Wednesday, November 6 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Joseph Losey • 1951
Long before Gus Van Sant reinterpreted Psycho and Chris Rock revamped Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon, Wisconsinite neophyte Joe Losey embarked on the unenviable task of remaking Fritz Lang’s 1931 Weimar masterpiece M in postwar Los Angeles. With two defiantly liberal feature films and a handful of “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts to his name, Losey received the commission after Lang turned down the remake offer from fellow Hollywood émigré Seymour Nebenzal, who had also produced the original. (If anything, M reminds us that it’s the producer, not the director, who holds the lion’s share of power in Hollywood.) This version follows the plot of the original fairly closely, with David Wayne taking over Peter Lorre’s child-killer role and investing the character with a seething air of pathetic repression. When LA’s top cop (Howard Da Silva) initiates a dragnet to catch the killer, the underworld takes matters into its own hands. With noir-tinged paranoia and beautiful location photography in now-vanished working class neighborhoods, Losey’s M easily holds it own. Ironically oblivious to the movie’s anti-mob mentality message, morality crusaders managed to ban M in eight states on account of its salacious content and the Communist sympathies of several key contributors. Long out of circulation after the producer’s short-term distribution deal with Columbia Pictures lapsed, M has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress (KW)
Introduced by Tom Gunning, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
88 min • Superior Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Harold Nebenzal
Whew! Anybody up for a breezy, cute movie for a change?
Sunday, November 17 @ 11:30am – Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
NO TIME FOR LOVE
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1943
When nosey photojournalist Claudette Colbert gets muscley sandhog Fred MacMurray suspended by publishing a photo of him goofing off at work, she takes him on as her personal assistant. They squabble, fall in love, squabble some more, part ways, and reunite in a tunnel full of muck and mud from the Hudson River that MacMurray is nobly attempting to freeze. (To convince Colbert to get in the mud, director Leisen plunged himself in headfirst and directed the scene drenched.) Because of the war effort, No Time For Love was shot on a shoestring budget reusing sets from The Palm Beach Story (which earned it an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction – Interior Decoration) and most scenes were shot in just one take. The mud is real, though (and mixed with baby oil!), and Colbert and MacMurray’s on-screen chemistry is unsinkable. (JA)
83 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal