Saturday, December 15, 2012

Favorite (four), part seventeen

Just like my other sixteen posts in this series, I want to take a second to single out the highlights of my recent film viewing.  Most I have been glad to finally see, but only very few have stayed with me. This series is my filter for those (and hopefully one or two will be good to someone else, too).

Martin Scorsese's My Voyage to Italy
An incredibly thorough look at Neorealism and the Italian cinema that has so profoundly influenced Scorsese.  Special focus goes to Rossellini, but De Sica, Visconti, Fellini, and Antonioni also receive insightful commentary.  A great introduction to anyone just beginning to look into this, one of cinema's greatest moments.

Raoul Walsh's The Man I Love
An extremely interesting noir, with a backbone that's as dark as can be, yet devoid of any on-screen shootings, murders, or highly realized violence.  The mood is foggy, and Walsh's great tool here is restraint. You feel the atmosphere building and at any moment ready to fall apart. People are trapped, the outlook somber, and the effect all the more effective as no real catharsis is ever offered.

Samuel Fuller's Park Row
A wound up, wonderful example of the physical cinema we've come to associate with Fuller.  It's clear this is a personal project for Sam as he uses his camera like a weapon thrusting it through spaces and spewing bile on all who stand in his way.  One of the truly great Fuller films.  

Tony Silver's Style Wars
If you grew up with hip-hop like I did, this is one of the great documents of the era.  I first stumbled upon it while reading an interview with Michael Rapaport around the release of his Tribe Called Quest doc.  It's a remarkably intimate look at the scene that would, just a year later, receive narrative treatment in the form of Beat Street and Breakin'. Special mention to the lost gem unspooling over the end credits, Rammellzee and K-Rob's Beat Bop.


  1. How fabulous to see a new post up here Jeffrey!!! And four most interesting films to boot. Fuller's PARK ROW was just released on the superlative Region 2 label Masters-of-Cinema, and it's often a rather underestimated noir. Scorsese's documentary and Walsh's film are quite good, I completely agree, and wouldn't mind seeing either or both of these again! To this point I haven't seen STYLE WARS, but your spirited recommendation is more than enough impetus to reverse that.

    Terrific capsules!!!

  2. Thanks so much, Sam. Wonderful to have you here, as always!