By Tim Purtell
Updated July 11, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Asphalt

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  • Movie
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Episode Recaps

For most modern audiences, silent films are a tough sell, with two counts against them: They’re in black and white and silent. That said, Fritz Lang’s influential epic thriller Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, with a psychotic villain bent on world domination who’s as up-to-date as any Bond or Mission Impossible baddy, is a trippy creation inflamed by the very real despair and excesses that gripped post WWI Germany. Lang embroiders the plot’s sharp turns with startling visuals (a dancer high-kicking with giant, phallic-nosed prop heads; an overhead shot of a circle of hands at a séance), striking sets, and Klein-Rogge’s hyper, arched-eyebrow performance as the mad doctor. Joe May’s Asphalt is an about face, a swoony melodrama about a traffic cop who falls for a petty thief. May does wonderful things with the camera, alternately swooping up and down and across a vast studio city scape or keeping it still to better probe his actors’ expressive faces. Of the three releases, Warning Shadows is the oddest, a strangely-told tale of jealousy that should appeal to only the most ardent fans of German Expressionism. EXTRAS An hour-long doc, a Fritz Lang bio, and a stills gallery on one of the Mabuse discs. Mabuse: A-, Asphalt: A-, Shadows: B-

Asphalt

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • UNRATED
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