Criterion’s very nice disc of “Blast of Silence,” Alan Baron’s New York indie noir from 1961, contains among its many other virtues some strikingly unvarnished images of Manhattan in the early 60s. Above is a view of St. Mark’s Place, where Baron’s main character, a lone-wolf contract killer, takes a room in a seedy hotel that still exists with only slight modifications. Next door is the bathouse that would enter American social history when it was renamed “The Continental Baths” a few years later; New York cinephiles will of coure recognize it as the present day headquarters of the Kim’s Video empire — where, no doubt, “Blast of Silence” is on sale at a healthy discount.
And I have a few words on the latest “film de gore” from France, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s “Inside” — the anti-”Juno” film par excellence, as Nathan Lee has pointed out.
It’s only mid-April, but I think we have a candidate for critic of the year. Check out this perceptive analysis of “Sunrise” from the LA Times movie blog.