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“Peer Gynt” Will Never Sound the Same

August 24th, 2004 - 10:48 pm

Claudia Rosett has some suggestions on how to entertain yourself with something other than John Kerry’s Vietnam record. One item stands out:

Get your hands on an old black-and-white movie, Fritz Lang’s “M,” filmed in Berlin in 1931, which has more to say about terror, and the stopping of it, than just about anything produced in the 73 years since. It is the story of a child-killer, a murderer of innocents, stalking a terrorized city. The police finally rid the city of this monster by making life so unbearable for the ordinary criminals that the lords of the criminal underworld run him down themselves. It’s a terrific blueprint for dealing with terrorists and the regimes with which they consort, such as Syria and Iran.

I bought a copy three or four years ago, when the Critereon Collection DVD came out. Haven’t watched it since it first arrived in the months or year before September 11. It’s sitting in the Classics section of the DVD racks (yes, our movies are arranged alphabetically by genre), and I’ve thumbed past it more times than I can count, usually on my way to grabbing something with Kate or Bogart.

Time to make up for some lost time and watch “M” again.

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