Noteworthy screenings in the Metro Area…
The Third Man (4K restoration), Carol Reed, 1949
The Third Man—a post-war noir set in a bombed-out Vienna as the chaos of the previous years is settling in—is one of my absolute, top ten desert island favorites. And I cannot wait to see the 4K restoration.
What makes this film great? Joseph Cotton as Holly Martin, our writer/hero (don’t all writers dream of looking like Joseph Cotton? I know I do) struggling with the moral morass left in the wake of World War 2. Orson Welles in my favorite performance of his, plays Harry Lime, the mysterious figure at the center of the film. His Orson Welles-ness is used perfectly, puckish, dangerous, and brilliant. Vienna is a character as much, if not more, than cities like LA or San Francisco in other noirs. The city, shot by Carol Reed, is sublime mix of chaos and order: shining rain-drenched streets—all canted angles and the richest, deepest blacks. And as for the climatic chase scene? When you see it, you will recognize just how influential it is, both familiar and fresh, taut and thrilling. And through it all a streak of grim humor in its visual play and well-scripted performances.
Nov. 23, 2:15; Nov 24 & 30, 7:00; Nov 25, 3:30, 9:30; Nov 26. 8:45