Friday, November 18, 2011

I'll Be Damned

These Are the Damned came a solid decade after Losey remade Lang's M, but it bears strong evidence that the German master never left the brain. You can look at the thoroughly Langian treatment given to the peaceful subterranean class of radioactive children - particularly in the way that Losey shoots their faces - for all the proof a reasonable person would need, but the smoking gun comes during a climactic scene where Losey seemingly beats Fritz to his own punch by a couple of years. Well, Fritz's doppelganger at least. The moment where Viveca Lindfors' character, artist and lover of a radical military scientist, awaits her impending and self-imposed annihilation (surely something the director who remade La Chienne would sympathize with) by continuing to create her eccentric art on a scenic cliff top overlooking the ocean is framed in much the same way one imagines that shot of Ulysses we see being filmed at the end of Contempt coming out. Actually, I like to think of it as a glimpse at the film the alternate Lang shot right before taking on the infernal project that provides the canvas for Godard's masterpiece.

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