Grand Prix: Driver By Driver (Import DVD)
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Light on story, this 1966 spectacle directed by John Frankenheimer was shot in 70 millimeter, with a cinematically enthralling emphasis on unique, visceral new ways of capturing the sensations of a car race. James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, and Toshiro Mifune are part of the stellar, international cast whose characters plod through assorted relationship and business conflicts. But the film's real hook is the thrilling and inventive means by which Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) brings an urgency to the drama happening on the racetrack. A true master of the plastic techniques of obtaining and cutting kinetic footage, Frankenheimer offers more than a joyride to viewers: he makes action part of the compelling language of stories. Cameras are strapped to vehicles as they round the track, shots are taken from a helicopter, the screen is split between angles for maximum impact--even if Grand Prix doesn't rank among the director's best character-driven stories, it is certainly driven on its own terms. --Tom Keogh
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