Friday, May 18, 2012

No More Lonely Nights

Lonesome (1928) - Fejos
Jim is a factory worker and Mary, a switchboard operator. They are lonely working class folks in the big city. It's July 4th weekend and they decide to go down to Coney Island to have some fun. Jim notices Mary first, soon the attraction is mutual and they spend the whole time on the beach until they realize it's night. After having a good time at the boardwalk and various amusement ride, they get separated. A terrible thunderstorm ensues and they come home, wet and melancholic.

Lonesome is a virtuosic filmmaking: graceful, playful camera movements, sophisticated editing techniques- multiple exposures, impressive shot transitions, ingenuous setups- handheld rollercoaster rides, cheap but effective in-camera thunderstorm effects, etc. Jim and Mary's connection and their heartache in being separated after finding someone special is very palpable. You can feel the sexual energy when they reunite at the end. I bet they get to have the best sex of their lives after the credits roll- one can only hope. Barbara Kent has the most beguiling smile among the silent era actresses.

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