Friday, May 28, 2010

Screengrab - Red Minnelli

There is nothing not to love about Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958). A meaty melodrama, based on a blockbusting James Jones novel, and stylishly directed by Minnelli at the height of his powers, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley Maclaine, it rises to a beautiful, feverish climax at a crowded nocturnal carnival.
I love this scene: the way Minnelli strips everything away and leaves only the barest visual bones signalling that there may be something primal about this melodrama: a man against a violent red background. For this is a story of men and women, lust and jealousy, murder and regret. To say nothing of the casual brilliance of the storytelling - the pursued oblivious to the pursuit, the massed humanity all around - or the effortless evocation of place. The gliding of the camera after these figures in motion. No day for night here - you can feel the soft cold kiss of the coming night.
The rest of the film isn't bad, either.

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