Longtime buds Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles played friends thrown into a murderou|Janus Films1/2
Longtime buds Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles played friends thrown into a murderou|Janus Films
The 1988 Dutch thriller "The Vanishing" will haunt your dreams.2/2
The 1988 Dutch thriller "The Vanishing" will haunt your dreams.
Congrats, “Superbad,” you’re now 10 years old. So much has changed in the last decade. For one thing, “Superbad” probably couldn’t be made as is. Today you wouldn’t see a movie where two high school horndogs (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) freak out over menstrual blood, or where the girls are only there to extract their virginity. That being said, “Superbad” only pretends to be a dumb, throwback sex comedy. It knows the boys are single-minded droogs, and it knows their prey (including Emma Stone, in her big screen debut) are smarter than they assume. It’s still a film for man-children made by man-children, but those man-children clearly want to grow up, become wiser, learn to include different kinds of people in their idiot-bro digs. Sure enough, five years later producer Judd Apatow introduced HBO subscribers to Lena Dunham.
‘The Third Man’
You have to go to FilmStruck or Warner Archive to gorge on classic cinema, but every now and then on Netflix an oldie slips through the cracks. So huzzah! You can stream the great Orson Welles movie where Orson Welles doesn’t appear till the last half hour! Even before his belated appearance, the legend’s influence on director Carol Reed are everywhere — from the relentlessly canted angles and crisp black-and-white cinematography to the inclusion of Orson regular Joseph Cotton, as a mopey pulp writer who finds purpose when he tries to locate the murderers of his allegedly deceased friend in post-war Vienna. It’s funnier than Orson usually was, though, with the dry wit laced with profound Catholic guilt that were the stock in trade of its author, Graham Greene. And the zither score will sound great booming from your laptop’s speakers.
FilmStruck has a lot of celebrity friends. To wit: Bill Hader is both one of “SNL”’s finest alums and a bona fide culture vulture — a voracious reader and adventurous cinephile. (Witness his spot-on pastiches on “Documentary Now!”) Hader has provided intros to a number of the streaming site’s most esteemed wares, from John Cassavetes’ “A Woman Under the Influence” to Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” to the bottomlessly disturbing “The Vanishing.” The 1988 Dutch import can ruin any night, telling the tale of a desperate man searching for his missing girlfriend, only to happen upon her charming and accommodating killer. What follows is an ending for the ages, whose power wasn’t lost when director George Sluizer himself handled the American remake, featuring a forehead-slapping conclusion and the rare bum Jeff Bridges turn.
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