Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Tay Garnett)

This is one of the classic films noir, but it's not filmed like one. The plot is quintessential noir: a drifter cruises into town, gets a job cooking in a diner, falls in love with the boss' much younger wife, they plot to bump the old man off, things go wrong. Stylistically, however, the movie is minimal, spare, economical. Unlike most noir, there is no German Expressionist influence, no interplay of shadows and light, no stylized camera angles. Tay Garnett directs like an anonymous hack and gets a better movie than if he'd stamped a director's personality all over it. He seems to simply point his camera at the action and let it happen, as objectively as possible, avoiding genre cliches. He does move the camera a lot, however, but the movements are natural, unobtrusive, subtle. Only the occasional awkward closeup interferes with the tone. It's a nice little movie. Not that important, ultimately, but fun is fun, and fun is a lot.

Also, Lana Turner was smokin' hot.

1 comment:

kristykay said...

Totally hot. I wish I was Lana Turner, but without the 8 marriages and dead boyfriend. Maybe I just wish I looked like Lana Turner...

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