by

Boomerang

Boomerang. Elia Kazan. 1947. ⚄

The thing with watching Kazan’s movies… knowing that he’d snitch on everybody at HUAC gives you a certain perspective: “How does this scene reveal that Kazan is a horrible person? How about this one? This one, then?”

Which is an exhausting pose to watch a movie in, which explains that I haven’t gotten very far in this lavish box set I bought… what… a couple years ago?

But let’s try to reset! I know nothing! Kazan who? I don’t know from no Kazan!

[rolls movie]

[one minute passes]

Hah! He paints small town USA as idyllic! That snitch! So evil!

Uh-oh.

Let’s try again.

[fifty minutes pass]

I’m kinda digging this. It’s a classic one-good-man-against-the-machine kinda thing, but unusually this time, that one good man is a prosecutor, risking everything because he has doubts about the case he’s prosecuting.

The cinematography is… there? It’s very traditional: Over shoulder shot / over shoulder shot / over shoulder shot / over shoulder shot. But the lighting is properly pretty, and the performances are very… 1947? But in a good way.

It’s totally without humour, but I guess that’s just Kazan being Kazan.

[the end]

Well, that was most enjoyable. It’s such an optimistic movie. Very… liberal: It just takes one good man; there’s nothing wrong with the system that a long courtroom presentation can’t fix.

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