Arthur Penn's "Night Moves" October 1, 2011 9:27 PMSubscribe
[Arthur Penn's Night Moves] does belong to a traditional, indeed obsolescent genre, but the distance it keeps from it (not an ironic or critical distance, just a distance) is such that genre-related expectations become irrelevant. Most of the time, the story line seems to meander aimlessly, taking in extraneous material, doubling back, going round in circles (the aimless is deceptive, a smoke screen obfuscating the complex, rigorous organization of an exceptionally well-structured script). The "mystery" aspect of the plot is dealt with in the most peculiar, topsy-turvy manner, withholding not the solution of the problem but the problem itself until the very end, when, in a dazzling visual tour de force, both are conjured up almost simultaneously. - Jean Pierre Coursodon ... perhaps the film's major virtue, the free, evocative play of poetic imagination. It runs throughout the film, elusive but unmistakable, transmuting matter into moods, weaving dreams out of the ordinary. An intensely introverted picture, Night Movies is at the same time vibrantly attuned to the realm of the physical, to shapes, textures, colors, motions, to the elements, all of which become dreamlike reflections of the inner world. No one sensed it or put it better than Penelope Gilliatt: "I don't remember any other film that so freely moves, like a sleeper's imagination, among the realms of air, land, and water."