Tokyo TIFF 2017: Born to be bad (Nicholas Ray- 1950)

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for Cinetalk.net

*** The 30th Tokyo Film Festival offers a string of restored films either on archival 35mm prints or restored in the digital format***

In Born to be bad, the manipulative Christabel (Joan Fontaine) is trying to steal the show when introduced into a world of wealthy artists and socialites. The only one seeing through her fooling plays is headstrong writer Nick Robert Ryan. Christabel, heading for trouble, drags everyone around into it.

Nicholas Ray 5th feature, 1950’s, Born to be bad, marked the beginning of a departure in his filmography. After a string of strong films with firm Noir overtones (They walk by night, Knock on any door, In a lonely place, A woman’s secret), it partly announces future actors friendly (more renown) works like Bigger than life or the classic rebel Without a cause. Compared to those, Born to be bad looks, of course,  stripped to the bare minimum, looking at times like a play, but Ray provides efficient melodrama groundings to steer sturdy performances from the cast.  Noir regulars, composer Friedrich Hollaender and Cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca (Cat people, Out of the Past), add dramatic ingredients linking this to Ray’s previous works.

 

Screenings:

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Cinema 1
10/31 15:00- (90min)

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Cinema 1
11/04 12:30- (90min

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