Wednesday, August 18, 2004

all men are fools. they want to be heroes. and their widows mourn

The beautiful Jeanne Moreau gets to utter this sobering line in her cameo as Christine in John Frankenheimer's engaging war/action/adventure film The Train (not to be confused with the 70s standard thriller where Pancham's music allowed Polydor to make a jubilee splash on the Indian record label scene, where all Helen had to do to look like Nanda -- fat hips and all -- was put on a mask, where whodunit didn't really matter, where the on-screen goings-on completely destroyed some of the most inspired music mixes and melodies that Pancham ever came up with). Frankenheimer lets his trademarks slide in gently, and lets the simple narrative and strong performances guide the film through its never-boring 133 minutes. One must note, however, the single tracking shot at the German HQ as the camera follows people walking in, going about their jobs, until it chooses von Waldheim (Paul Scofield), follows him around, until he stops outside his superior's office. Nice. Now, if only I could get my hands on the DVD with commentary. It also struck me as interesting that Orson Welles, responsible for (arguably) the most famous tracking shot in film history, regarded Moreau (who worked with him in The Trial and Chimes at Midnight) as "the greatest actress in the world".

[a more detailed look at the other academic merits of the film]

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.