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Except for the abrupt ending, this is perfect in many ways.
Its a drama so far as the spine, but is expressed purely with comedy. Some of this is subtle and sweet, some bordering on slapstick.
But what's so compelling about this is how integrated it is. The photography is profoundly deep for the period, with rich depth. It isn't spatial like some things I have seen recently. Its not about space or sets but about light and darkness. Within this are a variety of shots. Some of these are like you would expect, shots that directly advance the narrative. But this isn't about story, but texture. So you have all sorts of shots of the type you'd never see in an ordinary film.
Different perspectives in the fashion of later Welles, of course. But there are annotative observations of things that either look or would be looked at casually by the people in the shot. The way it dances among watching them and being them is amazingly effective. Its a sort of fold, rare in my experience. Lots of long scene overlays. The editing is perhaps even more inspired because we get a rhythm that after seventy years, huge cultural divides and changes, it still reads as naturally perhaps more as the day and place it was made.
Its fantastic. There are things you can do in black and white that simply are impossible in color.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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