Le Cercle Rouge 2/23/24
Three criminals - Corey (Alain Delon), Vogel (Gian Maria Volont and Jansen (Yves Montand) eventually come together in the red circle as the film's epigraph defines it : "Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: "When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day...
Red Rock West 2/22/24
Red Rock West is a real throwback to the film noir classics of old - it has all of the elements working in much the same way.
There were too many Clint Eastwood films during the 1970s that veered quite hard in a misogynistic direction - to the detriment of the films, making them hard to enjoy.
Shallow Grave 2/16/24
Something had been knocked a little loose by the brutality in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in the U.S., and Danny Boyle was ready to reinterpret this in a much-removed Edinburgh setting (the movie was filmed in Glasgow for financial reasons) and in an energetic way.
Body Heat 2/13/24
Barry was the only composer who managed to be on the same page as Kasdan when discussing the film, and you can hear it clearly - that Barry 'got it' and managed to walk the line of bringing noir back into a modern context, but also staying true to what these films are.
Sin City 2/10/24
I find Sin City to be an interesting, direct descendant of classic film noir - with private detectives, cops, femme fatales and conspiracies all mixed together in the back alleys, rainy streets and dark nights these tales usually play out in.
La Haine 2/09/24
The soundtrack leads with Burnin' and Lootin' by Bob Marley, but it's when DJ Cut Killer gives us an onscreen diegetic mix of Edith Piaf and KRS One that the film really gives you a full-on impression of how it's using rap and reggae to produce an authentic "French dissent" sound to the film.
To add to the general feel of the film, James Newton Howard wisely went the way of mood-enhancing electronica synth music - not his usual province as far as film scores go, but it works perfectly in Nightcrawler.
The Night of the Hunter 2/03/24
I find it often depends on who's viewing it as to how it's seen - the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne denied the film's release, even though the message I see in the film is a very positive one.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers 1/28/24
The old class system which involves the inheritance of wealth is squarely in this film's eyes - Martha and Walter should have been made to earn the positions they have been granted within society, and that's the most interesting aspect of the film.