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Old October 2 2010, 12:18 AM   #720
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Graduate school has really begun, so I'm mostly limited to films that I catch as part of the curriculum these days. It seems like my goal of 300 films might have to be revised to 250 or so (I know, "only" 250 films in one year...).

I was hoping more people would be up to some back-and-forth concerning The Town, but it seems like CaptainCanada and I are the only ones who've seen it.

218. A Foreign Affair [A]
219. Bride of Frankenstein [A]

A Foreign Affair: Not available on home video due to legal wrangling with the estate of Marlena Dietrich, many critics consider this to be an unheralded classic from director Billy Wilder, and I have to agree. The location footage of post-war Germany alone makes the film worth seeing, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, for there are also delightful performances (including Jean Arthur's second to last feature film role), wonderful comedic timing and direction (witness the encounter between Jean Arthur and John Lund in a room full of filing cabinets), and a screenplay that is as witty as it is (at times) cynical about the state of occupied Germany and its occupying force after WWII. Worth seeing if the opportunity presents itself. I was lucky enough to see a 35mm film print, which was pristine, so hopefully a Blu-Ray release will be in order once any outstanding legal issues are resolved.

Bride of Frankenstein: I had limited expectations for this film going in, but I'm happy to admit that my preconceptions we're completely wrong--most of all, I'm surprised by how (intentionally!) funny the whole affair is. I remember Young Frankenstein being brilliant, but I had no idea how close it was in tone to the films it was parodying (though I recognize that not all of the films in the series are as campy as this installment). It's probably best that the film doesn't take itself so seriously, as the set-up is rather preposterous. In the finale of Frankenstein (1931, which I haven't seen since childhood) The Monster is burned alive and Victor Frankenstein falls to his death. Here we discover that below the flames lies a pool of water that The Monster safely fell into, and that, despite being pronounced dead, Victor Frankenstein actually survived (and without any physical injury!). It's all in great fun, and Universal's latest restoration (which I saw in 35mm) looks gorgeous. It will be nice to have on Blu-Ray at some point as well.
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