I figured I would share some movies I just recently watched. You see, I haven’t felt motivated to watch something new in a couple months. But suddenly, my old passion for film stood over my shoulder and I decided not just to watch something new, but some older black and white films I had yet to see. That was especially strange to me because I have greatly admired some black and whites but would never choose them over something in color. I guess that’s worthy of documentation these days. Here they are.
The Killing by Stanley Kubrick – At only an hour and twenty minutes, you won’t endure pain for too long if you hate it but I doubt you will. For being near seventy years old, it feels as fast paced and modern as a Tarantino flick. And come on, it’s mobsters trying to rob the track. I was disappointed to think that only Scorsese and Coppola made mob flicks. But Kubrick too?
Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder – I thought Mulholland Drive was the only great film named after a street in LA. It was good to see that it’s not, especially considering my fascination with the city skyline I could see on a clear spring evening as a boy. As far as the film, it’s a movie lover’s movie, much like Mulholland Drive. You can get a taste for the Hollywood of DeMille’s era, if it ever ended, as the protagonist struggles through his relationship with a washed up silent film actress of the good ole’ days. But don’t worry. It’s not a silent film itself and should still be of interest to the person who doesn’t love movies (though I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t). For now, know that Sunset Boulevard makes enough noise. Its dark turns can keep your eyes glued to a black and white screen.
Citizen Kane by Orson Welles – Geez, I thought I was making a mistake putting this one off for so long. But its story is a tragedy of such proportion that I now wish I had never watched it. “Rosebud” is enough to bring a tear to anybody’s eye. No, seriously, this film in all its glamor and glory will put you down for at least the rest of the day. Once you pick yourself up though, you will recall it with only the utmost respect. Not even considering that it was released the same year Pearl Harbor was bombed, this is a true standout in all film and art. Follow Kane who leaves his family’s destitute life in Colorado to be a truly affluent man…only to slowly devolve into a shallow existence.