Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hands Over the City

The hands of criminals, from Lang's While the City Sleeps and Limosin's Young Yakuza. Both are also the first shots of "crime" we see in the films. In the Lang film, it comes during the opening scene, the hand of the killer unlocking the door so he can return later to commit a murder; in the Limosin, it's the first image we see apart from the title card and credits. And here's the difference between the two directors and the two films, and also the difference between evil and criminality: Lang's evil is an inscrutable menace, while Limosin's crime is ordinary, banal, just a yakuza gambling on his off time. The irony is that the evil, more dangerous, comes at a moment of passion, while ordinary criminality is a permanent condition. Lang's killer lives amongst us, while Limosin's yakuzas aren't even allowed into convenience stores.

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