Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam / The Devil Strikes at Night (1957, West Germany)
There are just enough Good Germans left in the Nazi Empire to solve the mysterious case of the retarded serial killer, (but unfortunately too few to solve the case of the fanatic who sends millions to their deaths). Watched it all. The Germany in this movie is a layered society where Hitler skeptics are so numerous that they easily find and befriend each other using hints and nods. I wonder if it really was like that, or whether the post-war Germans merely needed it to be, and wrote themselves back into the past. Btw: It’s amazing how much better the usual dumb crime fiction tropes (conspiracies of silence etc) work when the story is set in Nazi Germany.
The James Dean Story (1957, USA, Altman)
What’s interesting here isn’t the documentary, which is full of the usual psychological platitudes, but the fact that nobody, as far as I know, had made a movie like this before: A fawning act of contemporary myth-making. Watched: 41 minutes.
Don Quixote (1957, USSR)
A story that works at all times, and in all contexts. In Norway, 2012, Don Quixote is the liberal with a heart of gold and a brain of mush. In the Soviet Union, 1957, perhaps he’s the communist intellectual who still believes in the party line? The story laughs at him, but it’s a joyless laugh, because it also wishes that we lived in his world, instead of our own. Watched it all.