Top Fifty Films of the 40s — Number Thirty-One

#31 — Edge of Darkness (Lewis Milestone, 1943) Sometimes the quality that really distinguishes a film is commitment. The bigger the concepts and the more intense the conflicts within the film, the more tempting it is to default to the counterbalance of restraint. Edge of Darkness takes the opposite tack, heartily embracing its own heightened emotions with a acceptance of the natural floridness of the tale. Trafficking in the fervid narrative grammar of wartime propaganda, director Lewis Milestone’s film ratchets up the tension at every opportunity, at times threatening to push the material into a sort of perversely grounded fever dream. … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 40s — Number Thirty-One

Jason, Milestone, Minnelli, Scorsese, Shelton

Humpday (Lynn Shelton, 2009). While I don’t always give the background on my viewing choices, I will note that this finally made its way from out queue to our screen in preparation for watching Lynn Shelton’s excellent follow-up. I’m mostly sharing that to give myself a public chastisement. Humpday is pretty terrific, providing a surprisingly plausible narrative progression to an utterly implausible scenario. Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard play old college buddies whose reunion after several years apart winds up involving an odd pledge to make a man-on-man pornographic film together, in direct opposition to their heterosexual tendencies, for Seattle’s … Continue reading Jason, Milestone, Minnelli, Scorsese, Shelton