Movies reviewed this week: The Naked Kiss and Mr. Jones.
2/21/2022: The Naked Kiss (1964): ***1/2
<a href=”https://letterboxd.com/thanlis/list/criterion-challenge-2022-bryant/>Criterion Challenge 2022
Prompt: Watch a cult classic (Midnight Madness)
That’s a really raw movie, more so than I expected even after having seen Pickup on South Street. It opens with the kind of angry violence you don’t expect from a black and white movie from the 60s, all jolts and jagged camerawork. I think even today I might not expect Constance Towers’ anger to be so clearly and unapologetically justified. While this is a story that assumes sex work is undesirable, Fuller clearly doesn’t think sex workers have anything to be ashamed of.
One of the pleasures of cult movies is seeing actors who haven’t shown up much in the classics. Constance Towers was really good in this. Michael Dante wasn’t all that impressive, but Anthony Eisley held down his part just fine.
2/24/2022: Mr. Jones (2019): **
I suppose I’m just digging around for meaning.
Competent enough, Vanessa Kirby brings her reliably expressive face to the party, and so on. The Orwell framing device is fabricated and doesn’t add anything. Same goes for that one really horrific famine experience. Oddly, despite the excesses, the whole thing wound up suffering from lack of emotion.