Mr. Arkadin (Welles, 1955)

Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles, 1955)

Welles’ leap into the parody genre – a fast-paced, over-the-top costume noir. This is a great piece of parody work, though, because it teeters on the edge of seriousness, giving the impression at almost every turn that it might be sincere. But time after time, the rug is pulled from us, and we’re brought back to the reality of what this is. Besides the fact that this never specifically calls itself out as a parody, it also features some great (albeit, exaggerated at times) cinematography that I don’t normally expect from a spoof. The camera movements, extreme angles, haunting set pieces (and costumes), and the rapid pace in which they are all used cause your head to spin, and you’re left feeling almost exactly what the film’s protagonist must be feeling. A fun and fast experience, no doubt, but more an exercise in giving the viewer a ride than anything.  8/10

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