Paul Schrader's 1990 film The Comfort of Strangers, starring Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson as a couple contemplating their engagement along the dark alleyways of Venezia, and Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren as the strange couple they find waiting for them there, is hitting Criterion today and I'd say it's a fairly joyous occasion -- I just watched the film last week for the first time and it's a bit of a forgotten, lost treasure if you ask me. Schrader conjures a strange mood from that city on the water that might just be the closest I've seen come to what my own experience visiting it was -- I didn't love Venice in the daylight but when the night came and the tourists evaporated and you find yourself lost in its byzantine streets it's a weird, creepy, darkly magical place, outside of time.
That was my favorite bit of my visit, the memories of that place that I appreciate more than any other, and The Comfort of Strangers manages to roll around in that doomed romantic vibe and make a movie out of it. I recommend! It's not perfect, but not many Interesting Movies are -- most are more all the more interesting for their missteps. Anyway I tweeted about it at the time but after watching TCOS last week I immediately wanted to watch just movies set in Venice and I made a whole day out of just that, and now I am going to make a whole list out of it.
My 5 Favorite Venice Movies
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
Don't Look Now (1973)