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5401


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:08pm
Subject: Registry films
 
"White Heat" has finally made it! Raoul Walsh forever!
"The Chechahcos" (1924)is an early fiction film shot on location in Alaska (silent feature). It is historic - lots of authentic snowy landscapes and scenery - but as a work of dramatic art it seemed pretty ho-hum to me.
"Princess Nicotine; or The Smoke Fairy" (1909)is a delightful early trick photography short film, about a fairy in pipe smoke. The print I saw on TV was synchronised to "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight". Its director J. Stuart Blackton was an early employer of animator Winsor McCay.
Show People (King Vidor) and The Wedding March (von Stroheim) are both classic silents. Show People is so endearing. Where is William Haines now when we need him?
"Patton" is the pits. Why DO people like this film?
My father who was an infantry man in WWII was outraged by this film. The film put down Omar Bradley, who was a great leader, and glorified Patton, who moved beyond his supply lines, jeopardizing the lives of all his men. Enlisted men all HATED Patton.
Gold Diggers of 1933 has delightful Busby Berkley numbers. And who can forget Ginger singing "We're in the Money" in Pig Latin?
"Atlantic City" has a great opening - with "Casta Diva" - but it never quite seems perfect or fully realized. My favorite play by John Guare is his theater of the absurd extravaganza, "Marco Polo Sings a Solo" (1972).
Mike Grost
5402


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:32pm
Subject: re: Quine
 
Lots of frames-within-the-frame, but no discernable themes.
Saw HOW TO MURDER recently, and its visuals outshine its
script. Quine is always gorgeous to look at.
5403


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:33pm
Subject: Re: Registry films
 
Mike, Sam Fuller would've agreed with you about Patton. I never
saw the movie, but I recall Nixon loved it.
5404


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:39pm
Subject: Re: Registry films
 
--- MG4273@a... wrote:
Where is William Haines now when we
> need him?

Semi-retired.

> "Patton" is the pits. Why DO people like this film?
> My father who was an infantry man in WWII was
> outraged by this film. The film put down Omar
> Bradley, who was a great leader, and glorified
> Patton, who moved beyond his supply lines,
> jeopardizing the lives of all his men. Enlisted men
> all HATED Patton.

It was a very impressive-looking piece of work. On a
big screen the opening shot is overwhelming.

And Scott deserved his Oscar.


> "Atlantic City" has a great opening - with "Casta
> Diva" - but it never quite seems perfect or fully
> realized.

WHAT?!?!!! It's a masterpiece! Right up there with
"Zazie" as one of Malle's very best. When Sarandon
looks up at Lancaster and says "Teach me stuff," it's
beter than "Casablanca."


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5405


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:22am
Subject: Re: Quine
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, hotlove666@y... wrote:
> Lots of frames-within-the-frame, but no discernable themes.
> Saw HOW TO MURDER recently, and its visuals outshine its
> script. Quine is always gorgeous to look at.


You want "themes"? What about constructing-
deconstructing. "Strangers When We Meet" is about the building of a
house from beginning to end -- when the house is finished the affair
between the architect and his neighbor self-distructs. In How to
Murder Your Wife the protagonist's midtown Manhattan apartment looks
out on a whole block where they're tearing down a building and/or
building up a new one. In "Paris When It Sizzles" they keep building
up and deconstructing the script of the very film we are watching...


There are at least three Quine masterpieces: My Sister Eileen ("I
wish I could dream and philosophize with someone who knows what I
mean"); Strangers When We Meet; How to Murder Your Wife (visuals
great, yes, but the script too (and Eddie Mayehoff is great as the
lawyer -- "It doesn't look good!" -- who finally presses that
button...) I also like a lot Paris When It Sizzles which almost
everybody hated. And Sex and the Single Girl, with a script by Joseph
Heller, has some great moments including a demented climactic chase.

French cinephiles discovered him with Pushover, and Rohmer waxed
dithyrambic in a wonderful review of My Sister Eileen a year or so
later.

One of my five favorite musicals.

JPC
5406


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:34am
Subject: Re: Edwards and Quine
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:
>
> If anyone is interested (probably no one!) I did make it all the
way
> through DARLING LILI and I still love it. But I should not bore
you
> with the details of my enthusiasm, especially since my sense is
that
> many of you have never seen it or not seen it in a long time.

Interesting remarks on Quine's sense of space Joe... As to DARLING
LILI I have seen it several times including not long ago and I like
it a lot. Although I could do without the French songs (sung by the
Choir of the Students of Los Angeles' French Lycee!) which i
understand were deleted in France.
JPC
5407


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:45pm
Subject: Re: Registry films
 
Quick reactions:

I don't like "Patton," but I do think Schaffner got interesting for a brief
period a few years later. Has anyone seen his "Islands in the Stream"? Kehr
was a champion of it, so I gather it must have some auteurist following. I
caught it, almost by accident, at a revival showing a few years ago and was quite
impressed - by the careful framing, intelligent writing, and a really great
lead performance by George C. Scott.

That is terrific about "White Heat." Go Walsh! Now the question becomes:
will our great-great-great-great-grandchildren live to see the induction of "A
Distant Trumpet"?

"Atlantic City": I like this. I don't know that Malle ever did better.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid": Richard Lester's unsung sequel, "Butch
and Sundance: The Early Days," is far superior.

"One Froggy Evening," "Show People," and "Young Mr. Lincoln": great!

Peter


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
5408


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:00am
Subject: Re: Edwards
 
Dan Sallitt writes:

> He ten-bested 10, S.O.B., and VICTOR/VICTORIA. I can't remember
how he
> stood on the films after that - I don't see any on his year-end
lists.

Kehr also dropped off after "Victor/Victoria" - at least if one is to
go on his ten-best lists. It'd be interesting to read these guys'
actual reviews of the post-"Victor" films, though; they were big
enough supporters of Edwards in the '60s and '70s that it'd be hard
to imagine them just writing him off. Certainly Dan - though I
disagree with him about late Edwards - makes very sensible and
interesting points against the '80s films.

Peter
5409


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:03am
Subject: Registry Films and who cares?
 
Does anybody here really care about this "Registry"?

Still I must admit it's rather amusing to see "Nostalghia"
(misspelled) right next to "A Froggy Evening".
5410


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:15am
Subject: Re: Edwards
 
Adrian Martin wrote:

> I was crazy about Edwards all through the 80s, and I like almost
every film
> he made in that rich decade of his career.

As I posted earlier, the only one that doesn't work for me (so far; I
haven't seen some of his very early films) is "Son of the Pink
Panther" - and that's actually from the '90s. As far as I'm
concerned, everything he did in the '80s is pretty much
tops. "Versatility" is not a word you might normally hear associated
with Edwards during this phase of his career, and I don't really want
to invoke it as such, but it does come to mind when I note that the
astonishingly personal "That's Life!" was released the very same year
as his (excellent) Laurel & Hardy tribute "A Fine Mess," which was
followed by the impersonal but impeccably realized "Blind Date,"
which in turn was followed by the elegiac "Sunset" (I'm a big fan of
it, Jake)... you hopefully can see what I mean.

What other director of Edwards' generation had such a run of movies
in the '80s?

>THAT'S LIFE! is fabulous, and belongs to that strange
> category of films we sometimes evoke in this group: films made by
directors
> in their own homes, about their own lives, with their family
members,
> co-written with their psychoanalyst ...

I love this category of films.

> BTW, Edwards' telemovie JUSTIN CASE from the late 80s is really
worth
> seeking out, a lighthearted ghost-tale gem.

Alas, this doesn't look to be available on video either. Sigh.

I'll look up your Edwards essay, Adrian.

Peter
5411


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 9:38pm
Subject: Registry
 
Is "One Froggy Evening" (1956) the cartoon where the frog sings "Hello My
Baby, Hello my sweeheart, hello my ragtime doll? Send me a kiss by wire, baby my
heart's on fire!" I always loved that singing frog. but can't remember where
he comes from. It's an old vaudeville song, inspired by the new invention of
the telephone. One wonders if the internet is inspiring any hit songs?
Malle's "The Thief of Paris" (1967) is a very interesting piece of
storytelling. It makes me want to see more of his work.
This "Nostalgia" is perhaps Hollis Frampton's, not the Tarkovsky "Nostalghia"
with a h - these are all American films in the Registry. "Nostalghia" is my
favorite Tarkovsky, (but have not yet seen "The Sacrifice"). Have not seen any
Frampton other than "Zorn's Lemma", either.

Mike Grost
PS
What's small and yellow and equivalent to the "axiom of choice"?
Answer: Zorn's lemon.
(math riddle popular in the 1960's)
5412


From:
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 9:38pm
Subject: Edwards, Quine
 
Have throroughly enjoyed all the recent posts on Blake Edwards and Richard
Quine. Joe McElhany's piece on Quine and architecture is very revealing! The
most beautiful shots in "Pushover" are architectural views of the steets and
neighborhood, if memory serves. And there are all the strange rooms in the house
in "The Notorious Landlady". And the bizarre area in the mechanic shop in
"Drive a Crooked Road" with the picture window high above eye level... (I'm running
out of Quine films - have only seen a few so far!)
Mike Grost
5413


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:00am
Subject: Re: Registry
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:

> This "Nostalgia" is perhaps Hollis Frampton's, not the
Tarkovsky "Nostalghia"
> with a h - these are all American films in the
Registry. "Nostalghia" is my
> favorite Tarkovsky, (but have not yet seen "The Sacrifice"). Have
not seen any
> Frampton other than "Zorn's Lemma", either.
>
> Mike Grost
>
Gee how embarrassed I feel! I thought it was the Tarkovsky and
had forgotten that the Registry is appropriately ethnocentric. I
think you'll love The Sacrifice if you loved Nostalghia. There's this
long single take of the house burning (that had to be done again --
rebuilding the house etc... -- because of a technical glitch). Will
remind you of the interminable sequence of walking across the pool
with the candle... One of my top fifty.

JPC
5414


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:01am
Subject: Re: Registry films
 
ptonguette@a... wrote:
Quick reactions:

I don't like "Patton," but I do think Schaffner got interesting for a brief
period a few years later. Has anyone seen his "Islands in the Stream"? Kehr
was a champion of it, so I gather it must have some auteurist following. I
caught it, almost by accident, at a revival showing a few years ago and was quite
impressed - by the careful framing, intelligent writing, and a really great
lead performance by George C. Scott.



ISLANDS IN THE STREAM was good but I think Schaffner's best is THE WAR LORD. PATTON was a failure not because it was Nixon's favorite movie (by the way, PSYCHO is Kissinger's favorite movie, no lie) but because he approached it from the outside, didn't seem to be engaged by the material so the visuals though sometimes good seemed to me unrelated to what was happening.

I know WWII vets didn't like it because of the anachronisms like using then modern Patton tanks for Sherman tanks and Panzers (painted a different color.) It wouldn't bother me if it had some aesthetic purpose, but it seems to have been down out of expediency.

By contrast MERRILL'S MARAUDER'S though seriously flawed in some respects was made with conviction, and while Scott is a better actor than Jeff Chandler, Fuller knows what Merrill is about whereas Schaffner treats Patton as a great if eccentric man who will become passe in the post WWII world. And yes, PATTON is recruitment poster though at the time it was released some critics construed to be an anti-war film!

Having said all that, PATTON was better than MC ARTHUR.




Richard






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5415


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:05am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> Is "One Froggy Evening" (1956) the cartoon where the frog sings "Hello My
> Baby, Hello my sweeheart, hello my ragtime doll? Send me a kiss by wire, baby my
> heart's on fire!" I always loved that singing frog. but can't remember where
> he comes from. It's an old vaudeville song, inspired by the new invention of
> the telephone.

Indeed that's the film. It was actually first released on December 31, 1955. It's the only cartoon with that frog made in the classic
Looney Tune era, though a sequel was made in the 1990's, "Another Froggy Evening". Everyone seems to love that cartoon except
for some animation diehards who feel it steals the thunder away from other, better Chuck Jones cartoons, or that Jones steals the
thunder from other, better animation directors. I don't agree, but I do wish they'd select a Friz Freleng cartoon, especially now that
Jones has had three inducted ("One Froggy Evening", "Duck Amuck" and "What's Opera Doc"). I'd nominate Freleng's "You Oughta
Be in Pictures" (Porky & Daffy interacting in a live-action world), "High Diving Hare" (perfect Bugs/Yosemite Sam 'toon), or "Canned
Feud" (Probably the best Sylvester cartoon). In fact, maye I just will nominate those 'toons- I know the registry takes suggestions.
5416


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:18am
Subject: Re: Registry Films and who cares?
 
JPC:

> Does anybody here really care about this "Registry"?
>


While it might be tempting to shrug off the Registry as some kind of
Hollywood fluff job, I think this would be a mistake. For starters,
the films selected are actually preserved (using both private and
public funds) so there are tangible benefits to a film being
selected -- it's not just some govt-sanctioned 10 Best List. And
perhaps more importantly, they do a relatively good job of selecting
some pretty noteworthy films, be they shorts, experimental, or
features. I mean, Hollis Frampton? This isn't exactly "100 Years,
100 Laughs" we're talking about, with all due apologies to the AFI.

Not that more couldn't be done, of course, but I think people should
care about this. If anything, it gives some exposure and publicity
to some titles ordinary American moviegoers might not hear about
elsewhere.

-Bilge
5417


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:02am
Subject: Re: Registry Films and who cares?
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:
> JPC:
>
> > Does anybody here really care about this "Registry"?
> >
>
>

> If anything, it gives some exposure and publicity
> to some titles ordinary American moviegoers might not hear about
> elsewhere.
>
> -Bilge

Sure, but where are the "ordinary American moviegoers" going to
see Frampton's Nostalgia or some 1907 documentary? As for Patton they
have no problem renting it.

JPC
5418


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:15am
Subject: One Froggy Evening
 
This is a nice cartoon and I love it (I titled my review
of "Magnolia" for POSITIF "One Froggy Evening"!) but let's face it,
the reason it was selected is that it has a cute story line with a
moral and is "different" from other cartoons. It is a one-gag film,
quite charming, but there are dozens of greater WB or MGM cartoons.
Why not select one of Tex Avery's masterpieces (for either studios)?

JPC
5419


From: Tag Gallagher
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:24am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Not just a good story.
Got a real good character. Without which the story wouldn't be anything.

jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

>
> the reason it was selected is that it has a cute story line with a
> moral and is "different" from other cartoons. It is a one-gag film,
> quite charming, but there are dozens of greater ...
5420


From: Michael Lieberman
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:07am
Subject: Re: Fw: Miramax Hates You and Tati!
 
The Jour de Fete VHS I have is from the early '90s, black and white with a couple of hand painted color sequences. I don't believe this is the same version as the new version.

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 08:46:14 -0800 (PST)
To: a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [a_film_by] Fw: Miramax Hates You and Tati!

> A crappy VHS of "Jour de Fete" in color? I have the
> crappy "Les Amants du Pont Neuf." It isn't even
> letterboxed.
>
>
> --- Michael Lieberman wrote:
> > I bought a crappy VHS copy of Jour de Fete, and
> > instantly fell in love. Miramax also did this with
> > Les Amants du Pont Neuf and Through the Olive Trees,
> > though Trees wasn't
> > given much of a film release and ignored for video.
> >
> > Why buy up great foreign features and leave them
> > locked up indefinitely? Miramax has the clout to,
> > unfortunately, and their film releases pander to the
> > Sundance and Oscar
> > audiences. I hate them, hate them, hate them!
> >
> > They also bought Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Pulse, never
> > released it, and allowed Wes Craven to remake it
> > without so much as a single screening in this
> > country. That's what Miramax
> > is really about, though I doubt they'd remake
> > Kiarostami or Tati.
> >
> > Mike
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Tosh
> > Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 08:12:41 -0800
> > To: a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
> > Subject: Re: [a_film_by] Fw: Miramax Hates You and
> > Tati!
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >With respect to 'Jour de Fete,' Criterion on their
> > website announced

> > >that they are releasing this title (along with the
> > re-release of

> > >Playtime, M. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle.)

> >

> >

> > Will Criterion be releasing the color version of
> > Jour de Fete?  And

> > what is the purpose of Miramax locking up the color
> > version?

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> > --

> > Tosh Berman

> > TamTam Books

> > > >
> href="http://www.tamtambooks.com">http://www.tamtambooks.com">http://www.tamtambooks.com

> >

> >
> >

> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > > tr>
> >
> > color=#003399>Yahoo! Groups
> > Sponsor
> >
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> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
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5421


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:29am
Subject: Re: Re: Registry Films and who cares?
 
JP writes:
> Sure, but where are the "ordinary American moviegoers" going to
> see Frampton's Nostalgia or some 1907 documentary? As for Patton they
> have no problem renting it.

Yes but it's a necessary compromise as the selection committee is
divided between industry heavyweights like Arthur Hiller and Jack
Valenti and connoisseurs of specialized cinema (most of the names you
don't recognize). The Registry also values the input of the outside
public. Have a look for yourself: http://lcweb.loc.gov/film/vote.html

Gabe
5422


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:32am
Subject: Re: Re: Registry Films and who cares?
 
On Wednesday, December 17, 2003, at 12:29 AM, Gabe Klinger wrote:

> JP writes:
> > Sure, but where are the "ordinary American moviegoers" going to
> > see Frampton's Nostalgia or some 1907 documentary? As for Patton they
> > have no problem renting it.

Oh and they can see several of the films that have been selected (and
many other films being preserved around the country) in the NFPF's
Treasures DVD set, and in the upcoming Treasures DVD set scheduled for
fall of next year.

Gabe
5423


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Quine
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
> >
>
> You want "themes"? What about constructing-
> deconstructing. "Strangers When We Meet" is about the building of a
> house from beginning to end -- when the house is finished the
>affair between the architect and his neighbor self-distructs. In How
>to Murder Your Wife the protagonist's midtown Manhattan apartment
>looks out on a whole block where they're tearing down a building
>and/or building up a new one. In "Paris When It Sizzles" they keep
>building up and deconstructing the script of the very film we are
>watching...

Very interesting! I watched OPERATION MAD BALL again last night and
this constructing/deconstructing theme is there as well, with the
French restaurant that is partially destroyed by the war but
reconstructed by the American soldiers as the space for the mad ball.
Also, isn't there an averted bomb threat or something to the hotel as
the big suspense set piece of HOTEL? And throughout MY SISTER
EILEEN, Ruth and Eileen's basement apartment is repeatedly rocked
with the blasts for the new subway construction. I realize that all
of this construction/deconstruction was present in the source
material but one could argue that Quine's approach to space gives
this thematic a particular clarity.

In terms of Mike's reference to the basement picture window in DRIVE
A CROOKED ROAD through which the mechanics ogle the legs of the women
walking by -- doesn't Edwards repeat that idea in THE MAN WHO LOVED
WOMEN?
>

> French cinephiles discovered him with Pushover, and Rohmer waxed
> dithyrambic in a wonderful review of My Sister Eileen a year or so
> later.

It's hard for me to be objective about MY SISTER EILEEN since I first
saw it as a child and it instilled a romance and powerful desire for
New York City which I still feel when I see the film, especially
those location shots -- and I've been living in New York for 25
years. When he's working at top form, Quine really knows how to
create a world. EILEEN is one of the great "minor" musicals, like I
LOVE MELVIN and the kind which, at times, one may logically prefer
to "major" musicals.

>
> One of my five favorite musicals.

So what are the other four?
>
>
5424


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:14pm
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
The character IS the story, Tag. The frog has integrity. That's
the story.
JPC



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> Not just a good story.
> Got a real good character. Without which the story wouldn't be
anything.
>
> jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
> >
> > the reason it was selected is that it has a cute story line with a
> > moral and is "different" from other cartoons. It is a one-gag
film,
> > quite charming, but there are dozens of greater ...
5425


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:16pm
Subject: Re: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
--- boingdiddleypop@y... wrote:

> Jones has had three inducted ("One Froggy Evening",
> "Duck Amuck" and "What's Opera Doc").

The frog -- now know as "Michigan J. Frog" has become
an icon for WB television. It's a lovely cartoon, bu
"Duck Amuck" is one of the supreme masterpieces of the
cinema. Everything you need to know about the nature
of movies is containined in this cartoon.



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5426


From: Jonathan Takagi
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:48pm
Subject: RE: One Froggy Evening
 
> This is a nice cartoon and I love it (I titled my review
> of "Magnolia" for POSITIF "One Froggy Evening"!) but let's face it,
> the reason it was selected is that it has a cute story line with a
> moral and is "different" from other cartoons. It is a one-gag film,
> quite charming, but there are dozens of greater WB or MGM cartoons.
> Why not select one of Tex Avery's masterpieces (for either studios)?

For what it's worth, Manny Farber and Jean-Pierre Gorin are
going to be commenting on "One Froggy Evening" and "Goodbye
South, Goodbye" this Sunday afternoon here in San Diego if
anyone's interested in swinging by. At the Museum of Contemporary
Art, as part of Farber's latest exhibition.
 
5427


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:50pm
Subject: Re: Quine
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
> > >
> >
> > You want "themes"? What about constructing-
> > deconstructing. "Strangers When We Meet" is about the building of
a
> > house from beginning to end -- when the house is finished the
> >affair between the architect and his neighbor self-distructs. In
How
> >to Murder Your Wife the protagonist's midtown Manhattan apartment
> >looks out on a whole block where they're tearing down a building
> >and/or building up a new one. In "Paris When It Sizzles" they keep
> >building up and deconstructing the script of the very film we are
> >watching...
>
> Very interesting! I watched OPERATION MAD BALL again last night and
> this constructing/deconstructing theme is there as well, with the
> French restaurant that is partially destroyed by the war but
> reconstructed by the American soldiers as the space for the mad
ball.
> Also, isn't there an averted bomb threat or something to the hotel
as
> the big suspense set piece of HOTEL? And throughout MY SISTER
> EILEEN, Ruth and Eileen's basement apartment is repeatedly rocked
> with the blasts for the new subway construction. I realize that
all
> of this construction/deconstruction was present in the source
> material but one could argue that Quine's approach to space gives
> this thematic a particular clarity.
>

Thanks Joe for bringing grist to my construction/deconstruction
mill! I didn't mention the subway construction in EILEEN because I
didn't want the post to be too long, but I had forgotten about MAD
BALL which I haven't seen in ages. JPC

> In terms of Mike's reference to the basement picture window in
DRIVE
> A CROOKED ROAD through which the mechanics ogle the legs of the
women
> walking by -- doesn't Edwards repeat that idea in THE MAN WHO LOVED
> WOMEN?
> > Yes but ogling women's legs is a Truffaut thing in the first
place. Remember the closing of "Vivement dimanche". JPC
>
> > French cinephiles discovered him with Pushover, and Rohmer waxed
> > dithyrambic in a wonderful review of My Sister Eileen a year or
so
> > later.
>
> It's hard for me to be objective about MY SISTER EILEEN since I
first
> saw it as a child and it instilled a romance and powerful desire
for
> New York City which I still feel when I see the film, especially
> those location shots -- and I've been living in New York for 25
> years. When he's working at top form, Quine really knows how to
> create a world. EILEEN is one of the great "minor" musicals, like
I
> LOVE MELVIN and the kind which, at times, one may logically prefer
> to "major" musicals.
>
> > I lived in New York for 25 years too. What fascinates me is how
Hollywood-ish and still New-York-like everything looks in those
movies. New York-like because it'a a NY of the mind,of our dreams --
"onirique" as we French used to say.

BUT: EILEEN a "minor" musical?! How can you say that? It's one of
the greatest ever! I see nothing minor about it. Except possibly the
budget... Everything in it is first-rate and not just Quine's
direction.
> > One of my five favorite musicals.
>
> So what are the other four?
> >
> > Singin'in the Rain (of course, inevitably); The Bandwagon;
Funny Face; 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (also have a weakness for The
Pajama Game -- all those great songs! Saw a revival of it in NY in
the eighties but the magic didn't really work). And yes I wouldn't
mind sneaking in I LOVE MELVIN.

JPC

 


5428


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:34pm
Subject: The Sacrifice (Re: Registry)
 
Certainly the Frampton film.

> think you'll love The Sacrifice if you loved Nostalghia. There's this
> long single take of the house burning (that had to be done again --
> rebuilding the house etc... -- because of a technical glitch). Will
> remind you of the interminable sequence of walking across the pool
> with the candle... One of my top fifty.

It has an interesting resonance with - almost a response to ? - Through A Glass
Darkly - thinking of this because I just watched the (beautiful I might add) Criterion
DVD of the Bergman, along with The Silence last snowbound weekend... (I couldn't
get out to any Come Dressed as the Sick Soul of Europe
parties)

-Sam
5429


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:37pm
Subject: Re: Registry films
 
(by the way, PSYCHO is Kissinger's favorite movie, no lie)

He once said it was The Grand Illusion. What does this switch mean ?

Not sure I want to know....

-Sam
5430


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:02pm
Subject: Re: minor musicals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:> > > >
EILEEN is one of the great "minor" musicals, like
I LOVE MELVIN and the kind which, at times, one may logically prefer
to "major" musicals.

> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>EILEEN a "minor" musical?! How can you say that? It's one of
> the greatest ever! I see nothing minor about it. Except possibly the
> budget... Everything in it is first-rate and not just Quine's
> direction.

I just meant minor in terms of the scale of the film itself and not
in a pejorative sense, hence the paradox of great/minor and the word
minor in quotation marks. For example, most of the musicals on your
Top Five list are major. THE BAND WAGON is not only grandiose in
scale but also explicitly draws upon Oedpial and Faustian situations
as part of its basic narrative conflicts. You can't get more "major"
than that! ON THE TOWN, not on your list but another major musical
even though it deals with three ordinary sailors on leave and their
girls, situates the musical numbers in such a way that these "simple"
characters actually seem to dominate and control the vastness of New
York City when they sing and dance: For 100 minutes or so, they "own"
New York, run from one area to another, and even create havoc in the
Museum of Natural History. In a minor musical like EILEEN or I LOVE
MELVIN, the characters move through the city but never really possess
it in this manner. The numbers take place in small spaces (like the
basement apartment, the courtyard or the bandstand of EILEEN, or
Debbie Reynolds's living room in MELVIN)and the numbers celebrate
simpler responses to situations. In both films, we are repeatedly
reminded that New York is LARGER than our protagonists. Debbie and
Donald O'Connor visit Central Park but they don't own it. The films
never really force these middle and working-class characters into
becoming Significant. It is enough to just slightly lyricize this
world. They don't have to make history, conquer lands or create art
that will change the world. This is one of the things I was trying to
get at when I said that it possible to prefer the minor musical over
the major one. I should have been clearer.

And I don't even think it's necessarily a question of budget which
makes a film major or minor (although it often is). Minnelli, for
example, makes largely major musicals but BELLS ARE RINGING is, I
think, largely a minor one -- but a wonderful "minor" one. And
Rivette's HAUT/BAS/FRAGILE is a recent major example of a minor
musical.
5431


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Quine
 
Weird doings with my yahoo, or I'd have replied sooner. Lemmon's
first visit to the French cafe is shot down through the hole in the
roof. What's cool about Novak's house in Landlady is all the
opportunities it gives for frames-within-the-frame like this. (The
basement shot of legs is indeed a Truffaut steal from Quine - he uses
it all the way through Vivement Dimanche.) It's there from the
beginning. The very minor Rainbvow Round My Shoulder startes with a
documentary-style tour of the lot, ending with a glimpse through an
open door of a projection room of a screen on which Frankie Lane is
about to do a number: double s-w-t-s. Ray was fond of this, we know -
it became the form of We Can't Go Home Again. Greg Ford always said
he thought this visual figure was an unconscious respobnse by certain
directors to the arival of television.

And Soldier in the Rain by the late Ralph Nelson is indeed wonderful -
especially the carnival scene between Weld and Gleason, which is
magical because of the people, not because of the carnival, for once.
5432


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:07pm
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Jonathan Takagi" wrote:
> For what it's worth, Manny Farber and Jean-Pierre Gorin are
> going to be commenting on "One Froggy Evening" and "Goodbye
> South, Goodbye" this Sunday afternoon here in San Diego if
> anyone's interested in swinging by. At the Museum of Contemporary
> Art, as part of Farber's latest exhibition.

Damn, I'd be there if I wasn't 3000 miles away......

In relation to each other ?? (I haven't seen the Froggy Film, but Goodbye South,
Goodbye is my fav film to date of probably the most interesting Narrative/Dramatic
filmmaker now working....IMHO)

Can you videotape this or something ?

-Sam
5433


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:16pm
Subject: Re: minor musicals
 
Joe's post should be skywritten. Wonderful, groundbreaking
observations. My vote for a great minor musical is Lloyd Bacon's Give
My Regards to Broadway, which is very much about the characters'
adjustment to their "frame." Mom and Dad have taken "temporary" jobs
in a small town while awaiting the comeback of vaudeville; the kids
(the boy is played by the great Dan Duryea) have grown up spending
their afternoons practicing in the barn. One day, when the boy has
gotten a scolarship to MIT and the girl is going to marry the
banker's son, Sig Ruman as their old agent turns up to announce that
they have a two-week booking in Denver. Dad thinks this is what
they've been waiting for, but everyone else is dismayed. I wrote a
long comparison of this film to Lumet's Running on Empty for the
Cahiers, which was reprinted in Modern Times here. Thematically and
formally it's close to other Bacon gems like A Slight Case of Murder.
5434


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:17pm
Subject: Re: Minor musicals
 
And let's not forget Quine-Edwards' Cruisin' Down the River. Grandson
and granddaughter of feuding ancients fix up the riverboat the feud
is about and put on a show. Neat. Lots of f-w-t-f.
5435


From: Tag Gallagher
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:17pm
Subject: Re: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Integrity isn't a story. And my applause was not for frog's integrity
but for frog's exhibitionism and big voice. I mean personality, not
moral worth.

jpcoursodon wrote:

>
>
> The character IS the story, Tag. The frog has integrity. That's
> the story.
>
>
>
> --- Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > Not just a good story.
> > Got a real good character. Without which the story wouldn't be
> anything.
5436


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:18pm
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
The Jones that goes in my personal registry is Feed the Kitty.
5437


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:33pm
Subject: Re: Re: minor musicals
 
--- joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:
And
> Rivette's HAUT/BAS/FRAGILE is a recent major example
> of a minor
> musical.

And it was inspired by my favorite minor musical "Give
a Girl a Break." Rivette screened it for the entire
cast before shooting "Haut/Bas/Fragile" just as he
screened "Moonfleet" before shooting "Noroit" and "The
Seventh Victim" before shooting "Duelle."

Donen doesn't like "Give a Girl a Break." He was
contractually obligated to do it, but as it was post
"Singin' in the Rain" he felt it somewhat beneath him.
Bob Fosse is teriffic in it.

__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
http://photos.yahoo.com/
5438


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:43pm
Subject: Re: Minor musicals
 
Does anyone feel a series coming on?
5439


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:36pm
Subject: Re: minor musicals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:
> And
> > Rivette's HAUT/BAS/FRAGILE is a recent major example
> > of a minor
> > musical.
>
> And it was inspired by my favorite minor musical "Give
> a Girl a Break." Rivette screened it for the entire
> cast before shooting "Haut/Bas/Fragile" just as he
> screened "Moonfleet" before shooting "Noroit" and "The
> Seventh Victim" before shooting "Duelle."
>
> Donen doesn't like "Give a Girl a Break." He was
> contractually obligated to do it, but as it was post
> "Singin' in the Rain" he felt it somewhat beneath him.
> Bob Fosse is teriffic in it.
>

Donen also said he didn't like Singin' in the Rain, he found it
corny, old-fashioned or something (too fast-paced I think he said )
but perhaps he was just saying that to be pesky. he tends to be
argumentative and contrarian when you talk with him.

Fosse IS terrific in Give a Girl a Break, My Sister Eileen and
The Affairs of Dobbie Gillis. In the latter he has a short dance solo
(I clocked it at 21 seconds) that contains practically all of his
future choreographic trademarks.
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5440


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:23pm
Subject: The Major and the Minor (was: minor musicals)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:

>
> I just meant minor in terms of the scale of the film itself and not
> in a pejorative sense, hence the paradox of great/minor and the
word
> minor in quotation marks.

Joe I realize you were not being pejorative, since you love the
film (EILEEN). Still I feel I have to challenge your definition
of "minor" and "major" in terms of "scale". (also I'm not sure I
understand what you mean by "scale")




For example, most of the musicals on your
> Top Five list are major. THE BAND WAGON is not only grandiose in
> scale but also explicitly draws upon Oedpial and Faustian
situations
> as part of its basic narrative conflicts. You can't get
more "major"
> than that!


But I don't see how drawing upon Oedipal and Faustian
situations in a musical should make it "major". Aren't you
introducing a pseudo-hierarchy based on "seriousness" of "content"?
Anyway I don't see any "Oedipal" situation in the film. having a
stage production of "Oedipus Rex" doesn't make the film Oedipal.
Isn't it all entertainment anyway? ("A great Shakespearean
scene/Where a ghost and a prince meet/And everyone ends in
mincemeat.")

ON THE TOWN, not on your list but another major musical
> even though it deals with three ordinary sailors on leave and their
> girls, situates the musical numbers in such a way that
these "simple"
> characters actually seem to dominate and control the vastness of
New
> York City when they sing and dance: For 100 minutes or so,
they "own"
> New York, run from one area to another, and even create havoc in
the
> Museum of Natural History.

Are you saying that the fact the three sailors are all over the
town ("in just one day!") makes the film a "major" musical? I don't
see them at all as dominating and controling the vastness of New York
anyway. They're just running around.


In a minor musical like EILEEN or I LOVE
> MELVIN, the characters move through the city but never really
possess
> it in this manner. The numbers take place in small spaces (like the
> basement apartment, the courtyard or the bandstand of EILEEN, or
> Debbie Reynolds's living room in MELVIN)and the numbers celebrate
> simpler responses to situations.

Many scenes in Bandwagon and On the Town take place in small
places (hotel rooms, rehearsal halls, small crowded nightclubs,
apartments, trains... even the top of the Empire State Buildingis a
pretty cramped locale, especially if you have six people doing a
dance number on it).

In both films, we are repeatedly
> reminded that New York is LARGER than our protagonists. Debbie and
> Donald O'Connor visit Central Park but they don't own it. The films
> never really force these middle and working-class characters into
> becoming Significant. It is enough to just slightly lyricize this
> world. They don't have to make history, conquer lands or create
art

As opposed to the three sailors and the girls in On the Town?
Aren't they middle and working class too? Those become "Significant"?
They make history and conquer land? whereas the characters
in "minor" musicals remain insignificant?
I just don't see the relevance of all this to being "major"
or "minor". Perhaps I should read it again in skywriting form...
>


that will change the world. This is one of the things I was trying
to
> get at when I said that it possible to prefer the minor musical
over
> the major one. I should have been clearer.




In that case I would say it is not only possible to prefer the
minor, it is imperative and perhaps healthier...
>
> My revised Top-five musical list (no particular order): I LOVE
MELVIN, GIVE A GIRL A BREAK, MY SISTER EILEEN, SUMMER STOCK, THE
PAJAMA GAME

PS: I didn't mean to sound antagonistic and contrarian! Just a
case of strong feeling... Perhaps it's just semantics.
5441


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:31pm
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
You are quibbling, Tag. Without Frog's integrity, no story. How can
you not applaud Frog's integrity? I can understand the musician in
you appreciating his big voice (shades of John McCormack -- no, I
guess Frog is a baritone)but if Frog is an exhibitionist it must be
in a very paradoxical way, since he refuses to "exhibit" his great
voice to any audience!
JPC






--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> Integrity isn't a story. And my applause was not for frog's
integrity
> but for frog's exhibitionism and big voice. I mean personality,
not
> moral worth.
>
> jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > The character IS the story, Tag. The frog has integrity.
That's
> > the story.
> >
> >
> >
> > --- Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > > Not just a good story.
> > > Got a real good character. Without which the story wouldn't be
> > anything.
5442


From: Tag Gallagher
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:45am
Subject: Re: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
... except for everyone who sees the movie.

jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

>
>
>
>
>
>
> You are quibbling, Tag. Without Frog's integrity, no story. How can
> you not applaud Frog's integrity? I can understand the musician in
> you appreciating his big voice (shades of John McCormack -- no, I
> guess Frog is a baritone)but if Frog is an exhibitionist it must be
> in a very paradoxical way, since he refuses to "exhibit" his great
> voice to any audience!
> JPC
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > Integrity isn't a story. And my applause was not for frog's
> integrity
> > but for frog's exhibitionism and big voice. I mean personality,
> not
> > moral worth.
> >
> > jpcoursodon wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > The character IS the story, Tag. The frog has integrity.
> That's
> > > the story.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --- Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > > > Not just a good story.
> > > > Got a real good character. Without which the story wouldn't be
> > > anything.
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> ADVERTISEMENT
> click here
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>
>
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5443


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:54pm
Subject: Hou, Jarmusch, Kiarostami, Jem Cohen
 
Hou's "Goodbye, South, Goodbye" was mentioned.
This film has the same floor plan that was mentioned in earlier posts by me
about Jim Jarmusch, and Kiarostami's "Life, and Nothing More...". Plain,
apparently mundane dramatic sections alternate with spectacular landscape images, in
which the characters do not appear, and which are only tangentially related
to the apparent "plot". One can also find a somewhat related approach in Jem
Cohen's "Lost Book Found".
In "Goodbye, South, Goodbye" the landscape images are long tracking shots
down roads. As in all of these filmmakers, I found the peopleless landscape shots
to be far more creative than than dramatic sections of the films. This is
pushed to an extreme here in "Goodbye, South, Goodbye". In Jarmusch, the
dialogues are often funny; in Kiarostami, they offer social commentary. But I could
not get "into" the dramatic scenes in "Goodbye, South, Goodbye" at all. Only the
tracking shots seemed interesting.
Once again, this whole "architecture" or construction plan for a movie seems
drastically different from most traditional filmmaking.
Question: do others see the architecture of these films in the same way? Or
am I misreading them?
Mike Grost
5444


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:01am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Oh well... I must have seen a different movie. When you've seen
one, you've seen them all...
But seriously. Frog is not thinking of the movie theater audience.
Or I don't think he is (but then who knows what thoughts lurk in a
Frog's mind -- especially a singing frog). He is "exhibiting" himself
to just one person. If you're exposing yourself to only your wife,
are you an exhibitionist? (I know the comparison is wobbly but you
get my drift...) JPC


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> ... except for everyone who sees the movie.
>
> jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > You are quibbling, Tag. Without Frog's integrity, no story. How
can
> > you not applaud Frog's integrity? I can understand the musician in
> > you appreciating his big voice (shades of John McCormack -- no, I
> > guess Frog is a baritone)but if Frog is an exhibitionist it must
be
> > in a very paradoxical way, since he refuses to "exhibit" his great
> > voice to any audience!
> > JPC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > > Integrity isn't a story. And my applause was not for frog's
> > integrity
> > > but for frog's exhibitionism and big voice. I mean personality,
> > not
> > > moral worth.
> > >
> > > jpcoursodon wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The character IS the story, Tag. The frog has integrity.
> > That's
> > > > the story.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --- Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > > > > Not just a good story.
> > > > > Got a real good character. Without which the story
wouldn't be
> > > > anything.
> >
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> > a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> > ADVERTISEMENT
> > click here
> >
<http://rd.yahoo.com/SIG=12ct3b90q/M=267637.4116730.5333196.1261774/D=
egroupweb/S=1705021019:HM/EXP=1071786675/A=1853619/R=0/*http://www.net
flix.com/Default?mqso=60178356&partid=4116730>
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
------
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
> > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/
> >
> > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> > a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
> > <mailto:a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?
subject=Unsubscribe>
> >
> > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
> >
> >
>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
5445


From:
Date: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:03pm
Subject: Beep Beep the Roadrunner
 
Does everybody know that there was a comic book spin-off of the Roadrunner
cartoons? It was called "Beep Beep the Roadrunner". It starred not one road
runner bird, but a whole family of them. And instead of never saying anything but
"beep beep", the roadrunners all talked in poetry, specifically, rhymed
couplets. It is a pleasant, charming curiosity, designed for children around 8, and
very sweet and good natured.
Roadrunners are real birds. There was one in Griffith Park Zoo in Los Angeles
- maybe he is still there! He did not look much like the cartoon character.
If I'd had binoculars from Acme, I could have had a better look at him!
Mike Grost
PS "Beep Beep the Roadrunner" comic books can be found at Michigan State
University in East Lansing, Michigan. They have 150, 000 comic books there.
5446


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:23am
Subject: Re: The Major and the Minor (was: minor musicals)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
Still I feel I have to challenge your definition
> of "minor" and "major" in terms of "scale". (also I'm not sure I
> understand what you mean by "scale")

I make one throwaway remark about MY SISTER EILEEN being a
great "minor" musical and now I have to bust my ass explaining
myself! I should just keep my mouth shut. But all joking towards one
side (as Bea Lillie used to say)I think I'd prefer to respond to Jean-
Pierre's post in stages since right now a response to all of this
seems like a daunting project. I just got home from a holiday party
at school and I'm still feeling the effects of the wine. Next thing
you know, I'll start talking about fetishism again.

Before I begin, though, I just want to make clear that what I stated
in that post earlier today was not a paraphrase of an essay I've been
laboring over for years. Today was the first day I ever put that
major/minor crap down in print. I've casually thought about the
appeal and importance of these small musicals but I have never worked
them into anything formal. So what you got earlier and what you're
getting now is hot off the press, for better or worse.

Anyway: Scale. What I meant by scale was the scope and structure of
the work's ambition, as in major musicals like SHOW BOAT or THE BAND
WAGON or SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS which deal with
moments of historical or psychological transformation; or the major
musical deals with aspects of American history and culture in a self-
consciously mythologizing and sometimes mannered way, as in WEST SIDE
STORY or many of the Rodgers and Hammerstein shows (I remember Alec
Wilder's comment about the SOUTH PACIFIC score in which he said that
he always felt that he had to put on formal attire before listening
to it); or the major musical deals with "simple" topics and story
material but in a heightened style that is not really all that
simple, drawing upon modernist ideas in dance, art and music, as in
YOLANDA AND THE THIEF or ON THE TOWN.

Minor musicals tend not to be structured in this manner. Their story
material is often banal and recycled, as in MY SISTER EILEEN, not
only a remake but a low-rent version of a more prestigious "major"
Broadway musical from three years earlier, with the original Leonard
Bernstein score not used and a new but less innovative one by Styne
and Robin replacing it. They are often cast with players on the way
up (Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse), on the way down (Betty Garrett), or
never-to-be (Helen whatever-her-name-is in GIVE A GIRL A BREAK). And
they are often (although not exclusively) done on a low budget, with
little of the spectacle we traditionally associate with the musical.
This cut-rate atmosphere of cliches and banality nevertheless allows
another kind of beauty to emerge, one based upon the lyricizing of
simpler kinds of movements, gestures, spaces which brings the films
closer to a sense of the everyday than big budget musicals are
usually able to achieve. I haven't read Rohmer's review of EILEEN but
I wonder if one thing he was responding to in the film was precisely
this sense of the everyday that it is able to find in movement and
dance. This sense of the everyday in the minor musical even extends
to the singing in these films, which is usually rather weak but
movingly so, as though the cast sings in a way closer to "ordinary"
people: Think of Fosse's voice or Reynolds's (partially dubbed in
SINGIN' but not in these cheapos she did after them)or Jack Lemmon's.

Enough for now. Aspirin and bedtime.
5447


From: Tag Gallagher
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:23am
Subject: Re: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
That's why I like frog. He's exhibitionist even when no one (except
millions of moviewatchers one PRETENDS aren't there) is looking.

Maybe, technically, one needs an audience to be exhibitionistic, but
existentially one can be one's own audience, no? Isn't that a form of
integrity applied to auto-eroticism?


jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

>
> But seriously. Frog is not thinking of the movie theater audience.
> Or I don't think he is (but then who knows what thoughts lurk in a
> Frog's mind -- especially a singing frog). He is "exhibiting" himself
> to just one person. If you're exposing yourself to only your wife,
> are you an exhibitionist? (I know the comparison is wobbly but you
> get my drift...) JPC
5448


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:51am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Farber was also announced as giving a talk on Goodbye South, Goodbye at the San Francisco Film Festival earlier this year. This is interesting because in 2000, Kent Jones, interviewing him in Film Comment, mentioned Farber's curiosity about "what were Hou Hsiao-hsien's films like," among other things. "We [in San Diego] never get to see things, unless it's five years from now..." He must have caught up with Hou a year or two ahead of schedule. Has he discussed Hou in print anywhere? Has he come out of retirement as a film critic (in his mid-80s) because of Goodbye South, Goodbye?



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, samw@v... wrote:
> Jonathan Takagi" wrote:
> > For what it's worth, Manny Farber and Jean-Pierre Gorin are
> > going to be commenting on "One Froggy Evening" and "Goodbye
> > South, Goodbye" this Sunday afternoon here in San Diego if
> > anyone's interested in swinging by. At the Museum of Contemporary
> > Art, as part of Farber's latest exhibition.
>
> Damn, I'd be there if I wasn't 3000 miles away......
>
> In relation to each other ?? (I haven't seen the Froggy Film, but Goodbye South,
> Goodbye is my fav film to date of probably the most interesting Narrative/Dramatic
> filmmaker now working....IMHO)
>
> Can you videotape this or something ?
5449


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:17am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, monterone@e... wrote:
> Farber was also announced as giving a talk on Goodbye South,
Goodbye at the San Francisco Film Festival earlier this year. This
is interesting because in 2000, Kent Jones, interviewing him in Film
Comment, mentioned Farber's curiosity about "what were Hou Hsiao-
hsien's films like," among other things. "We [in San Diego] never
get to see things, unless it's five years from now..." He must have
caught up with Hou a year or two ahead of schedule. Has he discussed
Hou in print anywhere? Has he come out of retirement as a film
critic (in his mid-80s) because of Goodbye South, Goodbye?
>

I was at the San Francisco Film Festival event, in which Farber was
given an award and was interviewed on-stage about his life as a
critic and artist, and his ideas about criticism, for about 45
minutes, after which Hou's film was shown. Unfortunately Farber
didn't offer any commentary on the film at all, or even explain why
he might have chosen it. I'd be fascinated to hear a report on this
L.A. event.

Even more unfortunately, the house was less than half-full (perhaps
less than 1/3 full), though I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised
as when I checked "Negative Space" out of my college library I found
I was the first to do so since 1982!

-Brian

PS I guess I haven't introduced myself here, even though I've made a
few posts. I'm a San Francisco film lover who was directed to this
group a while back by Zach. I don't know how much of use I can
contribute, but it certainly has been fascinating reading through the
back messages...
5450


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:27am
Subject: Re: The Major and the Minor (was: minor musicals)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, joe_mcelhaney@y... wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
> >
> Still I feel I have to challenge your definition
> > of "minor" and "major" in terms of "scale". (also I'm not sure I
> > understand what you mean by "scale")
>
> I make one throwaway remark about MY SISTER EILEEN being a
> great "minor" musical and now I have to bust my ass explaining
> myself! I should just keep my mouth shut.


That shall teach you not to make throwaway remarks on an
auteurist site!
Seriously, I appreciate your clarifications and there's a lot to
say in favor of your "major/minor" distinction although I can't say
it means much to me. You just can't use those terms in a
completely "objective" non-judgemental way the way you seem to want
to, so I can't help thinking, Oh, so many of those so-called major
musicals are really crummy (and not just South Pacific) so blessed be
the minor ones. Actually I understand you pretty much agree with
this... I hope the aspirin works.
JPC
5451


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:35am
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
If I expose myself to myself in front of a mirror, is that
integrity in auto-eroticism?

Pirandello question: Does Frog know he is a motion picture
character performing for a movie audience? If Tag says he does then I
guess he does... I should have known I was going to get dragged into
some existential mumbo jumbo

JPC





--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> That's why I like frog. He's exhibitionist even when no one
(except
> millions of moviewatchers one PRETENDS aren't there) is looking.
>
> Maybe, technically, one needs an audience to be exhibitionistic,
but
> existentially one can be one's own audience, no? Isn't that a form
of
> integrity applied to auto-eroticism?
>
>
> jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
> >
> > But seriously. Frog is not thinking of the movie theater
audience.
> > Or I don't think he is (but then who knows what thoughts lurk in a
> > Frog's mind -- especially a singing frog). He is "exhibiting"
himself
> > to just one person. If you're exposing yourself to only your wife,
> > are you an exhibitionist? (I know the comparison is wobbly but you
> > get my drift...) JPC
5452


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:42am
Subject: Re: Hou, Jarmusch, Kiarostami, Jem Cohen
 
> MG4273@a... wrote:


> Once again, this whole "architecture" or construction plan for a movie seems
> drastically different from most traditional filmmaking.
> Question: do others see the architecture of these films in the same way? Or
> am I misreading them?

The landscape in Goodbye South, Goodbye is the map of possibilities either not taken
or not possible, although daydreamable -- the charcaters are perhaps unsure of the
difference - they are not at a level of social awareness in which they can assess this
difference. Flatty & co. drift to a different map, a romanticised "underworld" (its
entrance is a car wash !).

The situations *are* prosaic... in Good Men, Good Women ordinary people, so-called,
such as the actress played by Annie Inoh are asked to play,take on the role of, agents
of a history, something that is both larger than them, but *is* them.

As for Jem Cohen (Lost Book Found is great !) and Jim Jarmusch, the US isn't contested
political space. There's no "mainland" (there's contest in Dead Man, but the
conclusion is a forgone one).

-Sam
5453


From: Tag Gallagher
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:04am
Subject: Re: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
Do you believe frog could have shot all those scenes, in all those
locations, and played them for the camera, and not have known frog was
making a movie? (I take it that you concede to my argument that
integrity is not at issue.)

jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

> If I expose myself to myself in front of a mirror, is that
> integrity in auto-eroticism?
>
> Pirandello question: Does Frog know he is a motion picture
> character performing for a movie audience? If Tag says he does then I
> guess he does... I should have known I was going to get dragged into
> some existential mumbo jumbo
>
> JPC
>
>
>
>
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > That's why I like frog. He's exhibitionist even when no one
> (except
> > millions of moviewatchers one PRETENDS aren't there) is looking.
> >
> > Maybe, technically, one needs an audience to be exhibitionistic,
> but
> > existentially one can be one's own audience, no? Isn't that a form
> of
> > integrity applied to auto-eroticism?
> >
> >
> > jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > But seriously. Frog is not thinking of the movie theater
> audience.
> > > Or I don't think he is (but then who knows what thoughts lurk in a
> > > Frog's mind -- especially a singing frog). He is "exhibiting"
> himself
> > > to just one person. If you're exposing yourself to only your wife,
> > > are you an exhibitionist? (I know the comparison is wobbly but you
> > > get my drift...) JPC
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> ADVERTISEMENT
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
5454


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:19pm
Subject: Re: The Major and the Minor part 2
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:

Jean-Pierre, in your last post you said that the major/minor
distinction doesn't mean much to you anyway. Should I continue,
then? Or just (as Astaire says in THE BAND WAGON)pick up my marbles
and go home? I do want to repeat and clarify that the terms major
and minor are not qualitative and that if a major musical can be bad
(SOUTH PACIFIC, say)a minor one can be pretty bad, too. But making
those kinds of good/bad distinctions don't interest me at all right
now. Furthermore, I want to say (and I haven't argued this yet) that
the distinctions between major and minor are not absolute and many
major musicals contain minor elements and sometimes vice versa. We
might also argue that the musical is, by its nature and at the site
of its origins, a minor genre, tied to popular culture and springing
out of a confrontation between folk art and urban entertainment
forms. Major musicals are a later development of the form, as the
genre increasingly aims for social/historical/cultural seriousness:
SHOW BOAT, Rodgers/Hammerstein, etc.


>
> But I don't see how drawing upon Oedipal and Faustian
> situations in a musical should make it "major". Aren't you
> introducing a pseudo-hierarchy based on "seriousness" of "content"?
> Anyway I don't see any "Oedipal" situation in the film. having a
> stage production of "Oedipus Rex" doesn't make the film Oedipal.
> Isn't it all entertainment anyway? ("A great Shakespearean
> scene/Where a ghost and a prince meet/And everyone ends in
> mincemeat.")

I do want to respond to this. In a brief note on THE BAND WAGON which
I wrote for sensesofcinema I refer to Faust and Oedipus as two of the
great master narratives of western culture (and no doubt some non-
western cultures as well). This is hardly an original observation on
my part. It is so obvious that it is a fact. The Faustian situation
has often been played out in terms of the role of the artist and how
the artist relates to his/her work, torn between the needs of
commerce/industry/the public and his/her own "personal vision." Does
the artist remain true to this personal vision or become a sell-out?
(Minnell's films return to this theme frequently.) A variation of the
Faustian situation is clearly present in BAND WAGON, with the aging
Tony Hunter as Faust and Cordova as Mephistopheles and it is also the
story of the show-within-the-show, likewise called "The Band Wagon."

Oedipus is about as basic a situation in terms of the family and the
question of origins as one can get and certainly in terms of, say,
fifties Hollywood the Freudian reading of the Oedipal situation is
one which is frequently and explicitly dealt with. Rather than list
all of the Oedipal elements of the film I'll refer here to several
pieces which have analyzed BAND WAGON extensively on this level:
Dennis Giles's "Show Making" (originally published in MOVIE), Dana
Polan's "It Could Be Oedipus Rex" (originally published in ENCLITIC,
I believe, and now available online), and Bruce Babington's "Oedipus
Backstage in the Father and Mother of all Musicals" (published in the
anthology MUSICALS: HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND). While it may be possible
to imagine a film which would show us a production of OEDIPUS REX or
do a musical version of FAUST without them functioning on an
intertextual level I do not think that this is the case with BAND
WAGON. It seems to me it wants to clearly signpost its own Oedipal
and Faustian elements. For a fifties H'wood musical to tackle these
two themes signifies to me a desire to create something larger than
a "mere" musical.

Of course the film is also about the difficulties of doing this, of
overwhelming a "light and intimate" show with these kinds of
citations. But part of the brilliance of the film is how the
Faustian/Oedipal situations are not done away with in the show-within-
the show once Hunter takes over but instead are played out in a
different key from the way that Cordova had originally envisioned:
We still have Oedipus and Faust at the end but the conflicts are
enacted within a hybrid show consisting of elements of high art and
popular art, the Oedipal and Faustian elements no longer the source
of agony and high art suffering (as in Cordova's version) but as the
source of theatrical play.

Anyway, this is how I see THE BAND WAGON and I know that this is not
some eccentric reading that I am putting forth. It is partly how the
film wants us to see it and it is also how the film has been
interpreted in the past. As Anna Russell used to say, "I'm not making
this up, you know." In fact, I wish I had an "original" reading of
THE BAND WAGON but I don't. I believe George Steiner once wrote that
all great works already contain within themselves an analysis and
criticism of their own strategies. Whether this is always true or
not I don't know. But in the case of THE BAND WAGON I think that
Steiner's argument largely holds.
5455


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Minor musicals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, hotlove666@y... wrote:
> Does anyone feel a series coming on?

How about Dwan's YOUNG PEOPLE?

Another neglected gem: John Cromwell's BANJO ON MY KNEE, with
Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea.
5456


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:38pm
Subject: Re: minor musicals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, hotlove666@y... wrote:
> Joe's post should be skywritten. Wonderful, groundbreaking
> observations. My vote for a great minor musical is Lloyd Bacon's
Give
> My Regards to Broadway, which is very much about the characters'
> adjustment to their "frame." Mom and Dad have taken "temporary"
jobs
> in a small town while awaiting the comeback of vaudeville; the kids
> (the boy is played by the great Dan Duryea) have grown up spending
> their afternoons practicing in the barn. One day, when the boy has
> gotten a scolarship to MIT and the girl is going to marry the
> banker's son, Sig Ruman as their old agent turns up to announce
that
> they have a two-week booking in Denver. Dad thinks this is what
> they've been waiting for, but everyone else is dismayed. I wrote a
> long comparison of this film to Lumet's Running on Empty for the
> Cahiers, which was reprinted in Modern Times here. Thematically and
> formally it's close to other Bacon gems like A Slight Case of
Murder.

Bill, what is MODERN TIMES? How can I see this piece? It sounds
fascinating. I love Dan Dailey, a great minor musical performer, with
that huge body incongruously dancing in a vaudeville style (his
background and training), imaginatively covering a small space while
he performs. He stands in stark contrast to someone like Gene Kelly,
who usually performs in a major style, in which spaces almost never
seem to be big enough for him although I think my favorite Kelly
number is a minor one, the newspaper dance in SUMMER STOCK.

I'm getting ponderous with these major/minor things, aren't I? (I see
Jean-Pierre silently nodding his head now.)
5457


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:23pm
Subject: Re: One Froggy Evening
 
I concede nothing, of course.
Are you making a case for Frog as auteur? Surely you're pulling
my (frog) leg.



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> Do you believe frog could have shot all those scenes, in all those
> locations, and played them for the camera, and not have known frog
was
> making a movie? (I take it that you concede to my argument that
> integrity is not at issue.)
>
> jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
> > If I expose myself to myself in front of a mirror, is that
> > integrity in auto-eroticism?
> >
> > Pirandello question: Does Frog know he is a motion picture
> > character performing for a movie audience? If Tag says he does
then I
> > guess he does... I should have known I was going to get dragged
into
> > some existential mumbo jumbo
> >
> > JPC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Tag Gallagher wrote:
> > > That's why I like frog. He's exhibitionist even when no one
> > (except
> > > millions of moviewatchers one PRETENDS aren't there) is looking.
> > >
> > > Maybe, technically, one needs an audience to be
exhibitionistic,
> > but
> > > existentially one can be one's own audience, no? Isn't that a
form
> > of
> > > integrity applied to auto-eroticism?
> > >
> > >
> > > jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > But seriously. Frog is not thinking of the movie theater
> > audience.
> > > > Or I don't think he is (but then who knows what thoughts lurk
in a
> > > > Frog's mind -- especially a singing frog). He is "exhibiting"
> > himself
> > > > to just one person. If you're exposing yourself to only your
wife,
> > > > are you an exhibitionist? (I know the comparison is wobbly
but you
> > > > get my drift...) JPC
> >
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> > a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> > ADVERTISEMENT
> > click here
> >
<http://rd.yahoo.com/SIG=12c09cn25/M=267637.4116730.5333196.1261774/D=
egroupweb/S=1705021019:HM/EXP=1071812144/A=1853618/R=0/*http://www.net
flix.com/Default?mqso=60178338&partid=4116730>
> >
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> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
------
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
> >
> > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
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> >
> > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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subject=Unsubscribe>
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> > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
> >
> >
>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
5458


From: Michael Lieberman
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Re: Minor musicals, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
 
My favorite minor musical is Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, directed by Lewis Milestone with Al Jolson. Is there a greatest social commentary of that time, that still resonates as
controversial these days? I've watched it at least 5 times, three times this week, as I prepare to write something of my own. The "my country tis of thee" sequence is one of the
most powerful scenes I've seen in movies. Astonishing!

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: "joe_mcelhaney"
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 14:26:00 -0000
To: a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [a_film_by] Re: Minor musicals





--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, hotlove666@y... wrote:

> Does anyone feel a series coming on?



How about Dwan's YOUNG PEOPLE?



Another neglected gem:  John Cromwell's BANJO ON MY KNEE, with

Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea.









To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

a_film_by-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com













Yahoo! Groups Links









--
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Sign-up for Ads Free at Mail.com
http://promo.mail.com/adsfreejump.htm
5459


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:05pm
Subject: Re: Re: Minor musicals, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
 
--- Michael Lieberman wrote:
> My favorite minor musical is Hallelujah, I'm a Bum,
> directed by Lewis Milestone with Al Jolson. Is there
> a greatest social commentary of that time, that
> still resonates as
> controversial these days? I've watched it at least 5
> times, three times this week, as I prepare to write
> something of my own. The "my country tis of thee"
> sequence is one of the
> most powerful scenes I've seen in movies.
> Astonishing!
>
> Mike
>


Sorry, but that's a MAJOR musical. Lorenz Hart's use
of the rythmed couplet in a half-spoken fashion is
years ahead of its time. "You Are So Beautiful" is one
of Rogers and Hart's greatest songs, and Al Jolsen's
performance is the finest he ever gave on film --
subtle, tender, totally unlike anything associated
with AlJolsen in the popular imagination. That plus
Harry Langdon, the marvelous underappreciated madge
Evans and the great Frank Morgan (who at one point
declaims "There's no palce like home" -- making this
an all-time movie trivia tie-breaker) mark "Hallelujah
I'm a Bum" as a major musical.

Not as major as "Love Me Tonight" -- but then what is?

There's even a shot of Larry Hart making a phone call
(probably to his bookie) in this one.



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5460


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:11pm
Subject: Musicals, Forst
 
>>Does anyone feel a series coming on?
>
> How about Dwan's YOUNG PEOPLE?

Are we naming minor musicals? Does ROYAL WEDDING count? I've always
loved this film and never understood its middling rep.

One low-budget musical that I think is rather good is Charles Walters'
DANGEROUS WHEN WET, with Esther Williams.

Here are my favorite musicals:

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Monte Carlo
Royal Wedding
Meet Me in St. Louis
Funny Face
The Threepenny Opera
Singin' in the Rain
Good News
The Love Parade

And do FRENCH CANCAN and YOUNG AT HEART count? They'd probably both
make the top five.

Honorable mention to Willi Forst's MASKARADE - after having seen two of
his films (the other THE SINNER from 1951), I'm wondering if he isn't a
major director. Anyone else have an opinion?

Interesing how Hollywood seemed to make a lot of musicals right after
sound came in, and then again when color and widescreen were getting
popular.

- Dan
5461


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:42pm
Subject: Re: The Major and the Minor part 2
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, jpcoursodon@y... wrote:
>
> Jean-Pierre, in your last post you said that the major/minor
> distinction doesn't mean much to you anyway. Should I continue,
> then? Or just (as Astaire says in THE BAND WAGON)pick up my marbles
> and go home?

No, no by all means do stay in the game. i didn't mean to sound
disrespectful. This is an interesting discussion. JPC



I do want to repeat and clarify that the terms major
> and minor are not qualitative and that if a major musical can be
bad
> (SOUTH PACIFIC, say)a minor one can be pretty bad, too. But making
> those kinds of good/bad distinctions don't interest me at all right
> now.

Agreed. Understood. I just would have preferred simple, dumb
adjectives like "small" and "big" which do not have the qualitative
connotations that "major" and "minor" unavoidably have. This whole
discussion started because I reacted to your description of EILEEN
as "minor" thinking it was a qualitative evaluation. JPC

Furthermore, I want to say (and I haven't argued this yet) that
> the distinctions between major and minor are not absolute and many
> major musicals contain minor elements and sometimes vice versa.

We
> might also argue that the musical is, by its nature and at the site
> of its origins, a minor genre, tied to popular culture and
springing
> out of a confrontation between folk art and urban entertainment
> forms.


I disagree. The musical is not any more "minor" than any other
film genres. They are all tied to some kind of popular culture and as
such are all "minor" according to your definition. JPC

Major musicals are a later development of the form, as the
> genre increasingly aims for social/historical/cultural seriousness:
> SHOW BOAT, Rodgers/Hammerstein, etc.
>
But I thought we were talking about MOVIE musicals, not
Broadway musicals. The evolution toward
social/historical/cultural "seriousness" is a Broadway phenomenon.
And the movie musical didn't even exist when SHOW BOAT first opened!
The "later development" you mention exists in movies chiefly in
screen adaptations of Broadway musicals (SHOW BOAT, OKLAHOMA! WEST
SIDE STORY). It is not BY ANY MEANS an evolution of the movie musical
per se (although I shall concede that in the late late period of the
Hollywood musical some "social" and "cultural" comment creeps into a
very few films, e.g., IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, but that's fairly
exceptional). JPC
>
> >
> > But I don't see how drawing upon Oedipal and Faustian
> > situations in a musical should make it "major". Aren't you
> > introducing a pseudo-hierarchy based on "seriousness"
of "content"?
> > Anyway I don't see any "Oedipal" situation in the film. having a
> > stage production of "Oedipus Rex" doesn't make the film Oedipal.
> > Isn't it all entertainment anyway? ("A great Shakespearean
> > scene/Where a ghost and a prince meet/And everyone ends in
> > mincemeat.")
>
> I do want to respond to this.
>

OK!. I agree with a lot of what you're saying below (I am
deleting a lot of it to make the post shorter, not dismissively!)JPC
>
> . It seems to me it wants to clearly signpost its own Oedipal
> and Faustian elements. For a fifties H'wood musical to tackle these
> two themes signifies to me a desire to create something larger than
> a "mere" musical.
>
Why would a musical be "a mere musical" (this is openly
derogatory) just because it doesn't tackle "big themes"? It is not
the fact of dragging Faust and Oedipus in that makes BAND WAGON a
great musical. The "desire" to create something "larger" is
irrelevant. The result could have been a flop -- just as Cordova's
production


> Of course the film is also about the difficulties of doing this, of
> overwhelming a "light and intimate" show with these kinds of
> citations. But part of the brilliance of the film is how the
> Faustian/Oedipal situations are not done away with in the show-
within-
> the show once Hunter takes over but instead are played out in a
> different key from the way that Cordova had originally envisioned:
> We still have Oedipus and Faust at the end but the conflicts are
> enacted within a hybrid show consisting of elements of high art and
> popular art, the Oedipal and Faustian elements no longer the source
> of agony and high art suffering (as in Cordova's version) but as
the
> source of theatrical play.
>

Actually the show as revamped by Tony Hunter entirely relies on
what you call popular art. It consists of a series of old-fashioned
musical numbers (after all they come from thirties Schwartz and Dietz
Broadway shows -- "I'll Have to Change My Plans" even goes back to
1929 and "The Band Wagon", the revue starring Fred and Adele was
1931; moreover the choreography and direction stress rather than try
to elude their old-fashionedness). That show doesn't even have a
plot, that we can discern at least, just a different "number" in each
city of the out-of-town trials. The "Girl Hunt" ballet of course is
aesthetically daring but it too draws (parodically) upon popular
culture (the Spillane mystery thriller). How can one say that we
still have Oedipus and Faust at the end? They have completely
vanished from the show within the show. That's the point the film is
making: we got rid of high culture which bores and confuses audiences
and produces flops and we went back to the good old stuff people
enjoy. This is one of the ironies of a film whose very director did
strive to bring "highbrow" art to the lowly musical. Ultimately, the
film says, there IS a difference between "the rhythm of Bill
Robinson's feet and the rhythm of Bill Shakespeare's verse," and you
try to mix the two at your own risks. JPC
>

Anyway, this is how I see THE BAND WAGON and I know that this is not
> some eccentric reading that I am putting forth. It is partly how
the
> film wants us to see it and it is also how the film has been
> interpreted in the past. As Anna Russell used to say, "I'm not
making
> this up, you know." In fact, I wish I had an "original" reading
of
> THE BAND WAGON but I don't. I believe George Steiner once wrote
that
> all great works already contain within themselves an analysis and
> criticism of their own strategies. Whether this is always true or
> not I don't know. But in the case of THE BAND WAGON I think that
> Steiner's argument largely holds.


I agree that your reading is neither eccentric nor original.
The film itself is very explicit. The kind of analyses it inspires
(some of which you mentioned) therefore tend to be tautological under
the guise of profundity... I agree with Steiner's dictum and have
actually quoted it myself in the past.

Can i ask you a question: Is Singin' in the Rain (which
incidentally tells almost exactly the same story as BAND WAGON) a
major or minor musical, and why (according to your theory)?

JPC (over and out)
5462


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:48pm
Subject: Re: Minor musicals, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- Michael Lieberman wrote:
> > My favorite minor musical is Hallelujah, I'm a Bum,
> > directed by Lewis Milestone with Al Jolson. Is there
> > a greatest social commentary of that time, that
> > still resonates as
> > controversial these days? I've watched it at least 5
> > times, three times this week, as I prepare to write
> > something of my own. The "my country tis of thee"
> > sequence is one of the
> > most powerful scenes I've seen in movies.
> > Astonishing!
> >
> > Mike
> >
>
>
> Sorry, but that's a MAJOR musical. Lorenz Hart's use
> of the rythmed couplet in a half-spoken fashion is
> years ahead of its time. "You Are So Beautiful" is one
> of Rogers and Hart's greatest songs, and Al Jolsen's
> performance is the finest he ever gave on film --
> subtle, tender, totally unlike anything associated
> with AlJolsen in the popular imagination. That plus
> Harry Langdon, the marvelous underappreciated madge
> Evans and the great Frank Morgan (who at one point
> declaims "There's no palce like home" -- making this
> an all-time movie trivia tie-breaker) mark "Hallelujah
> I'm a Bum" as a major musical.
>
> Not as major as "Love Me Tonight" -- but then what is?
>
> There's even a shot of Larry Hart making a phone call
> (probably to his bookie) in this one.
>
>
> According to Joe it is a MAJOR musical anyway because it has
social commentary (forget about how good or bad the show might be).
JPC
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5463


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Musicals, Forst
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
>
> Are we naming minor musicals? Does ROYAL WEDDING count? I've
>always loved this film and never understood its middling rep.
>
> One low-budget musical that I think is rather good is Charles
>Walters' DANGEROUS WHEN WET, with Esther Williams.

DANGEROUS WHEN WET might qualify. ROYAL WEDDING would essentially
not qualify, I think. An underrated major musical is not the same
thing as a minor musical, hence the misunderstanding over HALLELUJAH,
I'M A BUM! which is a GREAT film and certainly remains underrated but
(and David is right) it is too ambitious to be considered a minor
musical. Apart from the expense and prestige of the production of
ROYAL WEDDING (Arthur Freed film originally conceived for Judy
Garland and Astaire, original script by Alan Jay Lerner built around
the "royal wedding" and with Winston Churchill's daughter in a major
role), the film has a score by Lerner and Burton Lane out of which
two standards emerged, "Too Late Now" and "How Could You Believe
Me..." as well as one of Astaire' most famous numbers, that dance on
the ceiling. One of the ways in which I would define a minor musical
is that the score is either patched together by songs already owned
by the studio (AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS, for example), songs in the
public domain (Dwan's bio-pic of Stephen Foster, I DREAM OF JEANNIE,
or better yet Dwan's SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE) or the score is written
by gifted composers but which failed to produce any standards or
widely popular songs: Burton Lane and Ira Gershwin on GIVE A GIRL A
BREAK, for example, or Styne-Robin on EILEEN. The minor musical
resists canonization and prestige and speaks largely to a more
marginal and specialized audience. GIVE A GIRL A BREAK and
SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE are not Musicals for People Who Usually Hate
Musicals (like WEST SIDE STORY).
5464


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Minor Musicals
 
I also am absolutely nuts for Dwan's wonderful Young People, which
shows why Goldwyn flashed at Shirley when they were talking about her
new contract (per Shirley). Whatta peach!

And let's not forget, just because it's hugely popular, Yankee Doodle
Dandy - definitely a minor musical. A minor minor musical, of
course...
5465


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:49pm
Subject: Re: Musicals, Forst
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> >
> > Are we naming minor musicals? Does ROYAL WEDDING count? I've
> >always loved this film and never understood its middling rep.
> >
> > One low-budget musical that I think is rather good is Charles
> >Walters' DANGEROUS WHEN WET, with Esther Williams.
>
> DANGEROUS WHEN WET might qualify. ROYAL WEDDING would essentially
> not qualify, I think. An underrated major musical is not the same
> thing as a minor musical, hence the misunderstanding over
HALLELUJAH,
> I'M A BUM! which is a GREAT film and certainly remains underrated
but
> (and David is right) it is too ambitious to be considered a minor
> musical. Apart from the expense and prestige of the production of
> ROYAL WEDDING (Arthur Freed film originally conceived for Judy
> Garland and Astaire, original script by Alan Jay Lerner built
around
> the "royal wedding" and with Winston Churchill's daughter in a
major
> role), the film has a score by Lerner and Burton Lane out of which
> two standards emerged, "Too Late Now" and "How Could You Believe
> Me..." as well as one of Astaire' most famous numbers, that dance
on
> the ceiling. One of the ways in which I would define a minor
musical
> is that the score is either patched together by songs already owned
> by the studio (AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS, for example), songs in the
> public domain (Dwan's bio-pic of Stephen Foster, I DREAM OF
JEANNIE,
> or better yet Dwan's SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE) or the score is written
> by gifted composers but which failed to produce any standards or
> widely popular songs: Burton Lane and Ira Gershwin on GIVE A GIRL A
> BREAK, for example, or Styne-Robin on EILEEN. The minor musical
> resists canonization and prestige and speaks largely to a more
> marginal and specialized audience. GIVE A GIRL A BREAK and
> SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE are not Musicals for People Who Usually Hate
> Musicals (like WEST SIDE STORY).


But Joe you keep changing your definition of Major and Minor.
Yesterday "major" meant ambition, social/cultural commentary
etc, "minor" meant lack thereof. Now a minor musical is one
that "failed to produce any standard or widely popular song"!!! What
kind of criteria is that? I've been humming and singing the wonderful
Styne-Robin songs for EILEEN ever since I first saw the film almost
half a century ago! What do I care if they're not "widely popular"?
And by the way, the songs in Singin' in the Rain were all (with 2
exceptions) "owned by the studio" (and written by the producer)
including the title song which had been used countless times by MGM.
Does that make the film a minor musical? Maybe it does according to
your definitions...
JPC
5466


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:03pm
Subject: Re: Minor Musicals
 
Is "Going Hollywood" (Raoul Walsh, 1933) a minor musical? It is certainly great fun, but its stars Bing Crosby and Marion Davies were Names in their day.

Some REALLY minor (but enjoyable) musicals.
The Red Shadow (Roy Mack, 1932)
Old Man Rhythm (Edward Ludwig, 1935)
Ready, Willing and Able (Ray Enright, with choreography by Bobby Connolly, 1935)(the film with the giant typewriter)
To Beat the Band (Benjamin Stoloff, 1935)
Music For Madame (John Blystone, 1937)
Hold That Co-Ed (George Marshall, 1938)
My Lucky Star (Roy Del Ruth, 1938)
Tear Gas Squad (Terry Morse, 1940) (yes, it's a musical)
It Started With Eve (Henry Koster, 1941)
The Fleet's In (Victor Schertzinger, 1942)
Hello, Frisco, Hello (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1943)
The Bamboo Blonde (Anthony Mann. 1946)
Athena (Richard Thorpe, 1954)

For a sheer bottom of the barrel no-budget musical, try:
Ladies of the Chorus (Phil Karlson, 1948).
This has production values so plain it makes The Affairs of Dobie Gillis look like Titanic. It is not a good movie, but the gifted auteur Karlson deserves credit for trying, in this, the "Detour" of movie musicals.

Was anyone watching MTV in the eighties on True Blue day? Hundreds of amateur filmmakers sent in homemade videos of the Madonna song "True Blue". Some were quite decent. The best were shown all day long on MTV.
Just be glad they were not all of "You Light Up My Life".
Mike Grost
5467


From:
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:15pm
Subject: Cool As Ice
 
I actually went to see rapper Vanilla Ice's sole starring musical, "Cool As Ice" (David Kellogg, 1991). Even this fanatic lover of movie musicals could not enjoy this turkey.
The Iceman tells the heroine to get rid of her current boyfriend, and love him instead:
"Drop that zero...and get with the hero."
Do you think Lorenz Hart ever wrote a couplet quite like that?
Mike Grost
(who thoroughly enjoyed seeing Brendan Fraser break-dance as the teenage Cro-Magnon last night in "Encino Man")
5468


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- MG4273@a... wrote:
> I actually went to see rapper Vanilla Ice's sole
> starring musical, "Cool As Ice" (David Kellogg,
> 1991). Even this fanatic lover of movie musicals
> could not enjoy this turkey.
> The Iceman tells the heroine to get rid of her
> current boyfriend, and love him instead:
> "Drop that zero...and get with the hero."
> Do you think Lorenz Hart ever wrote a couplet quite
> like that?
> Mike Grost
> (who thoroughly enjoyed seeing Brendan Fraser
> break-dance as the teenage Cro-Magnon last night in
> "Encino Man")
>

"My Romance
Doesn't have to have a moon in the sky.
My romance
Doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by.
No month of May,
No twinkling stars,
No hideaway,
No soft guitars
My romance
Doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
Nor a dance
To a constantly surprising refrain.
Wide awake,
I can make
My most fantasitc dreams come true.
My romance
Doesn't need a thing but you."


__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
http://photos.yahoo.com/
5469


From: Patrick Ciccone
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 11:57pm
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> I actually went to see rapper Vanilla Ice's sole starring musical,
"Cool As Ice" (David Kellogg, 1991). Even this fanatic lover of movie
musicals could not enjoy this turkey.
> The Iceman tells the heroine to get rid of her current boyfriend,
and love him instead:
> "Drop that zero...and get with the hero."
> Do you think Lorenz Hart ever wrote a couplet quite like that?
> Mike Grost
> (who thoroughly enjoyed seeing Brendan Fraser break-dance as the
teenage Cro-Magnon last night in "Encino Man")

Never thought I'd see this film come up on a_film_by, but the DP on
COOL AS ICE is Janusz Kaminski!
5470


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:20am
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- MG4273@a... wrote:
> > Remember
> > "Drop that zero...and get with the hero."
> > Do you think Lorenz Hart ever wrote a couplet quite
> > like that?
> > Mike Grost
> > (who thoroughly enjoyed seeing Brendan Fraser
> > break-dance as the teenage Cro-Magnon last night in
> > "Encino Man")
> >
>
> "My Romance
> Doesn't have to have a moon in the sky.
> My romance
> Doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by.
> No month of May,
> No twinkling stars,
> No hideaway,
> No soft guitars
> My romance
> Doesn't need a castle rising in Spain
> Nor a dance
> To a constantly surprising refrain.
> Wide awake,
> I can make
> My most fantasitc dreams come true.
> My romance
> Doesn't need a thing but you."
>
> Remember How Hart rhymes "fratricide," "patricide" and "mattress's
side" in "To Keep My Love Alive"?("One night I stabbed him by my
mattress's side"). Those same-word triple rhymes were his
forte: "Romance fini/Your chance fini/Those ants that invaded my
pants fini"... etc...
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5471


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:42am
Subject: Re: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> >
> > Remember How Hart rhymes "fratricide," "patricide"
> and "mattress's
> side" in "To Keep My Love Alive"?("One night I
> stabbed him by my
> mattress's side"). Those same-word triple rhymes
> were his
> forte: "Romance fini/Your chance fini/Those ants
> that invaded my
> pants fini"... etc...
> >

Yes. And those were the very last lyrics Larry Hart
ever wrote.

__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
http://photos.yahoo.com/
5472


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:21am
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Remember How Hart rhymes "fratricide," "patricide"
> > and "mattress's
> > side" in "To Keep My Love Alive"?("One night I
> > stabbed him by my
> > mattress's side"). Those same-word triple rhymes
> > were his
> > forte: "Romance fini/Your chance fini/Those ants
> > that invaded my
> > pants fini"... etc...
> > >
>
> Yes. And those were the very last lyrics Larry Hart
> ever wrote.
>


Yes, perhaps he shouldn't have allowed those ants to invade his
pants so much.
I don't know if it has anything to do with his homosexuality (it
probably does) but Larry's lyrics had a wry lucidity that even a
Porter or an Ira Gershwin couldn't equate. A line like "The self-
deception that believes the lie" in "I Wish I Were in Love Again"
could possibly have been written by any heterosexual but it seems to
put into a few cogent words hundreds of page of Proust.

At the same time he could sound as cute as innocent as Ira
(see "Dancing on the Ceiling" or "Moutain Greenery").

Is this off-topic? Not quite (see the great "I Wish..." Garland-
Rooney duet in the otherwise wretched "Words and Music".
JPC
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5473


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:34am
Subject: Re: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


> Yes, perhaps he shouldn't have allowed those
> ants to invade his
> pants so much.
> I don't know if it has anything to do with his
> homosexuality (it
> probably does) but Larry's lyrics had a wry lucidity
> that even a
> Porter or an Ira Gershwin couldn't equate. A line
> like "The self-
> deception that believes the lie" in "I Wish I Were
> in Love Again"
> could possibly have been written by any heterosexual
> but it seems to
> put into a few cogent words hundreds of page of
> Proust.


Possibly, but probably not. Likewise the same-sex
impaired couldn't have wirtten "Taking a Chance on
Love" (John LaTouche) not to mention "It Was Just One
of Those Things" (Cole Porter -- who never wrote about
anything relating heterosexuality save for his last
Big Hit Tune, "True Love" from"High Society.")

>
> At the same time he could sound as cute as
> innocent as Ira
> (see "Dancing on the Ceiling" or "Moutain
> Greenery").

Cute? Yes. Innocent? Never.
>
> Is this off-topic? Not quite (see the great "I
> Wish..." Garland-
> Rooney duet in the otherwise wretched "Words and
> Music".

Not off-topic at all. His truest lyrics were his
saddest. It's no accident that "My Funny Valentine" is
the National Anthem of cabaret. In "Babes in Arms"
it's almost a throwaway. That's not the case when it's
done by Chet Baker, Lee Wiley, Shirley Horn, Nico or
(in "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), matt Damon.

It figures prominently in the new Altman,"The Company"
where its used as a pas de deux that Nev Campbell and
her dancing partner perform quite movingly in a key
scene. It's played over the end credits by the Kronos
Quartet.

__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
http://photos.yahoo.com/
5474


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:54am
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
>
> > Yes, perhaps he shouldn't have allowed those
> > ants to invade his
> > pants so much.
> > I don't know if it has anything to do with his
> > homosexuality (it
> > probably does) but Larry's lyrics had a wry lucidity
> > that even a
> > Porter or an Ira Gershwin couldn't equate. A line
> > like "The self-
> > deception that believes the lie" in "I Wish I Were
> > in Love Again"
> > could possibly have been written by any heterosexual
> > but it seems to
> > put into a few cogent words hundreds of page of
> > Proust.
>
>
> Possibly, but probably not. Likewise the same-sex
> impaired couldn't have wirtten "Taking a Chance on
> Love" (John LaTouche) not to mention "It Was Just One
> of Those Things" (Cole Porter -- who never wrote about
> anything relating heterosexuality save for his last
> Big Hit Tune, "True Love" from"High Society.")
>
> >
> > At the same time he could sound as cute as
> > innocent as Ira
> > (see "Dancing on the Ceiling" or "Moutain
> > Greenery").
>
> Cute? Yes. Innocent? Never.
> >
> > Is this off-topic? Not quite (see the great "I
> > Wish..." Garland-
> > Rooney duet in the otherwise wretched "Words and
> > Music".
>
> Not off-topic at all. His truest lyrics were his
> saddest. It's no accident that "My Funny Valentine" is
> the National Anthem of cabaret. In "Babes in Arms"
> it's almost a throwaway. That's not the case when it's
> done by Chet Baker, Lee Wiley, Shirley Horn, Nico or
> (in "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), matt Damon.
>

But "Valentine" is far from being among his saddest lyrics.
There are so many others. Think of "It Never Entered My Mind" ("Now
I never go to shows at night but just to matinees now, I see the show
and home I go...") Or the rueful verse to "Glad to Be Unhappy"
("Look at yourself, if you had a sense of humor, you would laugh to
beat the band. Look at yourself, do you still believe the rumor that
romance is simply grand? Since you took it on the chin you have lost
that toothpaste grin..." and that release: "Unrequited love's a bore/
And I've got it pretty bad/ But for someone you adore/ It's a
pleasure to be sad..."


> It figures prominently in the new Altman,"The Company"
> where its used as a pas de deux that Nev Campbell and
> her dancing partner perform quite movingly in a key
> scene. It's played over the end credits by the Kronos
> Quartet.
>
Anyway David should we start a Larry Hart Yahoo group?
JPC
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5475


From: Michael Lieberman
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:24am
Subject: Re: Re: M-A-J-O-R musicals, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
 
Of course, I mistook the definition of minor as underrated. It is a major work for sure, a masterpiece at that, and the Rogers and Hart penned numbers are extraordinary.
But when one thinks of major musicals, this one isn't one of them, sadly. Hopefully it'll be remembered as time progresses!

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 08:05:41 -0800 (PST)
To: a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [a_film_by] Re: Minor musicals, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum







--- Michael Lieberman wrote:

> My favorite minor musical is Hallelujah, I'm a Bum,

> directed by Lewis Milestone with Al Jolson. Is there

> a greatest social commentary of that time, that

> still resonates as

> controversial these days? I've watched it at least 5

> times, three times this week, as I prepare to write

> something of my own. The "my country tis of thee"

> sequence is one of the

> most powerful scenes I've seen in movies.

> Astonishing!

>

> Mike

>





Sorry, but that's a MAJOR musical. Lorenz Hart's use

of the rythmed couplet in a half-spoken fashion is

years ahead of its time. "You Are So Beautiful" is one

of Rogers and Hart's greatest songs, and Al Jolsen's

performance is the finest he ever gave on film --

subtle, tender, totally unlike anything associated

with AlJolsen in the popular imagination. That plus

Harry Langdon, the marvelous underappreciated madge

Evans and the great Frank Morgan (who at one point

declaims "There's no palce like home" -- making this

an all-time movie trivia tie-breaker) mark "Hallelujah

I'm a Bum" as a major musical.



Not as major as "Love Me Tonight" -- but then what is?



There's even a shot of Larry Hart making a phone call

(probably to his bookie) in this one.







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5476


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:33pm
Subject: Re: Minor Musicals: The Finale
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>
>But Joe you keep changing your definition of Major and Minor.
Yesterday "major" meant ambition, social/cultural commentary
> etc, "minor" meant lack thereof. Now a minor musical is one
> that "failed to produce any standard or widely popular song"!!!
>What kind of criteria is that?

Jean-Pierre, you're relentless. I do not keep changing my
definitions. What the minor musical does cannot be summed up in one
or two sentences. What I wrote yesterday in terms of how it uses
songs is simply one other aspect of it. Furthermore, I never said
that the minor musical lacked social/political/cultural commentary. I
merely said that the major musical conceives of this type of
commentary in a different way. My brief description of how minor
musicals conceive of space was implicit in this regard. In fact, the
minor musical may be deeply political and my interest in this
category initially arose from teaching Akerman's musicals WINDOW
SHOPPING and THE EIGHTIES. Akerman has spoken of how influential
Deleuze and Guattari's notions of major and minor literature have
been in terms of her own cinema, which she likewise sees as a minor
one. While there are ways in which Deleuze and Guattari's major/minor
categories for literature do not hold for the musical, there are
other ways in which they can be rethought, particularly the emphasis
on the political importance of the collective utterance of
a "minority" expression, the minor use of a major language, and the
centrality of cramped, small spaces. Oscar Micheaux's amazing SWING!
is another prime example of this type of minor musical.


I've been humming and singing the wonderful
> Styne-Robin songs for EILEEN ever since I first saw the film almost
> half a century ago! What do I care if they're not "widely popular"?
> And by the way, the songs in Singin' in the Rain were all (with 2
> exceptions) "owned by the studio" (and written by the producer)
> including the title song which had been used countless times by MGM.
> Does that make the film a minor musical? Maybe it does according to
> your definitions...

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is, in no way, shape or form a minor musical.
SINGIN' is, like BAND WAGON or AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, a songbook film
of the fifties, made during a period when the great standards of the
twenties, thirties and forties were being increasingly canonized in
popular culture. (Think of the Ella Fitzgerald songbook series on
Verve, for example.) The minor musical, at least in its classical
state, has no canonical impulses but just wants to get the job done.

Anyway, I want to close this ongoing debate I've been having with you
over these minor/major categories, not because it hasn't been
stimulating (it has been, very much) but because I want to flesh out
some of these ideas on my own now and work them into some kind of
essay where troublemakers like you might at least be able to see them
in a more coherent form. Then you can relaunch your blitzkrieg. But
I'm happy that you've been humming and singing the songs from MY
SISTER EILEEN since your first saw it. So have I. But we're in the
minority and that was my point all along. However, if I see some man
walking down the street in New York singing "I'm Great But No One
Knows It" I'll know it's you and introduce myself. I'll probably be
singing the title song from GIVE A GIRL A BREAK but imitating Marge
Champion since she, like me, sings out of tune.




>
5477


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:44pm
Subject: Re: Minor Musicals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:

> Is "Going Hollywood" (Raoul Walsh, 1933) a minor musical? It is
certainly great fun, but its stars Bing Crosby and Marion Davies were
Names in their day.
>
> Some REALLY minor (but enjoyable) musicals.
> The Red Shadow (Roy Mack, 1932)
> Old Man Rhythm (Edward Ludwig, 1935)
> Ready, Willing and Able (Ray Enright, with choreography by Bobby
Connolly, 1935)(the film with the giant typewriter)
> To Beat the Band (Benjamin Stoloff, 1935)
> Music For Madame (John Blystone, 1937)
> Hold That Co-Ed (George Marshall, 1938)
> My Lucky Star (Roy Del Ruth, 1938)
> Tear Gas Squad (Terry Morse, 1940) (yes, it's a musical)
> It Started With Eve (Henry Koster, 1941)
> The Fleet's In (Victor Schertzinger, 1942)
> Hello, Frisco, Hello (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1943)
> The Bamboo Blonde (Anthony Mann. 1946)
> Athena (Richard Thorpe, 1954)
>
> For a sheer bottom of the barrel no-budget musical, try:
> Ladies of the Chorus (Phil Karlson, 1948).
> This has production values so plain it makes The Affairs of Dobie
Gillis look like Titanic. It is not a good movie, but the gifted
auteur Karlson deserves credit for trying, in this, the "Detour" of
movie musicals.

What a list, Mike! Most of these I don't know but GOING HOLLYWOOD is
too "big" to qualify. It also produced classic songs and was
excerpted in THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- all of that bigtime stuff.
BAMBOO BLONDE seems a likely candidte but (in terms of the ones I've
seen)I don't think any of the other bottom five would qualify. Among
other things, THE FLEET'S IN has a great score, HELLO FRISCO HELLO
has an Academy Award-winning song and Alice Faye at the peak of her
popularity, etc. But LADIES OF THE CHORUS! I was thinking of that
title the other day. Definitely a classic minor one.

>
> Was anyone watching MTV in the eighties on True Blue day? Hundreds
of amateur filmmakers sent in homemade videos of the Madonna
song "True Blue". Some were quite decent. The best were shown all day
long on MTV.

Oh God. I remember that day. James Foley had directed a video for
the song but it sucked -- big time. They showed it anyway but this
amateur contest was held, presumably so that the awfulness of the
Foley video would be camouflaged by this event.
>
5478


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:07pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


> But "Valentine" is far from being among his
> saddest lyrics.
> There are so many others. Think of "It Never
> Entered My Mind" ("Now
> I never go to shows at night but just to matinees
> now, I see the show
> and home I go...") Or the rueful verse to "Glad to
> Be Unhappy"
> ("Look at yourself, if you had a sense of humor, you
> would laugh to
> beat the band. Look at yourself, do you still
> believe the rumor that
> romance is simply grand? Since you took it on the
> chin you have lost
> that toothpaste grin..." and that release:
> "Unrequited love's a bore/
> And I've got it pretty bad/ But for someone you
> adore/ It's a
> pleasure to be sad..."

The saddest I think is "Nobody's Heart":

"Nobody's heart belongs to me,
Heigh-ho,
Who cares?"

There's a greatDoris Day album with arrangements by
Andre previn called"Duet" in which she sings thatone
to perfection.


>
>
> > It figures prominently in the new Altman,"The
> Company"
> > where its used as a pas de deux that Nev Campbell
> and
> > her dancing partner perform quite movingly in a
> key
> > scene. It's played over the end credits by the
> Kronos
> > Quartet.
> >
> Anyway David should we start a Larry Hart Yahoo
> group?


Dunno. Is there interest?



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5479


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:23pm
Subject: Re: Minor Musicals: The Finale
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
> >
>
> Anyway, I want to close this ongoing debate I've been having with
you
> over these minor/major categories, not because it hasn't been
> stimulating (it has been, very much) but because I want to flesh
out
> some of these ideas on my own now and work them into some kind of
> essay where troublemakers like you might at least be able to see
them
> in a more coherent form. Then you can relaunch your blitzkrieg.
But
>

Me a troublemaker?! Just because I questioned some of your
statements? I thought this group was a forum for debate.
However I will not challenge you to a duel, since we both
love those "minor" EILEEN songs. Instead we should get together and
sing "There's Nothing Like Love" (and do the little minuet...)

JPC







>
>
>
> >
5480


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:52pm
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
>
>
>
> The saddest I think is "Nobody's Heart":
>
> "Nobody's heart belongs to me,
> Heigh-ho,
> Who cares?"
>

Yes I agree -- and a great melody too of course. Do you know the
beautiful. brooding Gil Evans arrangement for his great 1957 album?
Another achingly sad one is "A Ship Without a Sail" (in the "Spring
Is Here" mood) and Rodgers' melody line is truly daring for its time.
>



There's a greatDoris Day album with arrangements by
> Andre previn called"Duet" in which she sings thatone
> to perfection.
>
> Don't know that one. Shall look it up.

Check out Susannah McCorkle's version of Spring is Here in
her "I'll Take Romance" CD. A beauty.
> >
> >
> .
> > >
> > Anyway David should we start a Larry Hart Yahoo
> > group?
>
>
> Dunno. Is there interest?


Who knows? There are 98 people interested in this group...
>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New Yahoo! Photos - easier uploading and sharing.
> http://photos.yahoo.com/
5481


From: jess_l_amortell
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
> > Anyway David should we start a Larry Hart Yahoo
> > group?
>
>
> Dunno. Is there interest?


Not, judging by this one: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lorenzhartsclub/

Seems like auteurism has the edge.
5482


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:15pm
Subject: Resnais' French Kissing
 
Some of us have been talking a lot about old musicals and old songs
recently. It brings to mind that Resnais' latest film is a
(reportedly thoroughly "faithful") adaptation of a 1925
French "operette" by the prolific and talented Maurice Yvain, PAS SUR
LA BOUCHE. There are twenty songs and none of the actors (Azema,
Tautou, Arditi...) are dubbed.
Great interview with Resnais in the December issue of POSITIF. Also
one with his arranger, Bruno Fontaine.

JPC
5483


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:17pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:
Do
> you know the
> beautiful. brooding Gil Evans arrangement for his
> great 1957 album?

Yes. Love Gil Evans. The last work he did was
"Absolute Beginners." The musical arrangements for
that very underrated MAJOR musical are extraordinary.

> Another achingly sad one is "A Ship Without a Sail"
> (in the "Spring
> Is Here" mood) and Rodgers' melody line is truly
> daring for its time.
> >
I have a Libby Holman recording of that one.

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5484


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:27pm
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jess_l_amortell"
wrote:
> > > Anyway David should we start a Larry Hart Yahoo
> > > group?
> >
> >
> > Dunno. Is there interest?
>
>
> Not, judging by this one:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lorenzhartsclub/
>
> Seems like auteurism has the edge.

ONLY 3 MEMBERS! And no messages! Sad!
5485


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Resnais' French Kissing
 
I heard about this a couple of months back when I ran
into Lambert Wilson in "Book Soup" here in L.A.
He's a marvelous singer.

Resnais is a great musical comedy fan. In the early
70's he spent a lot of time in New York, where he saw
"Company" and "Follies" many times -- and got Sondheim
to do the music for "Stavisky" as a result.
"Company" is also why he cast Elaine Stritch in
"Providence."

--- jpcoursodon wrote:
> Some of us have been talking a lot about old
> musicals and old songs
> recently. It brings to mind that Resnais' latest
> film is a
> (reportedly thoroughly "faithful") adaptation of a
> 1925
> French "operette" by the prolific and talented
> Maurice Yvain, PAS SUR
> LA BOUCHE. There are twenty songs and none of the
> actors (Azema,
> Tautou, Arditi...) are dubbed.
> Great interview with Resnais in the December issue
> of POSITIF. Also
> one with his arranger, Bruno Fontaine.
>
> JPC
>
>


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5486


From: Craig Keller
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:30pm
Subject: from this weekend's NYTimes Magazine --
 
At the same time, though, he [Bruno Bonnell, CEO of Atari] might
approve a game that others would find offensive if he felt it had
artistic merit; and in this he joins a growing chorus, principally of
academics, who say it's time to start taking the video game a lot more
seriously, not as a sociological phenomenon but as an art form in its
own right. A European group called the Digital Games Research
Association recently organized a conference at which a call was issued
for the gaming equivalent of Cahiers du Cinema, the French journal
responsible for the first serious analyses of Westerns and murder
mysteries and other forms of what was previously considered a kind of
junk entertainment.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
5487


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:31pm
Subject: Re: from this weekend's NYTimes Magazine --
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Craig Keller
wrote:
>
>
> Cahiers du Cinema, the French journal
> responsible for the first serious analyses of Westerns and murder
> mysteries and other forms of what was previously considered a kind
of
> junk entertainment.
>
>

The price of fame...
5488


From: Damien Bona
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:39am
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
>
> The saddest I think is "Nobody's Heart":
>
> "Nobody's heart belongs to me,
> Heigh-ho,
> Who cares?"
>


I think what makes Larry Hart the most brilliant of all his
contemporaries (and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg & Johnny Mercer are
right up there (as is Frank Loesser who only overlaps with Hart for a
very few years)) is his sense of self-awareness in his lyrics.

"Nobody's Heart" probably is his saddest song, but the one I found
most profound and bracing is "This Funny World."


A mop! A broom! A pail!
The stuff my dreams are made of!
You hope, you strive, you fail!
The world's a place you're not afraid of.
But soon you are brought down to earth,
And you learn what your dream was worth.

This funny world
Makes fun of the things that you strive for
This funny world
Can laugh at the dreams you're alive for.
If you're beaten, conceal it!
There's no pity for you
For the world cannot feel it.
Just keep to yourself
Weep to yourself.
This funny world
Can turn right around and forget you.
It's always sure
To roll right along when you're through.
If you are broke you Shouldn't mind.
It's all a joke, for you will find
This funny world is making fun of you.


David Allen, Matt Dennis and Claire Martin have especially memorable
recordings of the song.

Another great recording of "Nobody's Heart" is Tony Bennett's.
5489


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 10:09am
Subject: HK/Asian titles tampered with by Miramax
 
Miramax also has the US rights to Tsui Hark's Zu Warriors,which they
tried to recut for higher test scores and then decided to shelve it.

Shoalin Soccer, Hero, Zu Warriors and Iron Monkey are available on
VCD which are region free and a lot of DVD players play. I live in
San Francisco and have picked up some of these titles in Chinatown,
along with many Shaw Brothers titles that are also available on VCD.
Overall the image quality is decent, with Shoalin Soccer and the Shaw
Brothers titles being rather sharp for VCD. The one VCD distributor
to avoid is Deltamac, the images on the VCDs I have seen (Iron
Monkey, Chinese Ghost Story I-III) are full of artifacts and the
images are literally breaking apart at times.
5490


From:
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:02am
Subject: Re: Cool As Ice
 
"This Funny World" seems heartbreaking.
There is often little recognition for writers and artists. That is why I
created my web site. The hope was to remember and celebrate the great
accomplishments of mystery writers, comics creators and filmmakers. All people whose
achievements need to be remembered by society! People need their message of
imagination and creativity!
Andrew Sarris once wrote an article entitled "Auteurism versus Amnesia". This
is profoundly true. The auteurist dream is to remember and share and
celebrate.
Mike Grost
5491


From:
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 9:01am
Subject: Julien Temple
 
David Ehrenstein writes about how much he admires "Absolute Beginners"
(Julien Temple, 1986). Temple's work is terrific, both in his feature films and his
music videos. Temple is certainly an auteur.
There are some notes on Julien Temple in my web site article on 1980's music
video directors:
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/musvideo.htm#Temple

Mike Grost
5492


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:19pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cool As Ice
 
--- Damien Bona wrote:

>
> David Allen, Matt Dennis and Claire Martin have
> especially memorable
> recordings of the song.
>
Another great rendition Of "This Funny World" is by
(the recently-deceased and much-missed) Dorothy Loudon
on Ben Bagley's "Rogers and Hart Revisited."


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5493


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:22pm
Subject: Re: Julien Temple
 
I also love Temple'ssequence in "Aria" -- a Verdi
pastiche shot at the Madonna Inn (Umberto Eco's
description of which in "Travels in Hyper-Reality" is
nonpareil) starring Buck Henry, Anita Morris and a
steadicam.

--- MG4273@a... wrote:
> David Ehrenstein writes about how much he admires
> "Absolute Beginners"
> (Julien Temple, 1986). Temple's work is terrific,
> both in his feature films and his
> music videos. Temple is certainly an auteur.
> There are some notes on Julien Temple in my web site
> article on 1980's music
> video directors:
> http://members.aol.com/MG4273/musvideo.htm#Temple
>
> Mike Grost
>


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5494


From:
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 9:41am
Subject: Aria; Creative Arts Showcase
 
Aria (1987) is full of treasures. In addition to Temple's hilarious piece of
Verdi, other highlights include Ken Russell's video of "Nessun Dorma" and
Derek Jarman's video of "Depuis le jour".
"Aria" (ten music videos based on classical music opera selections) was a
flop at the box office. One hoped it would be a big success, and spawn an Aria 2,
an Aria 3, and even an Aria 37!
Today we have the TV channel Creative Arts Showcase. It shows all sorts of
clips of classical music performance, music videos, opera, ballet, and animated
films based on classical music (including lots of Oskar Fischinger). It
sometimes shows clips of film classics, too. Recently they showed the hunt for the
killer with the twitching eye from "Young and Innocent" (Hitchcock). This
sequence is all synchronized to the jazz song "Drummer Man". If the thriller genre
had not existed, Hitch could have had a great career making music videos for
"Top of the Pops"! Hitchcock shows an astonishing flair for linking up music
and camera movement here.
Mike Grost
5495


From: Michael Lieberman
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Julien Temple - Earth Girls are Easy
 
Speaking of Temple, I really enjoyed Earth Girls are Easy, a fine document of the plastic '80s if there ever was one.

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 06:22:26 -0800 (PST)
To: a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [a_film_by] Julien Temple





I also love Temple'ssequence in "Aria" -- a Verdi

pastiche shot at the Madonna Inn (Umberto Eco's

description of which in "Travels in Hyper-Reality" is

nonpareil) starring Buck Henry, Anita Morris and a

steadicam.



--- MG4273@a... wrote:

> David Ehrenstein writes about how much he admires

> "Absolute Beginners"

> (Julien Temple, 1986). Temple's work is terrific,

> both in his feature films and his

> music videos. Temple is certainly an auteur.

> There are some notes on Julien Temple in my web site

> article on 1980's music

> video directors:

> http://members.aol.com/MG4273/musvideo.htm#Temple">http://members.aol.com/MG4273/musvideo.htm#Temple">http://members.aol.com/MG4273/musvideo.htm#Temple

>

> Mike Grost

>





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5496


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:44pm
Subject: Hart of the Matter (was Cool as Ice)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> "This Funny World" seems heartbreaking.
> There is often little recognition for writers and artists. That is
why I
> created my web site. The hope was to remember and celebrate the
great
> accomplishments of mystery writers, comics creators and filmmakers.
All people whose
> achievements need to be remembered by society! People need their
message of
> imagination and creativity!
> Andrew Sarris once wrote an article entitled "Auteurism versus
Amnesia". This
> is profoundly true. The auteurist dream is to remember and share
and
> celebrate.
> Mike Grost

And therefore our Larry Hart evocation is not off-topic...

Re: "This Funny World". Alec Wilder devotes almost two full pages
to the song in his "American Popular Song". He calls it "one of
Rodgers' finest songs" and writes "The lyric is very gloomy and
cynical, which may account for the song's obscurity." Wilder, who
knew thousands of songs, said "Outside of the copy used for study
I've never seen the song before, let alone heard it." It was written
for a 1926 show --"Betsy"-- that flopped and Wilder credits Matt
Denis for rescuing it from obscurity "about twenty-six years later".

Among recent renderings of Rodgers-Hart songs, check out the very
fine version of "Spring Is Here" (complete with the beautiful verse,
and a delicate scat chorus) by the very talented Tierney Sutton on
her 2000 Telarc CD "Unsung heroes".

JPC
5497


From: samfilms2003
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Aria; Creative Arts Showcase
 
> Aria (1987) is full of treasures.

I wouldn't be so charitable :)

But, I agree w/ you guys about the Julien Temple, he really understood the premise.
(BTW Mike, where is Spike Jonze on your Music Video list - for "It's All Quiet" alone
shouldn't he be there ?)

The Ken Russell is such a blatant steal from Kenneth Anger (Pleasure Dome) I have to
think it's something personal, details of which I'm not priviledged to.

Jarman's is interesting, not to mention the sheer nerve of blowing up Super 8 to
35mm. Godard is Godard :)

For the most part though, I felt "Aria" proved just how klutzy good directors get when
outside of the realm of conventional narrative.

-Sam
5498


From: Damien Bona
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:14pm
Subject: Blake
 
I was otherwise engaged while all the Blake Edwards discussions were
taking place and have enjoyed playing catch up and reading them.

Just a couple of points. I find it incomprehensible that someone
would admire the Edwards of the 60s and 70s and then become
disenchanted with the 80s Edwards. I think the later films are
incredibly rich, self-reflective and mature, and while I love
Edwards's movies from all periods, the last group beginning with 10
have a mature wisdom, a wistful understanding of the vicissitudes of
life that wasn't as pronounced in the earlier works. Skin Deep,
Victor/Victoria, SOB and 10 are all especially great, but everything
except for Son of the Pink Panther (I can't stand Benigni) is of
interest.

I'm not sure why Switch might be considered a reactionary film
(admittedly it does get queasy about abortion). But a major theme in
Edwards's work is the necessity of being true to your real self in
order to find happiness and fulfillment. It's for this reason that
in an Edwards world Julie Andrews can't continue to pose as a gay man
in Victor/Victoria and why Dudley Moore can't end up with Bo Derek,
and Switch always works itself out according to this precept.

I think that the most defining scene in any Edwards film is when
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard remove their Halloween masks in
Breakfast At Tiffany's it's here where truly fall in love (the
looks they give each other!). This is the crystallization of the
Edwards ethos.

The glow-in-the-dark condom sequence in Skin Deep is one of the
funniest half-dozen things I've ever seen in a movie.
5499


From: Damien Bona
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:24pm
Subject: Re: The Great Race and Edwards M.I.A.s
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:
> On the M.I.A. front, I wonder if anyone has seen either Edwards'
1989 TV
> remake of "Peter Gunn" or the episodic television he directed in
the early '90s?
> I believe the latter was a starring vehicle for Julie Andrews
called "Julie."
> Both are, alas, unavailable on video.
>
> Peter

Peter, I have the Peter Gunn on tape, as well as Justin Case, the
comedy mystery with George Carlin as the ghost of a detective, and
I'll be happy to make you copies (as well as anyone else who's
interested in them). Of course, these tapes are now 14 and 15 years
old, so the picture may have faded.
5500


From: Damien Bona
Date: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:33pm
Subject: Re: Hart of the Matter (was Cool as Ice)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:

>
> Re: "This Funny World". Alec Wilder devotes almost two full pages
> to the song in his "American Popular Song". He calls it "one of
> Rodgers' finest songs" and writes "The lyric is very gloomy and
> cynical, which may account for the song's obscurity." Wilder, who
> knew thousands of songs, said "Outside of the copy used for study
> I've never seen the song before, let alone heard it." It was
written
> for a 1926 show --"Betsy"-- that flopped and Wilder credits Matt
> Denis for rescuing it from obscurity "about twenty-six years
later".
>

Alec Wilder is one of my favorite composers and "I'll Be Around"
and "Blackberry Winter" are particularly great songs. He's also
usually a most incisive critic, but I have to say I think he
misinterprets "This Funny World." Rather than being "gloomy and
cynical," the lyrics are for me quite upbeat. What Hart is telling us
that we shouldn't take the lows of life too seriously, that it's all
just part of being alive. I find the song to be a primer in keeping
things in perspective.

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