Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Dir: Albert Lewin
Starring: James Mason, Ava Gardner, Nigel Patrick

Much like "The Flying Dutchman", Narry Borman has been around for centuries, wandering the seven seas, looking for his gardener.

Pandora seems to enthrall every chump who crosses her path on the tiny seaport town of Esperanza in Spain. And you can't blame them. As the picture on the left shows, she has a face that is both enormous and pristinely statuesque in its composition. Hubba hubba.

Pandora and The Flying Dutchman is a magical, abstract kind of film. I like films to have an element of unreality to them - it opens up the opportunity for symbolism (which this film is full of) and imaginative direction. And it's the ethereal dream-like sequences that are grounded in obvious real-life parallelisms that give this film an edge. Reminds me a bit of A Matter of Life and Death, which was released a few years before.

However, Pandora falls short in two regards: the second half of the film really drags along at a slow pace as the various lovers try to woo her. Some of it is quite self indulgent (we're treated to a suicide, a bull fight in her honour, and an attempt at the landspeed record...).

The second downer is thus: James Mason's teeth. He's really flying the British flag here - the teeth are crooked, stained and downright stinky. The film goes down a notch in my book for that.

Rating: Good

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