24 September 2007 | tedpaul_99
How Is This Film So Ignored?!
Recently watched Hal Ashby's directorial debut, "The Landlord" at Manhattan's Film Forum. A complete revelation. How has it happened that this film is not as known as others from the same period? It is easily among the top films of the Hollywood renaissance of the '70s. Its take on racism is as fresh and complex as it was in 1970. In fact, one other reviewer is dead wrong about the film having no intrinsic style. It is a film loaded with style. (And, if I may add, if this reviewer thinks that all films aren't made in the editing room than you're sadly mistaken.) The film is as complicated, multi-layered, messy and ultimately indefinable as the problem of racism itself. There is no way to honestly treat this subject by making a neat little package film. We've been peeling this onion for hundreds of years and we'll be peeling it for hundreds more. Racism is as deeply ingrained in our society as our love of money and power. This film is only a "chore to sit through" if you have an aversion to fantastic writing, unbelievably great characters, amazing cinematography, brilliant editing and, yes, a complexity born of its subject. A film for the ages. Now if only the ages will catch up.