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Archive for April 13th, 2011

Copyright © 2011
by James Clark

With its signature whiteout desolation and intriguingly wide-faced protagonist making difficult headway in its midst, Fargo (1996) seems to invite us to engage its ice-hard slipperiness in a carry –through including Antonioni’s Red Desert (1964). Though both films do indeed share a peculiar agitation, their wealth of strange complexities and beauties dictates separate investigations. Not that it wouldn’t be fun mixing a cocktail comprising cosmopolitan chic and a ripple where a kid decorates his bedroom with a poster for “The Accordion King.” But, along that very sightline we are snapped out of complacency, when the boy’s mom addresses the decadence of his report card in this way: “Do you know what “disparity” means? You’re not a D student [that is to say, a mediocrity; hold that thought]…That’s why you’re not going out [for the hockey squad].” His evincing a great difference between a potential and an actual outcome is a condition that takes us by the throat as emergent in the School of Hard Knocks which this movie puts us through (its copious blood and gore being only a relatively light foretaste of the real horror lurking within its square-dance patter). (more…)

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Director: Charles Laughton

Producer: Paul Gregory

Screenwriters: James Agee and Charles Laughton

Cinematographer: Stanley Cortez

Music: Walter Schumann

Studio: United Artists 1955

Main Acting: Robert Mitchum. Shelly Winters, and Lillian Gish (more…)

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