by Ryland Walker Knight
- The Hunted [Jack Bernhard, 1948] Kind of a clunker, but Belita was the business. A perfect example of a B-picture where budgetary concerns force a lot of formal ingenuity, and a fair number of long takes. The early exposition-heavy tete-a-tete scenes are the best because of the long two-shots with Belita and our idiot gumshoe on opposite sides of the frame, the way old lovers give each other space.
- Angel Face [Otto Preminger, 1952] # A unique shape of a film, always pushing in. Apt that the big finale's wreck ends in rugged close-up. Frightening that these two dudes (OP & HH) put this lady through so much bullshit. Heartening that "Bob" was a real man. I will see this movie whenever it plays on any silver screen.
- True Grit [Coens, 2010] The first one of theirs I was ever plainly bored by; but the ending is rather perfect and Damon's timing is priceless. I can't imagine watching it again, but it'll be on HBO some day, or I'll get bored one night after it's on Netflix Streaming, and I'll most likely warm to its go-nowhere-ness and its dialog's turns. Still caught in the afterglow of the novel to really be any kind of fair to the picture. Still, it's a paycheck flick. Part of the appeal of A Serious Man is that it was mounted with such care; that it was a picture they clearly lived with for a long time. This one's a dash.
—Her zipper's broken down the back