This week in Film — Existential cinema and THE STRANGER

Had it up to here with feel good stories and emotional pick-me-ups? Feeling down in the dumps and wanting a little company? Ready to scream into the infinite until even your echo vanishes? Well, do I have some movies for you! From a long lost adaptation of Albert Camus’ seminal novel, L’Étranger, to four more internationally-flavored tales of everyday tragedy.

First up, Luchino Visconti’s impossible-to-find Lo Straniero, which you can watch right now for free on rarefilmm.com.

Camus died in 1957 in a car wreck. He was 46. At his widow’s insistence, L’Étranger was to be adapted as faithfully as possible. Visconti did, and when the movie hit American shores in 1968, it was reviewed favorably but evaporated quickly. Never transfered to VHS, DVD or Blu-ray, Lo Straniero vanished into copyright limbo, further complicated by the popularity of Camus’ novel. And though a few prints of the film still circulate and play art house theaters and festivals, the chances of a 4K restoration of this long lost work seems nil.

Enter rarefilmm.com — the cave of forgotten films — a collection of hard-to-find movies, many of which are either plagued by complicated copyright issues or were owned by entities long since expired. The digital quality of Lo Straniero uploaded on rarefilmm.com is less than stellar, but any option is better than no option, especially when it comes to a movie this good.

Boulder Weekly Vol. 27, No. 38, “The outsider.”

Need more? How about a tense police procedural digging into the divide between the haves and the have nothings? (High and Low). Or a spin through madness with Orson Welles as your guide? (The Trial). And how will the world end? Be it bomb (Winter Light) or be it pollution (First Reformed), one things for sure: You do it to yourself.

Foreign and art house films are loaded to the gills with existential ennui. From fears of individual erasure to planetary annihilation, these movies look for meanings behind meaninglessness, the fluidity of right and wrong, and the celebration of the individual. Here are four to get you going, but there’s plenty more out there if you’re hungry.

Home viewing: Existential cinema.