The besties review
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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Things I like about this movie:
1. Great set design
2. Even greater intertitle design
3. It's less than 90 minutes
4. Cesare is a goth hottie who was way ahead of his time
Watching this movie made me realize that one of my favorite thrillers (Soderbergh's Side Effects) borrows a number plot elements from this (mainly the inciting incident and finale). I couldn't find anywhere online where Soderbergh talks about this movie as a specific influence, so I guess we'll never know...
Nosferatu = antisemitic text
Not actually a horror movie (I now realize that Kanopy listed it in the Horror and Thriller section), but a pretty nifty noir film. Lupino's direction is great and I gotta give her props for keeping all the Spanish dialogue naturalistic and subtitle-free.
Night of the Living Dead
Considering this is the "first" zombie movie, I think it's really good. The dialogue frequently shifts from practical survival arguments to poetic storytelling in a way that adds a bit of emotional depth to the story without making it too weighty. The elongated scenes and "real-time" plotting make this movie pretty immersive— you watch the news broadcast for several minutes just as the characters do, and it makes you feel like you're in that house with them.
I'm starting to think that simplicity may be the key to making great horror. I will definitely be revisiting this in the future.
My first Lynch (unless you count the time I slept through Blue Velvet). I love the B&W cinematography and the white noise soundscape, but everything else just sorta makes me feel AGHHH. I guess I can see its merits, but overall I think this kinda thing just isn’t for me.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!
David Merkle rules.