Film Review: “Rififi” (1955)

Rafifi (1955)

“We don’t bet promises here.”

A critical and influential entry in the heist film genre that I only saw 65 years too late (as my father always said, not being born yet is no excuse). Were it not for the sour taste of aggressive misogyny in one or two scenes, I’d say this is a timeless classic heist expertly crafted in that heavy French style. But I can’t say it’s timeless because the 50s were kinda garbage. Way to go, 50s. You blew it.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “The heist scene is truly something to behold and had me reevaluating all the other heist movies I’ve seen in my life. If you haven’t seen it, go look it up on YouTube and watch it alone. I unexpectedly blurted out ‘Fuck you, George Clooney!’ right after it finished. It was like a sudden reflex. I’m wondering if you will do the same.”

Film Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2020)

“How do we know when it’s finished? | At one point, we stop.”

A romance at once somber, dreamlike, and mythic that uses the social restrictions of the period to tell a beautiful (if bittersweet) forward-thinking story. Yeah, my fave of the year so far.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I’m just going to talk about the sound and use of music now. Prominent sound and, especially, music (all non-diegetic) only features in a few curated moments. Otherwise, we only hear the loud cracks of a fireplace or waves under the cliffs to illustrate one character’s separation from community and intimacy. When we hear music, we savor it like she does and look forward to our next opportunity to hear it. This is a mere sampling of the sensory experience Celine Sciamma and company create with this piece. Dope!”

Film Review: “A Simple Favor” (2018)

“That was very cinematic.”

A super stylish and composed neo-noir comedy that has a lot of fun with the tropes of the genre and a killer French pop soundtrack. So high-tone.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I know, above all else, that life is better and filled with more intrigue when there’s a French pop soundtrack behind it. It’s a shame, then, that I’ve had ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by Seal from Batman Forever on repeat since 1997.”