Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2015

Review: The Killers (1946)

Written in the 1920s, when mobsters were a constant scourge to America’s society, “The Killers,” though containing no more than 3,000 words, reflects palpably the spine-chilling horror and relentless hostility that accompany such organised crime. The novella bears testament to Ernest Hemingway’s unparalleled genius, in that the author’s penchant for laconicness creates the most timeless of beauty. It is a bracing thriller that comprises barely any descriptions of the incident but short, impetuous, unnervingly comical conversations between the characters. Hemingway’s purposely-designed ending- the built-up towards the final climax is perfectly dismantled by a wanting of dénouement- is the prime example of a great suspense.
In a 1947 film directed by Robert Siodmak, Hemingway’s story becomes a point of departure whereon screenwriter Anthony Veiller appropriates the authorial voice and fills the audience in of the reason an ex-boxer, an outstanding debut from Burt Lancaster, is targeted b…

Review: Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

One of the few attractions of Bonjour Tristesse (1958), a half-baked domestic parable by Otto Preminger, is Jean Seberg, then still on the cusp of young adulthood, whose performance in the film had made such an abiding impression on Jean-Luc Godard that he intended her for the seminal À bout de souffle (1960). Seberg was gifted with the kind of face that made her easily adaptable to a wide range of characters of varying natures. There was, however, one type of role that she could never attempt with convincing effect- a guileless maiden. No, her beauty was never wide-eyed. In Bonjour Tristesse especially her contrived precocity takes the hue of slyness, which is often symptomatic of one’s barely contained rebellious streak.
A rebellious youth though she is, and admittedly a quite foolish one as it transpires, there is something rather poignant about Seberg’s Cecile that moves one to hedge one’s rash criticism. She is a miserable girl- only a few minutes into the film and the conclusion …