Touch of Evil

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Watched this for the first time today and had a ball. Some things:

- Obviously, the opening scene is just spectacular. I found myself thinking 'Renoir!' in quite a few places.
- Welles has something of Renoir about him - particularly Renoir-as-Octave?
- The Janet Leigh character does consistently confusing things but she eats up the screen when she's on it. She should definitely stay away from motels.
- Heston is kinda bad to be honest. Acting like he's being pulled along by his teeth. And the blackface is just, jeez (the entire portrayal of Mexicans is quietly astonishing).
- That final scene in the graveyard of industry absolutely made me think it was a deliberate reference to the wheel in The Third Man.
- Honestly had no idea it was Dietrich! She was the best thing in it?

Loved this: "I could work forever on the editing of a film. For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, and this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry and academic manner and a third will be very romantic, and so on. The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room."

Is there a particular Welles/Welles-adjacent book I could or should go to?

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 14 November 2021 17:38 (six months ago) link

I didn't cope too well with the Dennis Weaver character. It was like he'd been dropped in from a different film? He definitely added to the overall sense of fear and nightmarishness I guess. Similarly with 'jittery guy' who must have been told to 'bob up and down', and again 'keep bobbing!'.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 14 November 2021 17:41 (six months ago) link

Is there a particular Welles/Welles-adjacent book I could or should go to?

― Vanishing Point (Chinaski),

For sure his booklength interview with Bogdanovich -- such a literate man, our Orson.

I read Clifton Heylin's critical bio last month. The last two volumes of Simon Callow's bio also terrific for insights.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 14 November 2021 17:44 (six months ago) link

Nice one, cheers. My university library has the Bogdanovich. Got myself a copy of the Renoir autobiography as well - cheap hardback.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 14 November 2021 21:54 (six months ago) link

Renoir's memoir of his old man also worth a read.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 14 November 2021 21:55 (six months ago) link

how is thomson? I picked it up for cheap a while ago but haven’t really opened it yet

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Monday, 15 November 2021 22:49 (six months ago) link


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