We here at Lost in Criterion are firmly on board with any and all films of Henri-Georges Clouzot. He is a master of suspense in many forms. Quai des Orfrevres, his 1947 police procedural and the earliest of his films we've seen in the Collection, is no exception, even while the central crime fades out of importance and the entirety of the suspense instead rests on just how our lovable protagonists are going to find a happy ending, or at least the happiest ending possible given the circumstances and their certain PTSD. They do find it, though, which I think technically makes this a comedy. Though so do the actual very funny moments.
Before their masterpiece The Red Shoes Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made a series of increasingly great films. We talk about two of them this week and next.
First up is 1947's Black Narcissus, a feverish technicolor condemnation of British imperialism in India. Well, that's one reading at least. At it's most basic it's about nuns that go crazy. Who doesn't love a story about insane nuns?
Carol Reed directed, Graham Greene written, David O. Selznick produced, Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton star. The Third Man (1947) is one of the noiriest noir films and one of my favorite films of all time. I'm not alone in there, as it consistently rates near the top of best film lists.
I owned this movie for a long time. I could watch this movie every day and not grow tired of it. And yet still, viewing it to talk about this week brought fresh eyes and new observations: things I'd never noticed; things I feel kind of stupid for never noticing. Which I suppose is the sign of a true classic. Always something new to discover.