2 items from 2011
German director Fritz Lang famously used the manhunt for a serial killer as a springboard to explore the life of an entire city in 1931’s M. Lang takes a similar tack with 1956’s While The City Sleeps, which has just been released via Warner’s essential DVD-on-demand Warner Archive division after being unavailable for years. Lang’s hardboiled, deeply cynical melodrama posits the newsroom of a great newspaper as the heartbeat that keeps cities alive. Without the furious exertion of the newsroom, with its Sisyphean demands and nonexistent wages, the city would simply die, or at least cease »
One of the downsides of going to the Rotterdam Film Festival (more on which next week) was having to miss a whole week of Film Forum’s essential “Fritz Lang in Hollywood” retrospective which continues through February 10th. To search through Lang’s American posters (and the foreign posters for his American films) is to skulk through a world of fisted revolvers, prison cell bars, street corner shadows, knives, nooses, and dames in various stages of manhandled distress; a world of heightened emotions and febrile desperation with barely a smile to be seen.
While the foreign posters are often the most striking (like the French poster, above, for one of my very favorite American Langs, You Only Live Once), what many of the original American posters have going for them are their lurid taglines which up the ante of Langian doom another notch or two. Rancho Notorious: “Where anything goes ...for a price! »
2 items from 2011
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