220 Great Directors: Frank Borzage

“I never liked downbeat stories when they are downbeat from the start of the picture. Never mind the tragic ending, as long as the stories have a lift.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Cumulative work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: 7th Heaven

What Did I Watch: Moonrise.

Where Does He Fit: Frank Borzage was basically on the way out by the time 1948 rolled around for reasons related to illness and the blacklist, but Moonrise feels somewhat like a final film, furious at the world and rooted in darkness, the sort that could get him banned like Michael Powell. The opening alone with the silhouetted hanging is spooky, but then the baby starts crying, which then turns into childhood taunts and that really cranks it up. Everything is fluid to the point of parody, with every scene transitioning to the next but the whole is nothing more than nature vs. nurture taken to its bleakest possible extreme. This might just be the man’s masterpiece? Get it a Blu-Ray NOW.

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Most Valuable Asset: Delirious love.
Most Excited For: Seen all the major stuff now. Lazybones?
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Todd Haynes, my hero.

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