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

16 June 2019

Transit (2018)

Transit is haunting and very, very smart. Christian Petzold is such a good director. I really liked this and boasts some brilliant performances, especially Franz Rogowski. Furthermore, and most interestingly, Petzold has adapted Seghers' novel from its WWII setting to the present day, but we still have cleansing and occupation and terror. All of Petzold's films so far have been about World War II, but with this movie it is clear that he is asking us to think differently about World War II, and perhaps that none of his films has been about World War II at all. Instead, Petzold deals with serious ethical quandaries and real desperation.

03 June 2019

Perfumed Nightmare

Wow. Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare) is an extraordinary film. It's from 1977 in the Philippines and it's like a Nouvelle Vague movie, but it is also very different and totally it's own thing, which is a documentary–memoir–fiction–fantasy that is by turns absolutely hilarious and poignant. Perfumed Nightmare is also very clearly the inspiration for Rithy Panh's film work.

Hi Diddle Diddle (1943)

This would be a totally forgettable romantic comedy caper if it weren't for the fabulous intertextuality that pervades the film. There is animated Wagnerian wallpaper, a running meta-cinematic gag about an actress who plays multiple parts in the movie, and an actress who sings a duet with a Panoram (look it up) of herself. This is a delight. As for the title Hi Diddle Diddle, I have no idea why this movie is called this, but I guess it must be somewhere in:

...the cat and the fiddle
the cow jumped over the moon
the little dog laughed
to see such sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon.

Maybe Martha Scott is supposed to be the dish?