Really starting to lose it. Last night I watched Ricou Browning's bleak exploit actioner Mr. No Legs on my laptop while watching G.H. Clouzot's terse, relentless The Wages of Fear on the plasma. Lowbrow/highbrow bifurcation, anyone? To pencil in those few vacant nanosecs I read Dennis Perrin's Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael O'Donoghue. (I'd romped and stabbed through Don Fleming's copy three years ago, but I found one online for $6 and couldn't resist.) Earlier, I sped past the finale of Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold.
My head is a WMD, and my hard drive is naught but night soil...
Sadness Dept: Just heard on NPR that Gillo Pontecorvo died... Drat.
Click here for the New York Times' obit.
He directed the seminal Battle of Algiers and shortly thereafter, Burn!, which starred Marlon Brando. His 1979 film Ogro is also pretty mind-blowing, although minor keys predominate.
Algiers has long been hailed as a masterwork and indeed, in my quasi-august opinion, it's absolutely brilliant. (I screened it at VSU in '04 for my faculty advisors and they seemed fairly stunned by it. None of them had ever seen it before... Strange.) Burn! is far more confounding, but its flaws fail to obsure a provocative subtext. Ogro is a Franco-era policier and all the more grim for its muted tone and washed-out palette. Get 'em and watch alongside Click, or New York Minute. Everything will soon become clear...
(An unusually animated framegrab from Ricou Browning's otherwise numbing 1981 procedural Mr. No Legs... A dire nihil-fiesta, but no less delightful for its gargantuan shortcomings. Uhh, pardon the inadvertant puns, etc.)