Force of Evil

Force of Evil. Very, very good. Everyone tries to justify their minor (and major) wrongdoings, but living in the gray areas rarely turns out well. Touches on ideas of business, family, loyalty, with some biblical overtones. “What do you mean ‘gangsters’? It’s business.”

Blast of Silence

Blast of Silence. A Criterion essay cleverly calls it “the best movie ever made about a common, important, and unjustly neglected American experience: the really bad business trip”. It’s a great film noir that will only take 77 minutes of your time. It came out near the tail end of the genre’s peak, but in some ways it feels prototypical. Distilled. Lovely shots of New York City as he wanders in a sort of malaise. The hard-boiled voiceover really drives the misery home. Gangsters, dames, old friends-who-aren’t. Loneliness and disaffection. You know the clock is ticking on this guy from the very first moments. Nice appreciation at Bright Lights.