Thursday, September 28, 2017

They Live by Night (1948) A Film by Nicholas Ray

"François Truffaut called They Live by Night 'the most Bressonian of American films,' and while his characterization was overzealous, there’s more than just these performer resemblances to link the two directorial sensibilities. Like many Bresson films, Ray’s debut is a genre movie featuring only the bare minimum of generic trappings, one that favors the quiet dramas of decision-making and one-on-one commiseration to the louder spectacles that occur, often unseen, to push the plot along. It’s also a story about a pursuit of grace cut short by the callousness of society, which is manifested most plainly in a number of scenes detailing monetary transactions."

Full review of They Live by Night, now out in a stunning Criterion Blu-ray, continues at Slant.