Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last Minute Plans: The Wages of Fear

"When I was a kid, I used to see men go off on this kind of jobs and not come back. When they did, they were wrecks. Their hair had turned white and their hands were shaking like palsy! You don't know what fear is. But you'll see. It’s catching. It’s catching like smallpox. And once you get it, it’s for life."
I came home Sunday from seeing David Mamet's Race at The Goodman Theatre, and was hoping to write a post about that as well as Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear, which has been playing this week at the Music Box Theatre. But as I opened a beer and sat down to write, I suddenly felt ill: achy, chilly, nauseous. So I climbed into bed and spent the past twenty-four hours shifting in and out of consciousness, alternately shivering and sweating, and coping with some rough stomach issues that nobody needs to read about. Just now I managed to eat a bowl of plain basmati rice and drink some ginger ale, so we'll see how that goes. At some point during the day I watched half of the first episode of the 2010 BBC series Sherlock on Netflix and found it very entertaining.

Anyway, you still have a few more days to catch Clouzot's The Wages of Fear at Music Box -- though on Wednesday and Thursday there's only one screening per day, thanks to screenings of Dragonslayer and 2 Days in New York -- and I highly recommend that you go if you can. It's a film that absolutely belongs on the big screen, and this is a gorgeous new 35mm print created from a complete HD digital restoration. It looks stunning.

The plot is simple: in a squalid South American town, four desperate men sign up for a dangerous mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. But Clouzot takes his time with the story, portraying everyday life in the town and introducing us to a variety of characters before settling into the nail-biting drive over bumpy dirt roads.

That's about all I can say for now, as I'm feeling the need to crawl back into bed. But if you're not fighting the flu, get to the Music Box. And if you are, try Sherlock.

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