Monday, November 02, 2009

The Verdict (1982)

At the crime/suspense panel at the Austin Film Festival, I left inspired not only to write, but to dive back in to classic films that I missed along the way. Sadly, there are too many.

One that I picked up this weekend was The Verdict. Watching a movie like this, written by the great David Mamet and directed by the timeless Sidney Lumet, I'm reminded what delicate care Mamet takes with his words and his characters and what grace Lumet uses with his camera.

They're both so carefully drawn and etched out that I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm curious, how quickly does someone write a script like this? How does someone (Mamet) create such intricacies with each word and phrase and movement in his story. I'm in total awe. And what Lumet does with his camera ... so many wide, long shots, letting the scene and the actors fill the space and create the tension. It's classy, elegant and bold. You don't see it so much these days.

Oh and Paul Newman. If only you could stare into those blue, blue eyes all day long. There are a million stories written all over his face. And he can tell each one with a nod, a glance or even sitting perfectly still.


Anonymous said...

Oh, such a good one! I only just saw this film for the first time last year and was fairly blown away by it. So well-crafted at every level - intimidating as all hell.

Lorie said...

You've read Lumet's book, "Making Movies," haven't you? It's really terrific.

Kat Candler said...

i think "intimidating" is the key word.