A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- January 15
- Grabbed The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
off the tellybox during the week and watched it this
evening. Verdict: an absolute riot. Leans more into the humour
than some of Richie's earlier work, and it really works well - the
dock boat chase is particularly excellent. I didn't see the twist
coming, nor the twist on the twist - although I had my suspicions
on the latter. Nicely shot and scored, and some lovely tips of the
hat to the era of the original (which to be honest I'm not
familiar with, although I think it may have shown up on the box at
some point). I'd happily watch this again without a second
- January 9
- More Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder.
This is, again, brilliant. I'd seen the 90's remake (A Perfect
Murder) but I'd forgotten how it worked and, it turns out, it
mucked about with the plot anyway so it's not a clean match for
Hitchcock's work. This is a Columbo-like whodunnit: you know what
happened from the outset, and the puzzle is more how the truth
will come to light. Amusingly, the detective on the case does one
Columbo-like "afterthought question" as he's leaving the apartment
- which of course is not an afterthought at all. The
other funny thing is that the detective is sort of a
cross between Columbo and Poirot - the former because he appears to
take the alibis and explanations at face value, and the latter
because he's a very proper gentleman with a moustache and a keen
mind - and who played the detective in the remake? David Suchet,
better known for playing that little Belgian
One other note on these: I'd mistakenly thought Rear
Window was based on a play because we'd looked through a few
movies and I'd confused the descriptions of two of them. I find
that the dialogue of straightforward stage-to-screen conversions
tends to be very distinctive, particularly when there's a
conversation; noone is ever lost for words, and there are quite
complex back-and-forth sequences with no pauses for thought. It
turns out that Rear Window is based on a short story, and
Dial M for Murder on a play, but curiously it's the
former that has play-like cadences while the latter comes across
as "written for the screen".
(and now I learn that Dial M was originally written for
television, then moved to stage, then to film, which maybe
accounts for the less stage-like dialogue.)
- January 8
- I've an idea I may have watched Rear Window
a long, long time ago, and since I don't appear to have a note of
it in this diary that would suggest it was before August
2000... it's a brilliant piece of work. The conceit of having the
main character confined to his apartment is an interesting
challenge from the story-telling perspective, but Hitchcock of
course carries it off easily and makes it look pretty as well.
There's some lovely visual touches, like the reflections of the
view in the lenses of the protagonist's camera and binoculars, and
both female leads run away with every scene they're in - I think
it's reasonable to say that this movie passes the Bechdel Test,
which is a little surprising for something made in 1954. And even
having (maybe) seen this before and seen the derivative
Disturbia, I still couldn't remember or
anticipate if the main character was right or wrong. If you've not
seen this, you're missing a treat.
- January 1
- Right, let's try this again, shall we?
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This one's gonna be better, right?