Last night, prior to closing got a call from Elijah, as Mom was up at the plaza shopping for a birthday party Logan is attending tonight, that "someone" had broken the coffee decanter. Well not wanting to undergo the drama of "I don't know!" "It wasn't ME!!" and "Hunh?" I, with a heavy sigh, merely stated I'd pop into the store and get a new one. Upon coming back to the store Mom expressed HER heavy sigh and trotted home. Shortly there after just before closing Elijah arrived, shopping list in hand stating "as long as you're at the store....."
an hour later, trudging home with purchases weighing us down we walked home. On the way there our conversation went from Clint Eastwood, to the F.B.I, to J. Edgar Hoover, to Alfred Hitchcock, to Psycho (Kevin Bacon was in there somewhere, "AH HA!")
Now it can be said that I am a wee bit of a videophile, but surprisingly I have never actually seen Psycho. An American classic, the chance to view it just never came up. I've seen many of his films (Rear Window, to date my fave) but last night I was on a mission. With laptop in hand, I hit all my normal online movie download sites (Zune, Hulu, Netflix) but oddly enough none had it available. Downtrodden and defeated i was about to sign out of Netflix. However, they have a real neat feature there that allows you to rate the films you have viewed. And dependant on your ratings make recommendations for other films of the same genre you may enjoy. Handy! Well one popped up after I inquired about "Psycho" and that was Fritz Langs "M". now if you don't know who he is, well shame on you! i won't go into the long list of his accomplishments, but simply put it was his blend of expressionist film making and melodrama that set forth the characteristics of the Film noir genre. He was responsible for the 1927 silent movie classic "Metropolis" (you can see SO much of that film as the inspiration for everything from Max Fleischers classic "Superman" cartoon's, George Lucas's THX 1138, Blade Runner, Equilibrium, Sky Captain and the City of Tomorrow....the list goes on and on! ) and what is considered his masterpiece of psychological horror "M". I'd heard of the film, but just never watched it, until last night. And of course by today's standards it is quite melodramatic (and MAN did they smoke ALLOT in those old films). But the surprising thing that I cannot decide whether it's comforting or disarming is the familiarity and timelessness of the film. The study of human nature, paranoia, depravity and justice/slash/injustice could be filmed today and still have relevance. In the course of 80 years we have hardly changed. Filmed with consideration for the sensibilities of the times, there is nary a drop of blood shown. It's the haunting whistling of the films pedophile killer masterfully portrayed by Peter Lorre in his first starring role, that clues you into the atrocity that is and has occurred, edited to views of empty dining room table chairs, candy wrappers and a balloon animal slowly drifting away only to be entangled in power lines. It's the panic of the common man, the parents as the police fail to find clues, or leads, their exhaustive efforts lead to nothing as the killer continues to stalk the streets, most times in broad daylight. The common criminal, now continually harassed by the police, foolishly thinking the killers moves in their ranks, become fed up and take matters into their own hands, and in a brilliant strategic maneuver organize to track down, catch and prosecute the killer. In a make shift court, comprised of a variety of criminals they put him on trial. At this point Peter puts on a masterful descent into the twisted mind of a deranged possessed killer. (side note: Fritz was labeled as the traditional "Tyrannical German" director, monocle and all. The battered look of Peter Lorre is not, in effect makeup. Instead, in order to lend realism to his performance, it is said the Fritz had pushed Peter down a flight of stairs to give him a more "battered" appearance) the ending of the film is...abrupt. But makes it clear of the outcome. I won't give it away.
Thankfully Netflix has made me realize that I don't have to wait for the newest releases to enjoy a good film!