Saturday, March 5, 2011


The American (2010) - Corbijn

Anton Corbijn's film is as precise as its title character Jack/Edward(George Clooney), a weapon maker/assassin in Italy. There is a Once Upon a Time in the West on TV in Italian cafe where brooding Jack drinks his 'Cafe Americano'. It's quite clear Corbijn is paying tribute to its Ford - Kurosawa - Leone/Melville, West/East/West genre borrowing by masters. The American has a very un-American feel to it. It has the mood of Le Samurai and other yesteryear's fatalistic brooding noirs of 'I just died in your arms tonight' variety. Corbijn trades fedoras, raincoats and jazz clubs in for no nonsense, undeniably American George Clooney in a minimalistic quaint European city setting. There are some effectively tense scenes throughout. Unlike its ominous title, the film is a completely subtext-free genre exercise.

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