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  • The Story of Temple Drake

    The Story of Temple Drake

    ★★★½

    Upper class party girl finds herself at an Old Dark House one night, populated by assorted rednecks and bootleggers, many with rape on the mind. The cinematography is beautiful to behold and the directing is incredible. Miriam Hopkins is heartbreaking. The film manages to be far less squalid and misanthropic than Faulkner's source novel, no doubt due to the excising of key elements (e.g. rape by corncob and the willing cuckoldry of the villain) but also because the filmmakers don't appear to actually loathe the title character. And that's one up on Faulkner, so kudos to them.

    All that said, still a pretty unpleasant experience.

  • Ravenous

    Ravenous

    Any zombie film that combines dreamlike ambiguity, deadpan humor, and a forlorn outlook on the human condition is my friend. The cinematography and the use of silence is gorgeous. The poster is just about the opposite of the feel of this moody, haunting, and very thoughtful film.

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  • Wise Blood

    Wise Blood

    John Huston's 1979 adaptation of O'Connor's cult novel was one of my favorite films growing up.

    although the adaptation is basically a faithful one, Huston does take certain liberties here and there, rearranging and changing a few things in the narrative, but mainly messing with the tone of the story. the O'Connor book is archly (and darkly) comic; the Huston film is broadly comic. the result is that the story is rather less rich than the original material, flattened, turned…

  • The Inugamis

    The Inugamis

    ★★★

    A murder mystery set in 1940s Japan.

    This is a rare case of an adaptation improving on the original. Kon Ichikawa keeps all of Seishi Yokomizo's wonderfully torturous twists and turns while eschewing the melodramatic characterization that often made the novel risible. (Well, most of it - there's quite a bit of overacting from cops and a lawyer.) Despite the period setting, groovy 70s music still finds its way in, to fun effect. Ichikawa's direction is both stately and nimble,…