XIIDX day 12: Lifeboat

Because Hitchcock’s name popped up yesterday, I thought I would briefly mount my soap-box to champion his most unjustly neglected film. Lifeboat, from 1944, is better known for its technical challenges and propagandistic agenda than its artistic greatness. Set entirely on a lifeboat adrift in the sea after a U-Boat attack, it still holds the record for the smallest ever set for a feature film.

To work within these restraints and produce something that’s not only watchable but incredibly special, well, that’s where genius comes in handy. Subtle, suspenseful, funny, ironic, haunting – Lifeboat is capital G capital A Great Art, a film that can stand beside Vertigo without blushing. Every shot is framed with the care and psychological insight normally associated with the best mid-century photographers. Critics are usually luke-warm on it; for what it’s worth I think it’s one of the 10 best films of all time.

Watching it on a little embedded YouTube window obviously doesn’t do it justice, but hopefully this taster will inspire you to seek it out on the big screen, or at least a bigger small screen (click through for the rest of the film):

Read more here.

About XIIDX, the Strange Flowers XII Days of Xmas Film Festival

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