Tuesday, January 26, 2010

darling lili (edwards, 1970)

Cut and pasted directly from Facebook - just discovered they have a 420 character limit. Grumble.


The rest of DARLING LILI (Blake Edwards, 1970) - as expected, not Edwards's best work. But his unusual cutting is always compelling - a character will say a few words, and those words will "incite" a sudden and very vivid cut that will propel the story forward. This is familiar to most moviegoers as the "There's no way in hell" cut, i.e. "There's no way in hell I'm mowing the lawn," which immediately cuts to the speaker mowing the lawn. Only thing is, Edwards removes the joke and uses the effect for general purpose transitioning. Weariness of the cliche vanishes as it's not a nudge to the ribs so much as a shock to the retina.

The climactic scene (before the final number - a reprise of the opening) is nearly wordless and it's fantastic as well. Big-picture-wise it's hard to argue in the film's favor, but if you're aware of how deeply disgruntled Edwards was in making DARLING LILI (it inspired him to make S.O.B.), you have to applaud whatever he managed to sneak into it.

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