Monday, February 8, 2010


Tonight I will quickly recommend Jerichow, Christian Petzold's riff on James Cain's the Postman Always Rings Twice, at this point one of the foundational texts (Myths, even) of modern noir. Michael Sicinski wrote a great analysis of it at Cinema Scope, and on first viewing it's my favorite movies of last year. Petzold uses the traditional Postman myth to explore modern day Germany and its relationship with Turkish immigrants. So while Benno Fürmann gets the most screen time as the young poor dude who cuckolds the rich dude (and looking suspiciously like Randy Orton), it's the cuckold, a Turkish immigrant who owns a chain of snack shops and is married to a German woman, who is the center of his story. One of the ways this becomes clear is the performance of Hilmi Sözer, whose range of emotion stands in distinct contrast to Furrman and Nina Hoss, who mostly just brood, say their lines, and violently make out sometimes. But this works wonderfully, and is a great example of how by focusing on a single character and shading that character slighltly differently an old Myth can be transformed into something new. Watch a Postman adaptation (Luchino Visconti's Ossessione is awesome) (or, hell, read the book, it'll prolly take you the same amount of time), and then watch this movie. It's an adaptation that very much enriches the source material and is enriched by the viewer's familiarity with it.

(Netflix INSTANT)

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