Archive for May 22nd, 2010

by Sam Juliano

       On one of WitD’s slower weeks, where Allan’s ongoing countdown has basically gone uncontested here for days, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to another excellent Tony d’Ambra review at Films Noir.net that deserves readers’ absorption, especially those with an affinity for the form.  The reputation of this particular film noir does appear to have risen in recent years in the critical ranks, and both director Henry Hathaway and director of photography Joseph McDonald have also seen stellar reappraisals.  Typically, Tony has lavished his attention on Northside 777’s qualification as a noir, an in depth consideration of its characters (where the women have delivered the most memorable performances, against all odds) and a discerning look at its artistry and historical underpinnings.  I’ve included teh first two paragraphs here of Tony’s review, and the rest can be accessed at the link to Films Noir.net.  Comments are welcome both here and at FilmsNoir.net.

  Tony d’Ambra:

“1948 was a signal year in the film noir cycle, which saw the move towards on-the-streets filming and a shifting focus on police operations, heralding the police procedurals that became dominant in the 1950s.

Jules Dassin’s The Naked City for Mark Hellinger carries the banner for this nascence of a cinema-verite style of filming. Dassin’s picture is set in New York and tells the story of a murder investigation by homicide cops with a gritty realism. But thematically, there is little to distinguish The Naked City as a film noir. It is the city of New York and its people that hold your attention, and the several bit-portrayals of people going about their lives are truly engaging.  The final scene where a street-sweeper in profile scoops up yesterday’s papers from the gutter and moves on into the New York night gives an arresting hard-bitten closure.

In the same year Fox released Call Northside 777, a ‘newspaper’ noir set in Chicago directed by Henry Hathaway (The House on 92nd Street (1945), The Dark Corner (1946), Kiss of Death (1947), and Niagara (1953)).  The film is an adaptation based on true events in Chicago during prohibition and recounts a newspaper reporter’s 1944 investigation into the conviction in 1932 of two young polish immigrants for the killing a policeman.  A solid script by Jerome Cady and Jay Dratler, and the exceptional cinematography of DP Joseph MacDonald (Shock (1946), The Dark Corner (1946), The Street with No Name (1948), Panic in the Streets (1950), Niagara (1953), Pickup on South Street (1953), and House of Bamboo (1955)), mark this picture has having at least equal standing with The Naked City.”

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by Allan Fish

(USA 2008 98m) DVD1/2

Buy N Large – your very best friend

p  Jim Morris  d  Andrew Stanton  w  Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon  story  Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter  ed  Steven Schaffer  m  Thomas Newman  art  Ralph Eggleston

Fred Willard (Shelby Forthright, BNL, CEO),

VOICES BY:- Ben Burtt (WALL-E/M.O.), Elissa Knight (EVE), Jeff Garlin (Captain), John Ratzenberger (John), Sigourney Weaver (Ship’s Computer), Kathy Najimy (Mary), Kim Kopf (Hoverchair mother),

OK, imagine that C3-PO wasn’t gay and R2D2 was female.  Er, maybe not.  OK, start over.  He adored Hello Dolly, he idolised it out of all proportion.  No, no, no…this isn’t Antz, go away, Woody.  Deep breath…now, imagine that the Earth was no longer populated by humans.  Imagine that it was approximately seven hundred years into the future, and all the humans have long since departed on Operation Recolonize.  That’s better…here we go.

            Wall-E (Waste Allocation Lift Loader (Earth-class), is a small robot who has spent the seven centuries since mankind’s departure form earth doing what he was programmed to do; compress the garbage and waste materials left behind into easy to stack cubes.  He’s been doing it for so long you can imagine how bored he is.  His only company is a cricket, and his only pleasures are finding weird and wonderful things – Rubik cube, light bulbs, gnomes, a VHS tape of Hello Dolly – in amongst the debris and taking them back to his shack.  One day, out of the sky, a space ship descends and a smart, white assumedly female droid which hovers and doesn’t touch the ground, is left behind.  She’s called EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), and she’s here to forage for signs of life to take back to the mother ship where the humans are living awaiting the time to return home.  Wall-E has never seen anything so lovely before and, as much out of loneliness as out of love, follows her everywhere.  Eventually, she befriends him, but on the point of Wall-E becoming a very happy robot, the mother ship returns and takes her with it, but Wall-E, in desperation, hitches a lift and so begins the adventure of his life. (more…)

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