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Melodrama a la Matarazzo

It’s easy to enjoy Raffaello Matarazzo’s melodramas for the campy excess of their acting and story lines, but it’s more productive to take them seriously, I think — to see how cleanly and elegantly Matarazzo presents this bezerko material, with a visual style that reminded Jacques Lourcelles of Lang, Dreyer and Mizoguchi, and how […]

Losey in Love

This week’s NYT column is mainly about Joseph Losey’s “The Romantic Englishwoman,” which has returned to distribution after a long absence in a handsome new Blu-ray (and standard DVD) from Kino-Lorber.

But the poster for “Night Flight” is so much better! It’s a 1932 Clarence Brown film, very loosely based on the book […]

With a Shine on My Shoes

“If Mozart had written an opera set in poverty, it might have had this kind of painful beauty.” So wrote Pauline Kael of Vittorio De Sica’s 1946 “Shoeshine,” which has finally been released in a decent region one disc from Entertainment One (though purists will no doubt prefer the region two release from Masters […]

Marlene w/o Sternberg

This week in the New York Times, a review of a pre-code double feature from the TCM/Universal MOD series consisting of Rouben Mamoulian’s kitsch fest “The Song of Songs,” starring a visibly disgruntled Marlene (“Where are you, Joe?”) Dietrich, and Frank Tuttle’s breezy “This Is the Night,” a likeable attempt to capture the lilt […]