Culture » Film

La Notte, Shout at the Devil, Just Like a Woman


La Notte

La Notte (NR) (Blu-ray)

Criterion Collection

As Part 2 of a trilogy by Michelangelo Antonioni, which is kicked off by a little film that's one of history's best (L'Avventura), the question of whether or not to own the Criterion Blu-ray release of La Notte is a no-brainer. Those who aren't familiar with Antonioni or his dapper yet alienated intellectuals of the early '60s are more likely familiar with their stylistic Stateside cousins seen in Mad Men. And that show's "Antonionian ennui," as critic Vadim Rizov put it, is all over La Notte, which follows a vaguely coherent, passingly linear night in the life of a despondent couple played by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau. Thanks to Giorgio Gaslini's jazzy score and Gianni Di Venanzo's rich photography (on glorious display on this hi-res transfer), the extramarital flirtations and off-screen mortality add a sinister layer to the couple's loneliness. — Justin Strout

Shout at the Devil

Shout at the Devil (PG) (Blu-ray)

Timeless Media Group / Shout! Factory

One of my favorite behind-the-scenes movie anecdotes of all time comes from the making of this film. Lee Marvin was well-known as one of the toughest sons of bitches in Hollywood, while co-star Roger Moore, because of his devilishly suave take on James Bond, was considered rather effete and feminine by American cinemagoers. In a blow-up on set, however, Moore straight-up decked Marvin, knocking him out cold; Marvin later said that Moore is no one to be trifled with. The story really does pair well with this 1976 flick, wherein Marvin and Moore play poachers in a battle of wits and revenge in pre-World War I German East Africa. Both actors do a great job of being their manliest best as they try to outrun the high-ranking officials on their tails. Filled with tons of old-school action and adventure, Shout at the Devil is not a movie to be trifled with. — Louis Fowler

Just Like a Woman

Just Like a Woman (R)

Cohen Media Group

The Bob Dylan song from which this movie gets its title is not very kind to its protagonist, reveling in how she "breaks just like a little girl." Which makes this film all the more puzzling, as it's about female empowerment through belly dancing. Sienna Miller, fired from her job and sick of her cheating hubby, quits the rat race and heads to New Mexico for a belly dancing competition. While all this is going on, Golshifteh Farahani is an alluring North African woman in an arranged marriage who wants absolutely no part in it; when she accidentally kills her mother-in-law, she high-tails it out of town. She hooks up with Miller and together they drive across the country, belly dancing for dollars, learning about themselves, and pretty much ripping off Thelma & Louise in the process. Not that that's a bad thing. The constant belly dancing really makes up for it. — Louis Fowler

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