Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Up in the Air Junior Birdmen"

My pick of the week:

The Harvard Film Archive is screening "Air Mail" a 1932 aerial drama directed by John Ford tomorrow night at 7pm starring Ralph Bellamy, Gloria Stuart and Pat O'Brien.
I'm enjoying the hell of the HFA's current John Ford retrospective, like a lot of golden age film-makers Ford seems to have had instinctive identification with the underdog, this led him down some odd paths, from a toleration for the groveling antics of Stepin Fetchitt to many many manful attempts to make that redoubt of an actor, John Wayne seem like less than a sure bet.
I gotta hand it to him though, Ford is one of those guys who can shoot gloomy expressionistic interiors a'la Murnau and then turn around and make his next film feel like a documentary in the blazing desert sun of Monument Valley.
Hell "The Searchers" alone convinced me John Wayne really could act...

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