Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

16 November 2008

The Killers

Directors: Marika Beiku, Aleksandr Gordon, Adrei Tarkovsky
Writers: Aleksandr Gordon, Adrei Tarkovsky
Released: 1958
Cast: Yuli Fait, Aleksandr Gordon, Valentin Vinogradov, Vadim Novikov, Vasili Shukshin

STEVE says: I had my writing class read Hemingway's short story this week, so this one's been on my mind. Whereas both feature versions of The Killers (1946 and 1964) use the story as an opening, telling the full story in flashback, this Russian student film is the story. And it's not great.

That's nothing against Hemingway's story, and it's not to take anything away from Tarkovsky as a filmmaker - but this just didn't work. Pacing was the big problem for me. When Nick Adams goes to the Swede's room to warn him somebody's out to kill him, one expects him to be gasping, out of breath, maybe urgently delivering the news... Not so much, here. Adams walks in, tells the Swede some guys are out to kill him, and it's all done in a very funereal sort of style, as though they're already lamenting the Swede's passing. It just didn't fly.

It's good to have - Criterion can really put a disc together, yeah? - but not so much to revisit. For that, I've got the Robert Siodmak version.

2/5

1 comment:

Faith said...

And if Scatman Crothers was so telepathic why didn't he sense that Nicholson was about to slice him in half with the axe?