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Movie Reviews: 5/16/2022 to 5/22/2022

Movies reviewed this week: A Room in Town, Love and Anarchy, and Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.

5/16/2022: A Room in Town (1982): ***1/2

Not one of Demy’s masterpieces, but still quite good. It’s a little less graceful than The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and as a result it perhaps lives in that movie’s shadow — “ah, yes, the other Demy in which all the dialogue is sung.” Well worth taking on its own terms, though.

The thing is, it’s deeply political. The doomed romance doesn’t work without the tension of the strike and the class struggle. Demy isn’t subtle about this. The relationships are all driven by money, need for money, or (privileged) rejection of money. Also there’s a swastika on the doorway in the film’s final scene, visible right after the confrontation with the cops, and Demy always has too much control over his sets for that to be an accident. “All Cops Are Bastards” in French.

5/19/2022: Love and Anarchy (1973): ****1/2

Three phases.

First: “OK, neat, this is about radical leftism and anti-fascism contrasted with broad Italian sex farce, that’s kind of cool even if the marriage seems a little forced. And I dig this guy’s acting.”

Second: “Oh, wow, no, this is really authentically touching. This really is about love as much as it’s about anarchy, and Wertmüller really does care about both. This is quite good. And I dig this guy’s acting.”

Third: “Oh, fuck, no, this is now a brutal exploration of the compromises that anti-fascism may require from us, and an authentic query about the value of love when contrasted with the value of freedom. What’s one worth without the other? And Giancarlo Giannini’s acting is emotionally wrecking me. He’s so afraid.”

5/20/2022: Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022): **1/2

You can’t just be all satire and references; the thing about Who Framed Roger Rabbit is that there was some real plot. Gotta give this points for savaging Disney’s Main Street U.S.A., though, that was pretty great.

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