Could not give less of a shit about the modern world.
Vitti's very presence here, which I would called electric, or transfixing, if those words didn't fall rather short of the truth, qualifies as sublime (in the old sense). She's a moving, reflexive subject, one of the most remarkable subjects ever filmed, and the internal, abstract gaze which she herself spins back at the camera is charged beyond my ability to express. The modern world around her hums with an energy, an undulating electric pulse, while humans build more and more…
Curtis' masterpiece and an obvious landmark of the entire genre. But then it's something even more than that. It's imperfect, sure, and sometimes repetitive and dull. Still, all its titanic, unbelievably dense associative analysis essentially proves his thesis: that the modern human being is dead to Imagination and must be resuscitated. So Curtis has done nothing less than attempt to clean the slate, to prepare a space for something New. It's catharsis. It's inspiration. It's gigantic. The first great political artwork of the 21st century.
On re-watch I really noticed how jumpy the pace of the film feels in its final third, which is essentially a rush to the finish. And even the perfect finish (face it, "She wouldn't harm a fly..." is still stunning) is fudged by that louche psychiatrist, trotted out as if to explain to the children everything which was more powerful as subtext.
But if all this adds up to a flawed movie (and we're talking flawed by Hitchcock standards: the…