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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: can you see me now?

Wish I had me one a them widescreen TVs… From my review of The Bridge on the River Kwai, the Best Picture winner from 1957:

Director David Lean’s name to me always sounds like his movies: Spare, trim, simply and cleanly shot. Kwai‘s long, wide, static shots aren’t interrupted by frequent cuts or jumps — there’s no distraction from the stark brutality of life in the prison camp or the dangers of travel in the jungle. Lean’s palette is full of the gray-greens and browns of the jungle, of the muddy river, military fatigues, tanned men, bamboo buildings, and the logs of bridge. Colors are washed out, melted together as if by the heat of the sun. This is the first Best Picture in which I started noticing the pan-and-scan process (I couldn’t find a widescreen video) and getting slightly annoyed by it, but even that couldn’t detract from Lean’s lucid genius.

review of The Bridge on the River Kwai, posted 02.09.99

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