Monday, September 10, 2018

I Walked With a Retrospective

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Wonderful news for lovers of great movies who live in New York City - this December, once the New York Film Festival madness has gone and died down, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be hosting a three week retrospective of Jacques Tourneur films! Tourneur is mostly known for his strange RKO-based horror films of the 1940s, meaning Cat People and (the glorious) I Walked With a Zombie.

But the director had a long career spanning three and a half decades, a lot of which I'm desperately unaware of - one of the few that I have seen in the 1947 daylight noir Out of the Past starring Robert Mitchum; see a big post I did on that one right here. Anyway Out of the Past is terrific, and if there are more treasures like that waiting to be uncovered I'm pretty excited about this series even beyond the "getting to see I Walked With a Zombie on FSLC's glorious big screen." Here's what they have to say for themselves:

"The son of Maurice Tourneur, one of early French cinema’s preeminent directors, Jacques Tourneur ranks among the most fascinating yet most elusive filmmakers of his time. After working as an editor for his father and a director of shorts and B-features at MGM in his adoptive America, Tourneur eventually found a home in Hollywood with the success of his 1942 horror movie Cat People. He went on to make a series of striking low-budget pictures in the 1940s and ’50s: distinct, atmospheric works in a variety of genres (including the landmark 1947 noir Out of the Past), all notable for their wit, irony, and simultaneous precision and ambiguity. Tourneur mixed the uncanny with the psychological, located even the most outlandish premises within familiar spheres, and roguishly circumvented financial constraints through his singular artistry. This winter, the Film Society is pleased to present a wide-ranging retrospective of Tourneur’s body of work, the largest in New York City in decades. "
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get ready for the amazing duel between Jean Peters and Debra Paget in the highly entertaining and gorgeous to look at Anne of the Indies. Night of the Demon probably you have seen but a big screen will most surely bring it up a few supernatural notches.

joel65913 said...

Well Out of the Past is his apex so nothing else he did quite reaches that lofty perch but there are several others of his which are worth seeing:

I'm not much for horror or even the lower fright scare pix of the 40's and 50's but his Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man have great touches for what they are.

Otherwise:
Easy Living-a very solid drama with Victor Mature as a pro football player saddled with a rapacious wife, Lizabeth Scott but loved by his steadfast secretary, Lucille Ball!!

Canyon Passage-colorful Western with Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward.

Berlin Express-Espionage thriller with Merle Oberon and the great Robert Ryan.

Nightfall-Crime drama with Aldo Ray and a very young Anne Bancroft.

Experiment Perilous-Gothic murder mystery with Hedy Lamarr.

The Flame and the Arrow-Medieval adventure with Burt Lancaster & Virginia Mayo.

I wasn't that fond of Anne of the Indies but it was still kind of cool to see a pirate picture with a female protagonist.

Bill Carter said...

Joel65913's list made me realize that I've seen very little of Jacques Tourneur's work beyond the 40s "horror" classics and the magnificent "Out of the Past", which is in my all-time top ten list. It contains one of the greatest bits of dialog in film:


Ann: She can't be all bad. No one is.

Jeff: Well, she comes the closest.

Robert Kirby said...

Ok, aside from all the (well-deserved) Lewton Luv, love your headline very much

Daniel said...

Oh, WOW. I have not seen nearly enough of Tourneur's stuff, so I will have to make it a point to get down there for this!

It's just that more often than I'd like the films in these retrospectives that I want to see end up being during the day when I'm working... hopefully that won't always be the case for this one!