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January 23, 2009

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lazarus

Didn't want you to think no one appreciate this post, Glenn. I'm trying to fill out my Fritz Lang blind spots (those Mabuse films are all fantastic in their own ways), and picked up that Kino release of Liliom you mentioned a month ago. I liked the film a lot, but was a bit shocked at the way the abuse was somehow excused at the end, especially with Lang's somewhat flippant tone, as you pointed out. I was also surprised it took that long for him to get to heaven, thinking half the film would be about him trying to make amends. That structure probably comes from the source material, I'm assuming.

While Boyer was certainly hammy, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of his younger performances, and found him really charismatic here. He was also one of the few bright acting lights in Lang's The 13th Letter (the stiff Michael Rennie makes Dana Andrews look like Jerry Lewis).

Thanks for highlighting the Borzage version, which I hadn't heard of, and hope to see in the near future (along with a laserdisc of Carousel I've had sitting around, unwatched), once I finish poring over the rest of the Rivette films I haven't seen--I hit the motherlode on that holy grail search and am still rolling around in cinematic ecstasy. Thought I'd die before Out 1, Duelle, Noroit, Le Pont du Nord, etc, passed across my eyes!

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