Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

04 August 2005

Elevator to the Gallows

Last night I went to the late screening of Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). It's Louis Malle's first film (he of Atlantic City, Dearest Heart, Lacombe Lucien, Au Revoir les Enfants and Damage). The movie was first released in the U.S. in 1961 and was re-released last Friday. I'm not sure how reviewers have talked about the film, but it's a really cool movie. It's a tense and taut and totally thrilling, with a really fascinating performance by Jeanne Moreau. Seeing Louis Malle's first film in a movie theater instead of on DVD is already pretty cool as far as I go; for me, though, the coolest thing about this movie is the score which is by... (drumroll) Miles Davis. Miles also plays on the soundtrack of course. It's awesome. I don't think it's the first time jazz was used so heavily in a film score (I've always been told that title goes to The Man with the Golden Arm, though I have yet to see it) but it is damned effective. In fact, it gives the film such a unique sound that I will recommend the film based on the score alone.