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Friday, September 17, 2010

Canyon Passage: Saturday Matinee at the Music Box

If Jacques Tourneur is more your style than Tommy Wiseau, then the screening of Canyon Passage (1946) at the Music Box this Saturday, September 18, at 11:30 A.M., is well worth seeking out.

The celebrated director of the Freudian horror favorite Cat People (1942) and the more subtly Freudian noir classic Out of the Past (1947) saddles up and turns out this big-budget Technicolor western for Universal.

Hoagy Carmichael plays the shiftless backwoods minstrel Hi Linnet. Not only is he the heart and soul of the film, but he also sings some really charming folk songs.

I have a pretty good sense of how lush the deep greens, yellows, and reds of Tourneur's film are going to look and feel against the golden panels and trim of the Music Box. But what will be the somaesthetics of viewing this film, set in the 1850s and released in 1946, in a movie house built in 1929, at 11:30 A.M. on a late-summer Saturday morning? Will we all disintegrate into this elaborate temporal vortex? How is that going to feel? Why doesn't anyone write film reviews that address this type of vexing question?

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