The Third Man (1949). Number four from Ebertfest. I dug it, and I remember basically nothing about the plot. Post-war Vienna light-and-shadow mystery stuff, cock-eyed angles. Orwell’s reveal, emerging from the shadows, is so good. Nice sewer chase at the end, though I wish they’d tightened it up a bit. I wonder how they managed the sound down there. And basics like navigating around. Apparently that persistent zither soundtrack was a local, on-the-spot hire, some dude they found on location at a cafe during the filming of the movie.
Brief Encounter. This was pretty good. I enjoyed it. It’s about an affair between two people, pretty tame by today’s standards. But that was a different era. Here’s a Criterion essay. And I got a couple semi-related thoughts:
One of the most enjoyable things about old/foreign movies is that I often don’t know the cast. It can feel more immediately immersive to see the characters as characters, rather than recognizing actors and trying to set aside that I know they’re portraying people. There’s no baggage, no expectations, no known quirks or ticks. It all feels very fresh.
This movie’s soundtrack relies heavily on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a few sections in particular. I wonder what it would be like, instead of scoring a film, to film a score. That is, take some work of music and make a movie such that every bit of imagery fits or bolsters (or undermines, why not?) the music in some way. Like Fantasia, I guess, but live-action and only focusing on one piece of music. Is there anything else in that vein? At the least, it would be an interesting constraint on the filming.