June 3, 2017

There are a handful of directors who can be said to have invented the visual vocabulary of modern cinema, and near the top of any decent cinephile's list of progenitors you will find Fritz Lang. Lang brought German Expressionism to America (and with it, the seeds of film noir) after Joseph Goebbels offered him the job of as head of the German film studio UFA, and Lang (legend has it) blew town for the Land of the Free that very night.

Tonight's feature, "M", is subtitled in so unless you speak German, you'll have to r-e-a-d stuff, but I personally guarantee you it is worth your time and attention. "M" is a genre-defining classic, in the same league as Whale's "Frankenstein", Murnau's "Nosferatu" or Kurosawa's "Rashômon". It's horror story. And a thriller. And a tragedy. And if the only thespianin' you ever saw Peter Lorre do was as a gardenia-scented larcenist in "The Maltese Falcon" or a "cut-rate parasite" in Casablanca -- both of which he acted the hell out of -- then buckle up give the man room to show you how it's done.

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