Archive for the ‘Michael Apted’ Category

Gorky Park

24 Jul

Gorky Park – Directed by Michael Apted. Police Procedural. A Russian cop discovers an international smuggling plot and his true love in it. 2 hours 8 minutes Color 1983.

* * * * *

William Hurt certainly is a curious bloke. He gives off the same brain-dead emanation as John Malkovich. This quality serves him perfectly in the plot of this superbly suspenseful and remarkably well-directed piece. Filmed in Moscow itself, Helsinki, and Stockholm, we are never on the pinpoint of a sound-stage but always believe we are in the full impersonal latitudes where the film shows us to be. This is not film noir in color. Film noir is mostly every-spare-has-been-expensed, made on the cheap, that black lighting arranged to shade out the paltry sets. Here instead we have the big and unsettling panoramas of foreign unvisited countries and the ominous fall of snow. All exquisitely filmed by Ralf T. Bode. The set decoration by Michael Seirton and the costumes by Richard Bruno are splendid. And all this fortifies the distractions needed to veer us off course as the characters veer off course in proving what we know from his first appearance before us that Lee Marvin is the evil doer. How could it be otherwise? His self-possession is unequalled in all Christendom. I liked the way the story spreads out. It’s not based on concentration of scent, as in Sherlock Holmes, but on the appearance of random elements in a landscape ultimately making sense as belonging there. Michael Dennehy and Richard Griffiths lend their substance to the doings, and one roots for them. Ian Bannen brings his kindly presence to the task, and Ian Mcdiarmid nibbles the scenery nicely as the strange professor. I felt well-treated by the movie. As I opened its continually unexpected wrappings, I was always held by the next unfoldment, and the next, and the one after that.




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