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Journey Into Fear (1943)
This may not have been directed by Welles.....
....but his signature is all over it. Yes, I know he wrote and produced but I've seen enough of his films to know his trademarks, like the unwitting American who has stumbled into international intrigue with bumbling results (Cotten is perfectly cast here), the ridiculous laughter of the captain and his "boom-booms," and the many quirky supporting players. There's much more Welles going on here than simply the writer and supporting role.
Despite the film's short length, it never felt rushed and I was not aware of any missing scenes that many have alluded to. However, we can only hope that one day an expanded edition might be released. This is a very entertaining film even in shortened form.
Felt nothing for the main characters
I watched this in two stages: first half, late at night; second half the following evening. I love historical stories set in Europe during WWII. I was intrigued by the first part, even though it was quite disturbing, however, the second part between the two principles, the real heart of the story, just left me completely cold. I cared nothing for either of them. I don't even know what to say about Max, but if I did, there wouldn't be much good in it. Horst was just downright annoying and nag. I found their verbal sexual interaction boring and pretentious; I was sorry it was repeated later in the film. The action was so staid in this ridiculous situation they were in, that I was relieved when one of them was killed. Maybe you're supposed to feel that way. I don't doubt that such situations really happened, senseless as the Nazis were, but I just don't think it made for interesting story telling. Honestly, the only character I felt anything for was Rudy; I was sorry he died so early on. Just my opinion.
Six by Sondheim (2013)
You might call it "Sondheim by Sondheim"....
...except that title has already been used. This was an intimate look at Stephen Sondheim's life as told by Stephen Sondheim and told within the context of SIX of his songs, as selected by him: 1 "Something's Coming" (West Side Story) 2 "Opening Doors" (Merrily We Roll Along) 3 "Send in the Clowns" (A Little Night Music) 4 "I'm Still Here" (Follies) 5 "Being Alive" (Company) 6 "Sunday" (Sunday in the Park With George).
There are other songs and shows featured in this film as well, such as "Gypsy" and "Sweeney Todd," but the main focus is the six above. He tells of us that in his early life he was somewhat adopted by the family of Oscar Hammerstein II following the break-up of his parents' marriage. Eventually Hammerstein would become his mentor. Although he began as a lyricist, the genesis of "Something's Coming," clearly show that it is HE who is the driving force behind the song. And there is also quite generous footage of the some of the shows he was a part of either as lyricist or composer. And once you see this show, I guarantee you will not listen to the songs in which he was soley the lyricist the same way again. I really have a much stronger appreciation of just how important his contribution is to the songs in "Gypsy" and "West Side Story." I have been a big fan of his for many years, but this well-crafted film gave me even more credence as to why I love him.