The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week: December 10

12/10/2014 1:00 PM |


Phantom Lady (1944)
Directed by Robert Siodmak
Siodmak’s lesser-seen masterpiece pushes noir into the realm of abstract nightmare, with Woody Bredell’s inky cinematography slowly erasing the defined outlines of a city. It’s a mystery that only gets hazier as it moves along, and its characters slowly regress from people to signifying types that find their clearest expression in scarcely concealed lust. The thing only comes together when it falls apart, when its erotically charged scenes (you’ll never look at jazz drumming the same way) are revealed as the elaborate masturbatory fantasy of an unlikely character. This isn’t socially anxious noir; it’s David Lynch avant la lettre. Jake Cole (Dec 16, 12:45pm, 4:05pm, 7:30pm at Film Forum’s “Chandler, Hammett, Woolrich & Cain”)