X-Ray! X-Ray!

It’s positively Boris Karloff this time!

The most pertinent possible film in light of the continuing News of the World tabloid phone-hacking shitstorm has to be FIVE STAR FINAL, which shows how the drive for circulation drives out any other human impulse and destroys any other purpose journalism might be expected to pursue. I screened it for a couple of lucky students at my workplace last week, and have now written about it for The Chiseler, here.

In other news — HUGE congratulations to my friends Colin and Morag, whose feature DONKEYS won the Big Prize at BAFTA Scotland, and to their leading man, James Cosmo, who won Best Actor.

7 Responses to “X-Ray! X-Ray!”

  1. Thanks from another fortunate beneficiary of your Five Star Final largesse…

    The final shot, while blunt on one level, is also extremely clever: it suggests exactly what the contents of the newspaper are but also contains a dreadfully pragmatic realization that such newspapers will continue to appear – after all, the very issue we see so roundly condemned to the gutter came after the (relative) moral awakenings of some of the film’s participants, awakenings that in no way stemmed the tide. That, too, is apt in the context of the News of the World abuses.

    I found the constant use of the extendable telephone almost mesmerizing; Robinson seemed to spend half his work day dragging on the contraption. Speaking of telephones, the three-way screen-split for one of the film’s pivotal calls was rather nifty.

    And Karloff’s character here outdoes almost everything in Frankenstein – at least you wouldn’t open your door wide to admit that film’s monster! Great stuff.

  2. Yeah, I should have talked about the brilliant, exhausting, emotionally depleting splitscreen sequence, a great example of an apparent gimmick doing nothing to stem the affect of a traumatic scene.

  3. It really is a shame how both LeRoy and Del Ruth seemed to ossify at MGM. Del Ruth’s work away from Metro was livelier, and he was also able to show his love of grubbiness in the Maisie entry he directed, but LeRoy looked like he was starting to get a bit stodgy toward the end of his Warner tenure.

  4. Del Ruth’s last, The Alligator People, is crazy and oddly endearing — I really want to see his late 20s early 30s horror films to see they compare, but they’re mostly if not entirely lost.

  5. Yikes, Del Ruth has really few extant films from around ’28-’30. With that kind of loss rate, it’s a wonder he didn’t work at Paramount.

  6. Or he could have worked at Fox and had the equal chance of having his work burned in a fire or locked unseen in a vault for eternity.

  7. Well, Fox was going to be my other choice :)

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