At 10 years old, Owens becomes a ragged orphan when his sainted mother dies. The Conways, who are next door neighbors, take Owen in, but the constant drinking by Jim soon puts Owen on the ... See full summary »
Anna Q. Nilsson,
Tsai Ming-liang returns with this latest entry in his Walker series, in which his monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
This movie has some fast-forwardable scenes, and also a few plot problems (some possibly due to missing footage), but its virtues make it very worthwhile. The photography and lighting are simply beautiful, and Tourneur creates some highly inventive shots. (The birdseye view of the heist is the most obvious example.) Most of the performers are excellent--especially Robert Warwick and the engaging John Hines--and even the bit characters, such as forger Blinkey Davis, are memorable. It's interesting to see how quickly silent-film acting progressed in its early years; the 1912 D.W. Griffith short on the same tape is much less sophisticated in that respect. The story of "Alias Jimmy Valentine" is a bit too "improving" for modern tastes, and the theme of Valentine's double life is not very well explored, but the film presents a fascinating look at "the underworld" in 1915.
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