
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