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7001


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:42am
Subject: Re: Re: Lost in Translation
 
> Don't these two observations fit together? Granted that some degree
> of physical attraction is present, for Charlotte and Bob to have sex
> or even contemplate doing so would be to succumb to the banality and
> obviousness they find all round them, and reduce the feeling of
> being "above" the world which brought them together in the first
> place.

Whoa - good one. A unified field theory!

There are probably different levels of explanation for the non-sex, but
it makes sense to me that Coppola would feel that it was infra dig to
have the drama culminate in sex. - Dan
7002


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:14am
Subject: Re: Lost in Translation
 
Charlotte and Bob to have sex
or even contemplate doing so would be to succumb to the banality and
obviousness they find all round them, and reduce the feeling of
being "above" the world which brought them together in the first
place. Especially given the way Bob talks about his wife, I'd presume
there are also moral feelings at work; as presented here, the
division between hip and non-hip seems like a contemporary version of
the traditional distaste for "vulgarity", which is moral and
aesthetic at the same time. Scenes like the one at the sex club
present Bob and Charlotte as possessing "finer feelings" -- is this
what David is getting at with his Henry James comparison?

Speculating on the unspoken thoughts and motives of characters seems
to me a perfectly reasonable pursuit, and hard to avoid in discussing
a film like this, which hints at these matters without spelling
everything out. I do think, also, that SC flatters the audience in
inviting identification with Charlotte and Bob's sense of
superiority, and that to point this out is a legitimate criticism.
Granted the same criticism might apply to any number of modernist
works.>

There are lots of totally conventional movies about people we
identify with because they're cooler than everybody else-this isn't
set up that way, because of the director's decision not to let it be
a sexual relationship. People go to movies to identify with
attractive people who get to have sex with other people as attractive
as they are. Inviting them to identify with two people who don't,
just so that they can feel superior to a lot of supporting
characters, is a push-pull - a rather perverse push-pull, in fact.
The only people who might enjoy, in an uncomplicated way, identifying
with two people who are better than everyone around them because they
DON'T have sex would be religious fundamentalists, in my experience.

But what makes you think that they don't have sex because to do so
would be banal, or that they feel everyone around them is banal and
vulgar? The two Americans who are made for each other - the husband
and his client-buddy - are horrible, but the Japanese characters are
either totally crazy or just fun (the girl's friends), not banal. The
indictment of the other two Americans is an indictment of the culture
of Hollywood, which plays approximately the same symbolic offscreen
role as Tokyo in In the Mood for Love. But Tokyo in this film is a
strange, ambiguous kind of paradise.
7003


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:47am
Subject: Re: Re: Lost in Translation
 
--- jaketwilson wrote:
. Scenes like the one at
> the sex club
> present Bob and Charlotte as possessing "finer
> feelings" -- is this
> what David is getting at with his Henry James
> comparison?
>
>Precisely!

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7004


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:54am
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
>
>
> jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> > ...Unfortunately "A Kiss Before Dying" is a pretty awful
movie. ....
> >
> >
> Well, I beg to differ. It's far from the best Oswald, but the
scenes in
> the open pit mine (do I remember this right?) are amazing, and have
the
> brutal frontality of his later work.

Well, I'm not sure what "frontality" means, but the mine scene
takes up about three minutes of the entire movie. Do you have any
more evidence in support of the film's greatness? Of course I saw it
on DVD so I should disqualify myself. JPC Oh, yes I saw a letterbox
version. I refuse to watch any wide screen film in anything but the
proper aspect ratio (although of course it's always somewhat fucked
up on a TV screen).
>
> However it's a 'Scope film, and I don't think 'Scope survives video
very
> well, even in letterboxed form; the resolution is too low and the
impact
> is lost. As another member of our group told me once,
watching 'Scope
> films on video is "against my religion." Which does NOT mean that
I'm
> telling people not to watch it on video, just to keep in mind that
its
> impact will be lessened more than usual.
>
> The three Westerns, "The Brass Legend," "Fury at Showdown," and
> especially "Valerie," are better, as is the terrific "Screaming
Mimi,"
> and, as we've discussed here before, his best film, "Brainwashed."
All
> of those, but especially the westerns, ought to survive video
reasonably
> well. I've seen at least two of the westerns on video and they did.
>
> - Fred
7005


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:57am
Subject: Re: Re: Lost in Translation
 
--- Dan Sallitt wrote:

>
> There are probably different levels of explanation
> for the non-sex, but
> it makes sense to me that Coppola would feel that it
> was infra dig to
> have the drama culminate in sex.

Really? It thought it was because it would be STUPID,
VULGAR AND OBVIOUS!

But that's just me.

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7006


From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:52am
Subject: Re: Re: Crime of Passion
 
jpcoursodon wrote:

>-
>
> Well, I'm not sure what "frontality" means, but the mine scene
>takes up about three minutes of the entire movie.....
>
I have no idea what that means. "Mise en scene" occurs throughout most
movies, or so I thought, unless there's an untranslated article by
Biette or Shmiette that will prove otherwise Please explain.

Oswald's imagery at its best has, for me, a direcness, a phsyicality, as
if the frame is being filled up with solid and impenetrable material, or
blocked by same. This seems to me to express a certain bruatality. The
great example is the floor in "Brainwashed." The way he uses foreground
objects in Westerns is also key, as is a great shot of Valerie's back in
"Valerie." If I remember right "A Kiss Before Dying" has a great scene,
and a key one in the narrative, in an open pit mine in which the mine
walls and shots of the pits have a similarly brutal quality. You really
feel the rought texture of the mine's sides as colliding with your eye,
or at least I did. It's as if the images itself dictate the nasty story
too. I can't believe the power of these images will come through on
letterboxed TV at all, which has an absurdly low resolution. I hate it:
you're looking at scan lines as much as at picture. In my view you
haven't really seen the film. I'm willing to admit I'm in the minority
here and crawl back into the darkness of my private screening room
equipped with an old 16mm projector and a few prints but none of "A Kiss
Before Dying," but I really don't see a point in debating my argument
about the "feel" of the image when I'm speaking to a letterboxed TV
version. I don't mean you shouldn't feel free to resopnd, just that I'm
not sure what else we could discuss.

- Fred
7007


From: Andy Rector
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:57am
Subject: Re: My top tens for 2003
 
1. FROM THE OTHER SIDE (Akerman)

2. 10 (Kiarostami)

3. REMEMBERANCE OF THINGS TO COME (Yannick Bellon/Marker)

4. NAT TURNER: A TROUBLESOME PROPERTY (Burnett)

5. FAAT KINE (Sembene) on PBS! 2001

6. WARMING BY THE DEVIL'S FIRE (Burnett)

7. BAD GIRL (Borzage)1931

8. LE FOND DE L'AIR EST ROUGE (Marker) 1977

9. [pass]

10. EDWEARD MUYBRIDGE: ZOOPRAXOGRAPHER (Thom Andersen) 1974


Favourite film never seen, (please help if you can...):
OU GIT VOTRE SOURIRE ENFOUI? (Pedro Costa)

Much appreciated:
reissues of
AU HASARD, BALTHAZAR (Bresson)
LES YEAUX SANS VISAGE (Franju)
PLAYTIME in 70mm at the Egyptian

Most overrated:
LOST IN TRANSLATION (Sophia Coppola) -defense and illustration of the
new bourgeoisie looking down at the world in condensation. Very tame,
with up-to-date cliches from the best of contemporary cinema.

LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (Thom Andersen) -defense and illustration.

Best,
andy r.
7008


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:04am
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion
 
That's a pretty good description of what I saw many years ago, Fred.
It's a very modern-looking film. The use of shot-sequences throughout
is part of the style - most noticeably in the murder, but just as
much in little scenes like a psychopathic version of James Dean. For
me the film is a brutal rehashing of A Place in the Sun and Rebel
Without a Cause - the plot of the former and the 'Scope style of the
latter, which is at the other end of some scale from the style of A
Kiss Before Dying.

Schmiette?
7009


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:12am
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion
 
Part of my post got et --

That's a pretty good description of what I saw many years ago, Fred.
It's a very modern-looking film. The use of shot-sequences throughout
is part of the style - most noticeably in the murder, but just as
much in little scenes like the one showing Wagner with his mother,
where he seems like a psychopathic version of James Dean. For
me the film is a brutal rehashing of A Place in the Sun and Rebel
Without a Cause - the plot of the former and the 'Scope style of the
latter, which is at the other end of some scale from the style of A
Kiss Before Dying.

I repeat:

Schmiette?
7010


From: jaketwilson
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:35am
Subject: Re: Lost in Translation
 
Banality: while the Japanese characters aren't treated as harshly as
the husband and the starlet (and the singer, another vulgarian)
they're pretty one-dimensional, and we're not encouraged to view them
as human beings on the same level as the leads. Bill, I think in an
earlier post you pointed out that the majority of the supporting
characters, both American and Japanese, are media professionals
devoted to the manufacture of appearances, and it seems to me the
film's "Tokyo" is banal at least in the sense that it consists of
depthless or impenetrable surfaces. For the most part, Charlotte and
Bob are confronted either with distorted imitations of Western
culture, or with alien rituals that remain largely meaningless to an
outsider (e.g. when Charlotte visits the temple). It's true that
Tokyo is a paradise for them as well as a prison, but their aesthetic
pleasure in its weirdness is grounded in irony; Bob never stops
cracking wise at the expense of his surroundings, even if we take
this as more a defensive reflex than an expression of contempt.

Lack of sex as enviable: I agree this is a perverse dynamic, but it's
a somewhat perverse film, IMO. Leaving aside fundamentalist
Christianity, as well as more general taboos against cheating on a
partner, I imagine the main reason for viewing sex as banal is that
sexual desire is a fairly universal phenomenon, and doesn't guarantee
respect for the individuality of the other (witness Bob and the
singer). No doubt there's something morbid here, but I don't think
the yearning for a relationship based on something "higher" than sex
is as uncommon a fantasy as all that! And if we grant that the film
itself would be relatively banal if Charlotte and Bob had become
lovers, we acknowledge the logic whereby chastity defines their
relationship as a unique encounter between two individuals rather
than a run-of-the-mill casual affair. Maybe this ties in with a
broader Romantic tradition of preferring contemplation to action?

The earlier post linking LIT with the modernist current that runs
through Bresson and Antonioni got me wondering how this history might
tie in with a film like MORVERN CALLAR, also directed by a woman,
where the lead character moves through a comparably "unreal" world
like a sleepwalker: not really integrated into society, yet (as far
as we can judge) immersed in the moment and devoid of critical
distance. There are quite a few characters like her in recent movies,
and "alienated" doesn't seem quite the word for them either.

JTW
7011


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:38am
Subject: Re: My top tens for 2003
 
Kevin wrote:

> 8. From Justin to Kelly

Ahem... A few words? Seriously, I would like a reason to see this.

Also, from Andy:

> 6. WARMING BY THE DEVIL'S FIRE (Burnett)

Good job. I thought Burnett's episode was the best in the Blues series.
Too bad Wenders' was the only one that got any theatrical consideration.

Also, Andy, you cheated... about 5 times.


> OU GIT VOTRE SOURIRE ENFOUI? (Pedro Costa)

Despite the fact that this takes place mostly in the dark, it is quite
beautiful in 35mm.

Gabe
7012


From: Frederick M. Veith
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:26am
Subject: Gregory Markopoulos
 
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004, David Ehrenstein wrote:

> Lots of Markopoulos? Where? What did you see?

Last February, there was a weekend of programs at the Walter Reade:

Psyche
Twice a Man
Ming Green
Himself as Herself
Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill
Bliss
The Illiac Passion
selections from Galaxie
Political Portraits
Sorrows

There was a blizzard on Sunday evening. I chanced it, staying through the
last program. By the time I got to the train station in Princeton, there
was over a foot of snow on the ground and New Jersey had declared a state
of emergency. The on- and off-ramps on the highways weren't plowed at all,
which I discovered by slaloming downhill through snow drifts in a minivan.
At one point on I-95 at about 2 AM in white out conditions with no one
else on the road, I went into a long slow motion spin which ended in a 4
foot deep snow bank. The whole experience was oddly serene. A memorable
weekend.

There was also a private screening of:

Swain
Eros, O Basileus
Genius

Fred.
7013


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:30am
Subject: MORVERN CALLAR
 
I'll have to see it - sounds like my kind of movie.
7014


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Re: Lost in Translation
 
Sofia Coppola's take, from the January issue of Cahiers (sorry, no time
to translate) --

Scarlett et Bill se sont rencontrés la veille du premier jour de
tournage. On a essayé de tourner les scènes dans l'ordre, pour que
Scarlett et Bill fassent connaissance comme leurs personnages, en
douceur. La relation entre Bob Harris et Charlotte n'a rien de sexuel,
ils sont un rapport purement amical, à la limite père-fille. Ce genre
de relation, avec quelqu'un de plus âge, existe. Je l'ai moi-même
vécu. Il y a là quelque chose de romantique qui m'attire beaucoup. Je
désirais représenter une relation non conflictuelle, non dramatique
entre un homme et une femme, où l'homme prend soin de la femme. Le
passage à l'acte ne m'intéresse pas. Je trouve plus intéressant de
voir comment deux personnes tombent amoureux, que comment ils enlèvent
leurs vêtements. L'hôtel est un lieu qui favorise ce genre de
situation, c'est un monde en soi. J'avais envie de voir deux personnes
esseulés s'y rencontrer, de voir à quel moment et où elles se
croiseraient.

De plus, j'étais attirée par une certaine innocence romantique qu'on
ressent dans les films des années 50 et 60, un romantisme qui repose
sur le non-accomplissement. Autrefois, il fallait qu'il y ait une
cause extérieure, la guerre par exemple, qui rende la relation
objectivement impossible dans la durée. Mais en fait, certaines
relations dans la vie ressemblent à cela, elles demeurent entre-deux.
Le fait que la relation soit sans avenir participe de son charme. On
sait que ça ne pourrait pas marcher entre Charlotte et Bob. Leur
relation ne dure que le temps du film. Mais quand Bob et Charlotte
retournent à leur vie, ils ont au moins repris contact avec eux-mêmes.
7015


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:50pm
Subject: Re: Re: Lost in Translation
 
>     This is way too deep for me. My reading of the opening shot is
> that SC is telling us: "SEX! Now that I've got your attention, let's
> move to something a bit different." The pink panties are a red
> herring. Nothing more. Of course you can always get into those
> panties and read whatever you want in them.

No, that's the opening shot of 'Eyes Wide Shut' (albeit sandwiched
between two black title cards like a dream-flash/eye-blink/"peep"). I
think the opening shot of 'Lost in Translation' is a mini-overture of
the film and the character of Charlotte: pretty, in a cold place, but
with softness and a certain gentleness.

cmk.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7016


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Gregory Markopoulos
 
Wow. I hope you saw them all Fred, especially "Eros O
Basileus" and "The Illiac Passion." Rather odd that
he'd show only "selections" from "Galaxie." Were the
Maurice Sendak and W.H. Auden portraits included in
what you saw?

--- "Frederick M. Veith"
wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Jan 2004, David Ehrenstein wrote:
>
> > Lots of Markopoulos? Where? What did you see?
>
> Last February, there was a weekend of programs at
> the Walter Reade:
>
> Psyche
> Twice a Man
> Ming Green
> Himself as Herself
> Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill
> Bliss
> The Illiac Passion
> selections from Galaxie
> Political Portraits
> Sorrows
>
> There was a blizzard on Sunday evening. I chanced
> it, staying through the
> last program. By the time I got to the train station
> in Princeton, there
> was over a foot of snow on the ground and New Jersey
> had declared a state
> of emergency. The on- and off-ramps on the highways
> weren't plowed at all,
> which I discovered by slaloming downhill through
> snow drifts in a minivan.
> At one point on I-95 at about 2 AM in white out
> conditions with no one
> else on the road, I went into a long slow motion
> spin which ended in a 4
> foot deep snow bank. The whole experience was oddly
> serene. A memorable
> weekend.
>
> There was also a private screening of:
>
> Swain
> Eros, O Basileus
> Genius
>
> Fred.
>


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7017


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
>
>
> jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> >-
> >
> > Well, I'm not sure what "frontality" means, but the mine scene
> >takes up about three minutes of the entire movie.....
> >
> I have no idea what that means. "Mise en scene" occurs throughout
most
> movies, or so I thought, unless there's an untranslated article by
> Biette or Shmiette that will prove otherwise Please explain.
>


Fred, YOU wrote "frontality" not me! And I wrote "the mine scene"
(meaning the scene at the mine), not the mise en scene!!!!

Aside from this wretched misunderstanding I agree that we (you
and I) should not discuss any specific film I have seen only on video
since according to you the mise en scene cannot be appreciated on a
TV screen.But beyond that we probably shouldn't discuss any film at
all since what turns you on and turns you off in films seems so far
away from what turns me on and off, especially judging from your
assessment of "3:10 to Yma" as a very bad film.
JPC
7018


From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Re: Crime of Passion
 
jpcoursodon wrote:

>---
>
>And I wrote "the mine scene"
>(meaning the scene at the mine), not the mise en scene!!!!
>
>
>
Yipes, I apologize. I'm now looking around for a remedial reading
course, to help me learn to distinguish "mine scene" from "mise en
scene." However I continue to think the mine scene's mise en scene is
great, however short the scene is. And I also think I can learn by
debating films with those who disagree with me.

- Fred
7019


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:27pm
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion/Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:

"Oh, yes I saw a letterbox version. I refuse to watch any wide
screen film in anything but the proper aspect ratio (although of
course it's always somewhat fucked up on a TV screen)."

It may be difficult to see any 'Scope film in video format in its
proper aspect ratio. When viewing THE INDIAN FIGHTER on DVD recently
I noted that that the left side of the frame of this letter-boxed
version was cropped to the extent of not showing the warning arrow
fired at Kirk Douglas as he rides by the pine tree. In itself this
is minor, but an accumulation of these kinds of distortions through
out the movie is disturbing.

JPC, you mentioned that 1:33x1 movies had been projected cropped when
revived after the mid-1950s. Well, the DVD of TOUCH OF EVIL suffers
from this too. The polar caps of the Universal logo are cut off, and
since many scenes are played out under arches, an important visual
motif is destroyed.

The Criterion DVD of PLAY TIME purportedly shows a comparison between
the 70mm version and the standard version though it's quite obvious
that the so-called 70mm clip is anamorphically stretched. For these
reasons I resort to video format versions as references to
movies that I've seen projected as films first.

Finally, I saw the 70mm print of PLAY TIME last weekend and I wonder
if it was actually shot in 70mm (or more accurately 65mm.) The
book "Wide Screen Movies" claims a 1:66x1 aspect ratio and says that
it was a blow-up from 35mm. Does anyone know the truth of the matter?

Richard
7020


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:29pm
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
>
>
> jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> >---
> >
> >And I wrote "the mine scene"
> >(meaning the scene at the mine), not the mise en scene!!!!
> >
> >
> >
> Yipes, I apologize. I'm now looking around for a remedial reading
> course, to help me learn to distinguish "mine scene" from "mise en
> scene." However I continue to think the mine scene's mise en scene
is
> great, however short the scene is. And I also think I can learn by
> debating films with those who disagree with me.
>
> - Fred

But in your previous post you said it was useless to debate with
me since I have not really "seen" the film in question.(I only saw a
DVD). Since my chances to ever see "A Kiss Before Dying" in a theater
are near zero there is no debate possible.

Are there other great scenes beside the mine scene?

I agree with Bill that the film reminds one of "A Place in the
Sun" and (to a lesser extant in my opinion) "Rebel Without a Cause";
that is, it's a pale quasi-imitation of two major films that have
been greatly overrated (again IMHO), the former by traditional
critical opinion, the latter by auteurists.
JPC
7021


From: Gary W. Tooze
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:36pm
Subject: Une partie de campagne
 
I fell in love with this unfinished film by Renoir...

Une partie de campagne

The Film
Based on Guy de Maupassant's story of the same name "Une partie de
campagne." is an unfinished film by Jean Renoir that has beautiful,
romantic imagery of a contemplative nature and is based on the human
conditions of love, emotion and frailty. The film was initially to be
included as a two-part feature film, but the funding was never obtained for
the second half. What we have left is a beautiful film unmarred by the
economics of cinema and often stated as Renoir's best-loved of his films.
On a country picnic a young girl leaves her family and fiancé for a while
and succumbs to a brief romance. Renoir's sensuous tribute to the
countryside - and to the river - has seldom been surpassed. 5/5

The DVD
BFI have gone to some lengths with this DVD. It is a forgotten unfinished
film by a master director and many film buffs have never had the
opportunity to see it. The image quality is very good - only minute traces
of dirt and scratches. the sub-titles are, unfortunately, non-removable
although they are well done and clear. There is a host of interesting
Extras including a commentary and discarded scenes. I would suspect that
any true fans of Jean Renoir MUST obtain this DVD. The sound is wonderful
and clear and a big part of this presentation. Big thanks to BFI for
bringing this to DVD in such fine quality 4.5/5

http://207.136.67.23/film/DVDReview2/dayinthecountry.htm

Cheers,

Gary William Tooze
http://www.DVDBeaver.com







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7022


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion/Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano"
wrote:
.
>
> JPC, you mentioned that 1:33x1 movies had been projected cropped
when
> revived after the mid-1950s. Well, the DVD of TOUCH OF EVIL
suffers
> from this too. The polar caps of the Universal logo are cut off,
and
> since many scenes are played out under arches, an important visual
> motif is destroyed.
>

Richard

Yes, and it's as bad as the well-intentioned but disastrous
refurbishing of the soundtrack to the opening sequence. By the way
this reminds me that by the time TOUCH OF EVIL was released in France
practically all theaters had installed phony "wide screens", not
making any allowance for 1:33x1 projection, and the film was badly
cropped even in the one first-run Paris theater where it played in a
subtitled version. I seem to remember Bazin wrote an indignant
article about this, but aside from handfuls of cinephiles, no one
cared or even noticed.

And yes letter-boxing is often done haphazardly or carelessly,
perhaps in some cases at least because the actual aspect ratio of the
film is not clear.

In letterbox versions of "It's Always Fair Weather", a CinemaScope
film, actors that should be in the frame are often partly or
completely out (eg. the trio scene with the garbage can covers).
However this problem already existed when I saw the film in
theaters, first in Paris and later in New York. I queried Donen about
this once but he sort of dismissed the question, as he often does (he
also insisted that Kelly never recorded a ballad version of "All I do
is Dream of You" for "Singin' in the Rain" although it's been
published on an early LP which I had).

JPC
7023


From: Jess Amortell
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:01pm
Subject: Walsh, Oswald
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick Ciccone" wrote:
> a propos of Walsh [...]
> I saw ME AND MY GAL in 35mm right when I got here in 1999 (which
> melted in the projector during the credits) but I can't recall any
> Walsh films playing theatrically here since then. (THE REGENERATION
> may be playing here soon--I'll have to check the schedules). Even in
> a major city, there's stuff that never, never plays,


Too true, but it should be noted that GUN FURY is coming up at Film Forum, in the 3D series.



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
>
> I agree with Bill that the film reminds one of "A Place in the
> Sun" and (to a lesser extant in my opinion) "Rebel Without a Cause"


In its turn, though, isn't A KISS BEFORE DYING also an uncanny PSYCHO antecedent (I probably shouldn't give the details) -- there's some VERTIGO there too. Is there any evidence that Hitch knew the film (or more to the point, that he didn't)?

By the way, has anything ever been written, in English at least, about Oswald's oeuvre? (Mining his mise en scene...)
7024


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:20pm
Subject: Aspect Ratios
 
> It may be difficult to see any 'Scope film in video format in its
> proper aspect ratio.  When viewing THE INDIAN FIGHTER on DVD recently
> I noted that that the left side of the frame of this letter-boxed
> version was cropped to the extent of not showing the warning arrow
> fired at Kirk Douglas as he rides by the pine tree.  In itself this
> is minor, but an accumulation of these kinds of distortions through
> out the movie is disturbing.
>
> JPC, you mentioned that 1:33x1 movies had been projected cropped when
> revived after the mid-1950s.  Well, the DVD of TOUCH OF EVIL suffers
> from this too.  The polar caps of the Universal logo are cut off, and
> since many scenes are played out under arches, an important visual
> motif is destroyed.

Although I haven't seen the DVD of 'The Indian Fighter,' there's a
chance that what's actually happening here has less to do with transfer
than the interaction between the disc and the television set -- it
could be a simple matter of "overscan" -- the phenomenon of the
"chopped-off" part of the image existing, but extending beyond the
edges of the television's frame. If you put the disc in on a computer
monitor, HD set, video-projector, or have a DVD player than can "zoom"
the picture backward slightly, you might find that the parts of the
frame's left side you've determined to be cropped were in fact (sort
of) there all along. The same might apply for 'Touch of Evil' -- I'll
investigate.

Re: the Criterion version of 'Playtime,' there was apparently a lot of
actual cropping in that first edition, a problem that is likely to be
remedied with the company's re-release (of the new restoration) of the
film later in the year.

craig.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7025


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:27pm
Subject: Re: Re: Crime of Passion/Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
--- Richard Modiano wrote:
.
>
> Finally, I saw the 70mm print of PLAY TIME last
> weekend and I wonder
> if it was actually shot in 70mm (or more accurately
> 65mm.) The
> book "Wide Screen Movies" claims a 1:66x1 aspect
> ratio and says that
> it was a blow-up from 35mm. Does anyone know the
> truth of the matter?
>
Itwas shot in 65mm. In a 1967 "Cahiers" I own there's
a pic of Tati on the set standing next to a camera
that's clearly marked as 70mm.

How was the stero on the print you saw? The sound is
just as important than the image if not more so.
"Playtime" was shot silent. He took over a year to
create the sound for it.


__________________________________
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7026


From: Greg Dunlap
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
> > JPC, you mentioned that 1:33x1 movies had been projected cropped
> when
> > revived after the mid-1950s.  Well, the DVD of TOUCH OF EVIL
> suffers
> > from this too.  The polar caps of the Universal logo are cut off,
> and
> > since many scenes are played out under arches, an important visual
> > motif is destroyed.

This practice continues today, even with modern films. When Elephant
(1.33:1) played here in Chicago, there was no screen in town showing it
at that ratio. They all cropped it to 1.85:1.

=====
--------------------
Greg Dunlap
heyrocker@y...

__________________________________
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7027


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:00pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
> This practice continues today, even with modern films. When Elephant
> (1.33:1) played here in Chicago, there was no screen in town showing it
> at that ratio. They all cropped it to 1.85:1.

I'm not really familiar with the technical side of projection, but how
is a 1.33:1 image cropped -to- a 1.85:1? Isn't there a way to simply
"focus"/narrow the thrown image to a smaller surface area? As such,
re: this cropping, when 1.85:1 screens were introduced, was the
verticality (height) of screens decreased?

craig.
7028


From: Frederick M. Veith
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Gregory Markopoulos
 
On Mon, 26 Jan 2004, David Ehrenstein wrote:

> Wow. I hope you saw them all Fred, especially "Eros O
> Basileus" and "The Illiac Passion." Rather odd that
> he'd show only "selections" from "Galaxie." Were the
> Maurice Sendak and W.H. Auden portraits included in
> what you saw?

Of course! I very nearly drove all the way to Cambridge to see the Walter
Reade programs again, before practical considerations intervened. I have
to admit that, on a single viewing at least, both Eros and Illiac were
somewhat more difficult than the rest; Illiac Passion especially, though
I remember it starting to cohere towards the end. I would have to see it
again; needless to say I want to see them all as many times as possible.

I'm not sure why Galaxie was selections except that perhaps Robert hadn't
printed the whole film in time? Also, it was showing with Political
Portraits; both in their entirety would've made for 2 1/2 hours of
portraiture (not that I would've complained). I'm afraid I wouldn't be
able to pick W.H. Auden out of a lineup, but I think Sendak was included
as well as Battcock, although my memory may be playing tricks on me.

Of those I've seen, my favorites (in no particular order) are:

Twice a Man
Ming Green
Political Portraits
Sorrows
Genius

I hope to be able to make it to Arcadia in June.

Fred.
7029


From: Joseph Kaufman
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:28pm
Subject: Re: Crime of Passion/Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
>Finally, I saw the 70mm print of PLAY TIME last weekend and I wonder
>if it was actually shot in 70mm (or more accurately 65mm.) The
>book "Wide Screen Movies" claims a 1:66x1 aspect ratio and says that
>it was a blow-up from 35mm. Does anyone know the truth of the matter?
>
>Richard

WIDE SCREEN MOVIES, as we know, is far from a model of accuracy.

Tati didn't use the full width available to him in 70mm. There was
some discussion of the ratio after the Egyptian show I was at, some
saying 1.66, some 1.85. To me it looked like about 2:1. However the
sharpness of the image certainly suggested that it was shot in 65mm
for 70mm presentation.

Also, there was one shot that didn't have the proper in-camera matte,
and the image spilled over the sides of the masking at the theater.
That one shot looked like it was the usual 70mm 2.2:1 ratio, further
arguing against PLAY TIME being a blow up from 35.
--

- Joe Kaufman
7030


From: Andy Rector
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:32pm
Subject: PLAYTIME
 
I saw Playtime projected in 70mm over the weekend as well. The sound
was well done, a little better than the other screening I'd seen on
35mm. The movie is well known for it's dispersal of the eye but this
was the first time I'd noticed (or began to understand) the dispersal
of the ear, and how these dispersals dance together.

Does anyone know about this version just shown at the Egyptian? I
guess there is an extra 15 minutes but I only noticed about 3 minutes
different including a (what looks to be) badly cropped blown up
bonafide reverse shot of some skyscapers looking back on the workers
repairing the neon arrow sign just before the film enters the Royal
Gardens, and a scene in the drugstore after the emptying of the club.
Is this close to an original version? Or just the French version? I'm
confused.

Best,
andy
7031


From:
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:38pm
Subject: Regeneration (Raoul Walsh)
 
Regeneration (Raoul Walsh, 1915)is a terrific movie! The thought that theater prints might be circulating is exciting - have only seen it on TV. It is available on video.
In addition to being a good movie in its own right, Regeneration (there is no "the" in the title) shows that Walsh was already Walsh way back in 1915. Again and again, when watching Walsh movies as late as the end of the 1950's, one can see links between this early Walsh and the rest of his work. It is like a Rosetta stone, proving that Walsh was making personal cinema throughout his career. This is true in subject matter, themes, visual style. For example, it is full of the "circle" imagery that is rampant throughout Walsh's compositions in many of his films.
A note on "The Fog of War", which I have not seen. This film is supposed to investigate McNamarra's real-life use of "cost-benefit" ratios in warfare, according to reviews. The fiction film "The Naked and the Dead" (Walsh, 1958) already contains a full scale expose of somewhat similar practises. It offers a truly chilling deconstruction of how war is waged, with the dehumanized general pursuing his goals like a salesman trying to make his quota. Pretty strong stuff!

Mike Grost

more details on Walsh, Regeneration and circles on my web page at:
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/walsh.htm
7032


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Gregory Markopoulos
 
I wrote about "Galaxie" back in 1967 for an anthology
(now long out of print) put out by Dutton paperbacks:
"The New American Cinema: A Critical Anthology" --
edited by Gregory Battcock.

--- "Frederick M. Veith"
>
> Of course! I very nearly drove all the way to
> Cambridge to see the Walter
> Reade programs again, before practical
> considerations intervened. I have
> to admit that, on a single viewing at least, both
> Eros and Illiac were
> somewhat more difficult than the rest; Illiac
> Passion especially, though
> I remember it starting to cohere towards the end. I
> would have to see it
> again; needless to say I want to see them all as
> many times as possible.
>
> I'm not sure why Galaxie was selections except that
> perhaps Robert hadn't
> printed the whole film in time? Also, it was showing
> with Political
> Portraits; both in their entirety would've made for
> 2 1/2 hours of
> portraiture (not that I would've complained). I'm
> afraid I wouldn't be
> able to pick W.H. Auden out of a lineup, but I think
> Sendak was included
> as well as Battcock, although my memory may be
> playing tricks on me.
>
> Of those I've seen, my favorites (in no particular
> order) are:
>
> Twice a Man
> Ming Green
> Political Portraits
> Sorrows
> Genius
>
> I hope to be able to make it to Arcadia in June.
>
> Fred.
>


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7033


From:
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:58pm
Subject: Re: Resnais and Comics; Steranko
 
Have seen references to a project comics artist Jim Steranko is supposed to have started with Alain Resnais. Have no details. Will keep searching for more info. This seems to be separate from the Stan Lee "Monster Maker".
Please see:
http://www.dragoncon.org/people/steranj.html

In addition to being a famous artist, Steranko is also the author of a standard critical work, "The History of Comics".
There are also references to film-lover Steranko being a strong supporter of the auteur theory. He apparently regards himslf as a "comic book auteur": an artist with a strong personal visual style (he certainly is!).
Please see:

http://www.samcci.comics.org/reviews/review012.htm

Mike Grost
True confessions time: all I've ever read of Resnais' comic strip favorites, love story "The Heart of Juliet Jones" and cowboy saga "Red Ryder", are a few samples in history of comics books. This should serve as a wake-up call! I need to get with the program... "Drop that zero, and get with the hero!"
7034


From: Greg Dunlap
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:26pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
> I'm not really familiar with the technical side of projection, but
> how
> is a 1.33:1 image cropped -to- a 1.85:1? Isn't there a way to simply
> "focus"/narrow the thrown image to a smaller surface area? As such,
> re: this cropping, when 1.85:1 screens were introduced, was the
> verticality (height) of screens decreased?

I've never been directly involved in projection either, but it is my
understanding that projectors are fitted with in-camera masks which
cause the image to be blocked off appropriately. The mis-positioning of
these masks is why you will occasionally be in a theatre and see the
boom mike poking into the frame. For scope, you need an entirely
different lens so that whole thing doesn't enter into it. In the case
of a movie like Elephant, I would assume they just run the movie
through once and it looks "right" so they let it go. I have heard that
prints of The Blair Witch Project were actually printed with the image
centered in the middle of a widescreen frame to get around this
problem, which is apparently fairly common.

=====
--------------------
Greg Dunlap
heyrocker@y...

__________________________________
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7035


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:36pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
> The mis-positioning of these masks is why you will occasionally be in
> a theatre and see the
> boom mike poking into the frame. For scope, you need an entirely
> different lens so that whole thing doesn't enter into it.

Interesting. I've always felt that any director who relies on the
theater projectionist to take care of his masking for him and remove
the boom is doing a lazy disservice to his audience, and if you'll
forgive the "mystical-bullshit" trappings of what I'm about to write,
ruins the magic of the diegesis by allowing the image of the mic to be
committed to a piece of the celluloid that won't (ideally) even be seen
at all. This is a personal idiosyncrasy I guess; when I catch the
reflection of the camera on a piece of glass or shiny surface, I say
"yes," and when I see the tip of a boom at the top of the frame or even
know that there's masking taking place, I say "no."

craig.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7036


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:22pm
Subject: Gus van Sant interviewed by The Guardian
 
http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,1128806,00.
html
7037


From: hotlove666
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:21pm
Subject: Re: Play Time
 
Andy (note correct spelling): The extra minutes are mostly at the
end, when the sun comes up and they leave the restaurant. The second
scene in the drugstore, for example, is new to me. I last saw the
film (in 70) at the Academy a few years ago, so I have a pretty clear
memory of what's old. The whole morning section was drastically
shortened in that version and the one that's out on tape here.

There are still 26 minutes missing needed to bring it up to 155,
Tati's original running time, supposedly all lost. Based on the
rapidity with which night falls after the smart-building sequence
ends, I'd say late afternoon was just lifted out. No idea what it
was. So the whole film would have portrayed one cycle of late morning
to early morning.

7038


From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:34pm
Subject: Re: Re: Crime of Passion
 
jpcoursodon wrote:

>---
>
>
>But in your previous post you said it was useless to debate with
>
>me since I have not really "seen" the film in question.(
>
>
>
Sorry, I should have just said that in my opinion the mise en scene of
the mine scene is not going to come through in its full impact on
letterboxed video. You can debate that if you like. I haven't seen the
video and you haven't seen the film so my opinion isn't worth that much
either, and we'd be talking about things the other hasn't seen. That
doesn't prevent us from talking about other films.

I still remember the first time I found myself talking about a film to
someone who had only seen the video. I was offering a mild defense of
"Conan the Barbarian," which I somewhat liked as a landscape film,
though not necessarily for the Governator's acting; I at least thought
it had in some parts a certain visual integrity. My interlocutor was
pooh-poohing me, until I discovered he'd only seen the film on
pan-and-scan video. "It's a 'Scope film," I exploded, and my feeling was
that I'd just wasted five or ten minutes. I mean, it seemed almost
unfair of him to engage me in a discussion. Admittedly that's a somewhat
more extreme case than "Kiss," and admittedly others won't agree with
me, as I've said before, about how well video, even 'Scope video,
translates.

- Fred

- Fred

 
ADVERTISEMENT


7039


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:39pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:

"It was shot in 65mm. In a 1967 "Cahiers" I own there's
a pic of Tati on the set standing next to a camera
that's clearly marked as 70mm.
How was the stero on the print you saw? The sound is
just as important than the image if not more so.
"Playtime" was shot silent. He took over a year to
create the sound for it."

That and Joe's remarks answer the question in the affirmative. The
stereo was excellent, and knowing that the film was shot silent makes
me appreciate all the more the brilliance of the sound design.

To Andy, I noticed about 10 shots that I hadn't seen previously. If
you go by the stated running time and subtract the two minutes of
additional credits for the restoration you get a running time of 122
minutes.

To Craig, I'm familiar with the phenomenon of over scanning, but the
TOUCH OF EVIL DVD is indeed cropped at the top and bottom from 1:33x1
to 1:85x1. It's been noted by a few DVD reviewers. Also, the DVD of
REAR WINDOW is cropped from 1:33x1 to 1:66x1, also noted in some DVD
reviews. As to THE INDIAN FIGHTER, I viewed it on a monitor as well
as my old tv and the same left side cropping was evident.

Richard
7040


From: Craig Keller
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:03pm
Subject: Re: Re: Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
> To Craig,  I'm familiar with the phenomenon of over scanning, but the
> TOUCH OF EVIL DVD is indeed cropped at the top and bottom from 1:33x1
> to 1:85x1.  It's been noted by a few DVD reviewers.  Also, the DVD of
> REAR WINDOW is cropped from 1:33x1 to 1:66x1, also noted in some DVD
> reviews.  As to THE INDIAN FIGHTER, I viewed it on a monitor as well
> as my old tv and the same left side cropping was evident.

Both 'Touch of Evil' and 'Rear Window' are 1.33:1 films?? I had no
idea...

craig.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7041


From: Jess Amortell
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:54pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano" wrote:
> To Craig, I'm familiar with the phenomenon of over scanning, but the
> TOUCH OF EVIL DVD is indeed cropped at the top and bottom from 1:33x1
> to 1:85x1. It's been noted by a few DVD reviewers. Also, the DVD of
> REAR WINDOW is cropped from 1:33x1 to 1:66x1, also noted in some DVD
> reviews.


After years of resisting letterboxing, audiences now seem to expect it: on one DVD rental site, there were complaints that THE QUIET MAN (1952?) was presented in full frame!

I'd imagine any overcropping of REAR WINDOW would plainly damage the courtyard views. That said, what do you make of the following specs given on the IMDB? (Do they have some authority for these, or are they the generic ratios for the respective release dates, or is it possible they're just going by the DVDs?)

REAR WINDOW
Aspect ratio
1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.66 : 1 (intended ratio)

TOUCH OF EVIL
Aspect ratio
1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.85 : 1 (intended ratio)
7042


From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:10pm
Subject: Re: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
Jess Amortell wrote:

>--
>
>REAR WINDOW
>Aspect ratio
>1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
>1.66 : 1 (intended ratio)
>
>TOUCH OF EVIL
>Aspect ratio
>1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
>1.85 : 1 (intended ratio)
>
>
>
It ws common to record 1.33:1 on many films, including films clearly
intended to be shown in 1.85:1. 1.33:1 was used for TV. Sometimes the
prints were 1.33:1 too, intended to be masked in projection.

The research someone needs to do, soon, is to try to find out how
directors and DPs were actually framing post-1954 non-anamorphic films.
Were they really framing for 1.85:1 in the US, or 1.66:1, or even
1.33:1? At what point were viewfinders inscribed with wider ratios?
What did directors and DPs think they were doing? Or were they trying to
frame for both ratios, a near impossible task?

Conventional wisdom is that starting in 1954 or 1955 non-scope and
non-VistaVision films should be masked in projection to 1.85:1, because
that's what most U.S. theaters were doing. I'm not always convinced. The
1.85:1 ratio for "Touch of Evil" looks a little tight to me, and I'd
prefer at least 1.66:1. But what was Welles shooting for? What film did
the filmmakers think they were making, what ratio were they shooting
for? One hopes enough people who worked on key films are still living...

- Fred
7043


From: samfilms2003
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:26pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
US theaters will typically use a 1.85 mask, some have also 1.66
for European films (then there are evil theaters showing everything
about 2:1).

A few venues will project 35mm films @ 1.37:1 but the screen must be
able to accomodate --- because many theaters were never set up
(screen size, lens choice) for projecting the full Academy image.

If the DP uses a so-called "hard matte" in the camera, then you won't
see mic etc even if it was in the Academy area, it wd. be invisible in the
1.66 or 1.85 frame.

But most don't use the hard matte, often for fear of gate hairs.

(I personally think these fears are often unfounded, but why is another
subject)

-sam

> I have heard that
> prints of The Blair Witch Project were actually printed with the image
> centered in the middle of a widescreen frame to get around this
> problem, which is apparently fairly common.

They did, and it was a mistake.

BWP should have been projected with a mask covering the
entire aperature.
7044


From: samfilms2003
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:34pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
> It ws common to record 1.33:1 on many films, including films clearly
> intended to be shown in 1.85:1. 1.33:1 was used for TV. Sometimes the
> prints were 1.33:1 too, intended to be masked in projection.

Or not, "Night of the Hunter" famously composed for the full 1.33 (1,37).

>Or were they trying to
> frame for both ratios, a near impossible task?

Yes and many still are having to frame for both 4:3 TV AND 1.85
It is a nearly impossible task, and it's part of the job :(

-sam
7045


From: samfilms2003
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:35pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios - A Resource
 
http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/
7046


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:47pm
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jess Amortell" .
>
>
> After years of resisting letterboxing, audiences now seem to expect
it: on one DVD rental site, there were complaints that THE QUIET MAN
(1952?) was presented in full frame!
>
I'm afraid that's a bit over-optimistic. Many DVDs still provide
both a letter-box AND a full frame version of a wide-screen film for
the many viewers who want their TV screen "full" no matter what you
miss. And the last time I checked, "The Bridges of Madison County"
was still available only as full-frame on DVD. As for TV stations,
with the exception of TCM anf Fox Classics, they still show
everything full frame (and that includes the once admirable but now
despicable American Movie Classics, which does all sorts of awful
things to movies, including printed running commentary underneath the
picture, commercial breaks, even little parody skits of the film
they're showing). Many ordinary viewers don't seem to be even aware
of (or care about) anything relating to aspect ratio. Things may be
changing, but very slowly. I have over the years explained the
concept of "pan and scan" to quite a few intelligent people who had
no idea what it was and had never noticed what had been done to the
films they had been watching on their TV.

JPC
7047


From:
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Re: My top tens for 2003
 
< LOST IN TRANSLATION
LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (Thom Andersen)>>

Agree with both. Enough has been said on the former. I adore Andersen's
Muybridge film and liked this one for a while. I never realized how streets or
neighborhoods could be stereotyped (probably because I've seen few representations
of Milwaukee, where I've lived on and off for the last 15 years). But it got
increasingly cranky only to arrive at the conclusion that neoneorealism was
the answer. Yawn. And I could have used a deeper analysis of the connection to
Halsted's film.

Kevin



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7048


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 0:53am
Subject: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
The following is a select list of films included in Berlin's Hollywood
1967-76 retrospective that I have yet to see. If you had to pick only a
handful (say 4 or 5), which would you consider "must-see"s:

A Safe Place -- Henry Jaglom
The Candidate -- Michael Ritchie
Cisco Pike -- Bill Norton
The Cool World -- Shirley Clarke
David Holzman's Diary -- Jim McBride
Drive, He Said -- Jack Nicholson
The King of Marvin Gardens -- Bob Rafelson
The Last Detail -- Hal Ashby
The Last Movie -- Dennis Hopper
Me and my brother -- Robert Frank
The Outfit, John Flynn
The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, Take One -- William Greaves
Wanda -- Barbara Loden
The Wild Angels -- Roger Corman
Winter Soldier -- Winterfilm collective

Also still waiting on that defense of FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY (genuinely
curious)!

Gabe
7049


From: Aaron Graham
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:05am
Subject: Re: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
> David Holzman's Diary -- Jim McBride
> Drive, He Said -- Jack Nicholson
> The Last Movie
-If only for the rare chance to see these works on the big screen.

> The Last Detail -- Hal Ashby
> The Outfit, John Flynn
> The Wild Angels -- Roger Corman

These might just be out of my own personal preferences but I'd be
choosin these 6.
DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY, for me, is a landmark film and
THE LAST MOVIE would make it a LM Kit Carson double bill.
THE WILD ANGELS! Ooh la la! Seeing those motorcycles in 'scope
wouldn't even be a question. I would have to see that.
7050


From: Fred Camper
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:07am
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
A lot of theaters simply aren't equipped to show 1.33:1 anymore. Greg is
right that different masks are required for different aspect ratios, but
it's also the case that different lenses are typically required too.

Craig Keller wrote:

>Interesting. I've always felt that any director who relies on the
>theater projectionist to take care of his masking for him and remove
>the boom is doing a lazy disservice to his audience,
>
I wonder how many of the great Hollywood directors of the 1950s and
1960s would have any idea what we're talking about. I'm willing to bet
that some would not, that their sense of the technical issues around
framing and projection was just not that precise. The boom crept in
because the camera operator screwed up, and maybe the director left it
in because he didn't have an alternative, or maybe the masking was set
fine in his screening room. If you project the current 35mm release
prints of "The Searchers" with the wrong mask you will see lights etc.
That their art survived being shown in different ratios (more or less
well depending on the film) says something about its nature, I think.

- Fred
7051


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:18am
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jess Amortell"
wrote:

"I'd imagine any overcropping of REAR WINDOW would plainly damage the
courtyard views. That said, what do you make of the following specs
given on the IMDB? (Do they have some authority for these, or are
they the generic ratios for the respective release dates, or is it
possible they're just going by the DVDs?)

REAR WINDOW
Aspect ratio
1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.66 : 1 (intended ratio)

TOUCH OF EVIL
Aspect ratio
1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.85 : 1 (intended ratio)"

The 1954 Paramount Pressbook (forerunner of the press kit for those
who may not be familiar with these things)for REAR WINDOW gives the
aspect ratio as 1:33x1. Since REAR WINDOW was re-released in 1962 and
1983 as well as 1998 (the restored version) the IMBD may be basing
its information on the aspect ratio given to exhibitors for one of
these later re-releases.

As to TOUCH OF EVIL, I'm going by the apperance of the Universal
globe logo which on all other releases for that period (and for the
previous versions of TOUCH OF EVIL; I have a laser disc of one of
them, and a friend of mine owns a 16mm print of the shortest version)
show the globe with both polar caps present as well as some space
above and below each polar cap.

To Fred, you would be appalled at the DVD of TOUCH OF EVIL; 1:85x1 is
more than just "too tight." 1:66x1 *is* possible for TOUCH OF EVIL,
and if it was shown at that aspect ratio the globe logo would be
touching the top and bottom of the frame with no space above or
below. In any theatrical presentation of any version I've seen of
TOUCH OF EVIL you can see some space above and below the polar caps.

Still, in the absence of any other evidence the question of these
aspect ratios isn't settled. Although REAR WINDOW opened in 1954
(the year of CinemaScope) I trust the pressbook, and it was
Hitchcok's last non-VistaVision film (until THE WRONG MAN.) Maybe
Bill has some information on the REAR WINDOW aspect ratio.

Richard
7052


From: samfilms2003
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:20am
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios
 
Well no one was shooting in the 50's with TV sales in mind,
I mean "Widescreen" (1.85) and needless to say the anamorphic
formats were a specific reaction to TV.

-sam
7053


From: Craig Keller
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:46am
Subject: AMC
 
> As for TV stations,
> with the exception of TCM anf Fox Classics, they still show
> everything full frame (and that includes the once admirable but now
> despicable American Movie Classics, which does all sorts of awful
> things to movies, including printed running commentary underneath the
> picture, commercial breaks, even little parody skits of the film
> they're showing).

Hear hear. American Movie Classics has become simply abysmal in the
last few years. Besides their commercial breaks and insistence on
E!-style "behind-the-blockbusters" supplementary programming (and that
facile host resembling the "daddy" on 'The Nanny'), their idea of what
constitutes a "classic" is magnificently diseased.

craig.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7054


From: George Robinson
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:03am
Subject: Blind Shaft
 
Sorry for the cross-listing but I wanted to reach as many film people as
possible, especially in NYC, to urge you to catch Blind Shaft, the Li Yang
film, which is opening at Film Forum on Feb. 4.
This is definitely the first really brilliant film I've seen this year, a
very noirish drama about an insurance scam in the corruption-riddled Chinese
coal mining industry. It's a cold, heartless film and, needless to say, I
love it.

George (cold and heartless when it suits) Robinson

To find a form that accommodates the
mess, that is the task of the artist.
--Samuel Beckett
7055


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:17am
Subject: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
> The following is a select list of films included in Berlin's Hollywood
> 1967-76 retrospective that I have yet to see. If you had to pick only a
> handful (say 4 or 5), which would you consider "must-see"s:

Haven't seen them all, but for me THE LAST DETAIL and DAVID HOLZMAN'S
DIARY are must-sees, and THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS and CISCO PIKE are
worth seeing. If I were there, I'd definitely check out THE OUTFIT, and
I need to revisit WANDA: I wasn't moved by it when I saw it, but
everyone seems to love it. - Dan
7056


From:
Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:28pm
Subject: Re: My top tens for 2003
 
In a message dated 1/26/04 1:38:16 AM, cklinger@e... writes:


> > 8. From Justin to Kelly
>
> Ahem... A few words? Seriously, I would like a reason to see this.
>

I should preface my remarks by stating that I'm more interested in genres
than I am auteurs (is there a word for that? Genrist?) and that the music that
touches me most is marketed to 13 year old girls. So I had less of a struggle
with this film than I imagine most people on this list would.

What fascinates me about From Justin to Kelly is how, well, generic it is. It
is an unapologetic integrated musical. And this in a time when genre is
supposedly dying (see Corey K. Creekmur's “Picturizing American Cinema: Hindi Film
Songs and the Last Days of Genre” in Soundtrack Included, ed. Pamela
Robertson-Wojick and Arthur Knight. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001) and the
integrated musical number keeps popping up in films as if it were (largely
western) cinema's repressed conscious. It pops up in varying degrees in Not Another
Teen Movie, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, The Hole. It ends Down With
Love, Garage Days. And I'd surmise that one of the reasons Chicago was so popular
is that it tried its darnedest not to be an integrated musical. Why so much
cinema needs to repress the integrated musical number is another matter and I
only have provisional answers anyway. But I recall seeing trailers for From
Justin to Kelly and just knowing it was doomed to flop in such an anxiety-ridden
cultural environment for genre films. And when I finally saw it (yes, in a
theatre and yes, with very few people in attendance), I honestly got a little
choked up because there was something precious and fleeting about the numbers,
like I would never see anything like it again. Why we can accept Spiderman
whizzing around buildings but not Kelly Clarkson revving into song on the beach is a
question I'm very much concerned with. From Justin to Kelly allows me to
ponder it. There really wasn't another English-language film like it last year
(and if I missed something, please let me know).

Kevin




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7057


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:27am
Subject: From Justin to Kelly
 
Kevin: though it's not exactly an integrated musical (if I understand
the concept correctly), THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE might be suited to
your taste as well. It's more of a "performance", I guess (it
culminates in a musical number, like STUCK ON YOU).

And if I can try and guess the "why" of this sentiment:

> Why we can accept Spiderman whizzing around buildings
> but not Kelly Clarkson revving into song on the beach is a
> question I'm very much concerned with.

Well, for me Kelly Clarkson (and Justin) are like the ultimate in pop
kitsch, so unbearable as "packaged", American Idol-ized singers, that I
would easily flip over them on TV, and probably think twice (or ten
times) if I would want to suffer through their songs in a feature film.
But, hell, I wish I had found someone defending the film back in
December, before the winter film fests started to close in. Anyway, I'm
still catching up with stuff like THE MAGDALENE SISTERS and BLUE CAR, I
guess I'll have to rent this one now. Oh, and when is STORY OF THE EYE
gonna start doing the rounds? I just read the book (in an airplane of
all places -- I wanted to go to the lavatory like every five minutes)
and am mightily impressed by the idea to convert it into a feature.

Gabe
7058


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:52am
Subject: Re: Berlinale Hollywood Retrospective
 
The Cool World -- Shirley Clarke
David Holzman's Diary -- Jim McBride
The King of Marvin Gardens -- Bob Rafelson
The Last Detail -- Hal Ashby
The Last Movie -- Dennis Hopper
The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg
Wanda -- Barbara Loden
The Wild Angels -- Roger Corman (edited by Monte Hellman)
7059


From: Peter Tonguette
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:05am
Subject: Rafelson, Schatzberg
 
Bill Krohn wrote:

> The King of Marvin Gardens -- Bob Rafelson

A big second (or third) on this one, Gabe. I think it's Rafelson's
very greatest film. Tangent: has anyone had a chance to catch up
with his latest, the barely-released noir "No Good Deed"? I know
Filipe has. It's a very minor work, the sort that might have gotten
some attention had it played on HBO, but went almost unnoticed since
its distributor decided to release it in the Midwest with no press
screenings. Then again, the largely stellar work Bogdanovich has
been doing on TV has been basically ignored, so maybe not...

> The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg

Schatzberg's been on my list of directors to take a look at for
ages. Can anyone recommend any essential titles (in addition
to "Panic")?

Peter
7060


From: jaketwilson
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:08am
Subject: Re: From Justin To Kelly
 
Kevin's defense has certainly sold me on renting this one -- I'm
presuming it'll be a straight-to-vid release here in Australia. I
wish DOWN WITH LOVE had been an integrated musical all the way
through (maybe in the future -- the script seems well-suited to
Broadway adaptation). From his two films so far, Peyton Reed
incidentally seems a good example of an OK metteur-en-scene who's not
an auteur.

JTW
7061


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:49am
Subject: Re: Rafelson, Schatzberg
 
"Puzzle of a Downfall Child" is excellent. I can't say
I care much for the rest of his work.

"Scarecow" has an enormous reputation in France, but
did not impress me at all.
--- Peter Tonguette wrote:
> Bill Krohn wrote:
>
> > The King of Marvin Gardens -- Bob Rafelson
>
> A big second (or third) on this one, Gabe. I think
> it's Rafelson's
> very greatest film. Tangent: has anyone had a
> chance to catch up
> with his latest, the barely-released noir "No Good
> Deed"? I know
> Filipe has. It's a very minor work, the sort that
> might have gotten
> some attention had it played on HBO, but went almost
> unnoticed since
> its distributor decided to release it in the Midwest
> with no press
> screenings. Then again, the largely stellar work
> Bogdanovich has
> been doing on TV has been basically ignored, so
> maybe not...
>
> > The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg
>
> Schatzberg's been on my list of directors to take a
> look at for
> ages. Can anyone recommend any essential titles (in
> addition
> to "Panic")?
>
> Peter
>
>


__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
7062


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:51am
Subject: Re: Rafelson, Schatzberg
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Tonguette"
wrote:

>
> > The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg
>
> Schatzberg's been on my list of directors to take a look at for
> ages. Can anyone recommend any essential titles (in addition
> to "Panic")?
>
> Peter

"Puzzle of a Downfall Child" and "Scarecrow" -- two of the most
underrated American films of the early seventies. And you might want
to check out "Street Smart", "Honeysuckle Rose" or
even "Misunderstood" although the producers pretty much destroyed it.
Tavernier raves about "Reunion" (which I still haven't seen) in our
book. Please see them all on a big screen in a theater or Fred will
spank you...

JPC
7063


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:54am
Subject: Re: Rafelson, Schatzberg
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> .
>
> "Scarecow" has an enormous reputation in France, but
> did not impress me at all.


See it again, David! ON THE BIG SCREEN... Or maybe go live in
Paris.

>
> >
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
> http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
7064


From: Robert Keser
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:15am
Subject: Re: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
I've seen almost all of these, and I'd choose

Me and My Brother
David Holzman's Diary
The Cool World

(and in that order). For more traditional narrative films,
King of Marvin Gardens and The Last Detail have
more to recommend them than not. Personally, I would
go to Winter Soldier, partly because it's one I haven't seen,
but also for its historical content and because it's
rarely shown, at least in my experience.

(Dan's view of Wanda as not all that exciting pretty much
reflects mine).

--Robert Keser


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Gabe Klinger wrote:
> The following is a select list of films included in Berlin's
Hollywood
> 1967-76 retrospective that I have yet to see. If you had to pick
only a
> handful (say 4 or 5), which would you consider "must-see"s:
7065


From: Henrik Sylow
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:31am
Subject: Re: Aspect Ratios/Play Time
 
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
>
> "It was shot in 65mm. In a 1967 "Cahiers" I own there's
> a pic of Tati on the set standing next to a camera
> that's clearly marked as 70mm.
> How was the stero on the print you saw? The sound is
> just as important than the image if not more so.
> "Playtime" was shot silent. He took over a year to
> create the sound for it."
>

"Playtime" premiered at the Paris Empire (CINERAMA) on Sunday, 17
December 1967 (reviewed in Le Monde #7135, 22 December 1967, pg. 1b,
by Jean de Baroncelli). The March 1968 issue of Cahiers du Cinema
devotes 25 pages to Tati and "Playtime" - filmography includes the
notation: "ramene des la mi-fevrier a 137 mn" - i.e., reduced since
mid-February to 137 mins. - includes a number of production stills
showing 65mm camera with Mitchell nameplate visible.

English-language version (dubbed) premiered at London Odeon Haymarket
on 14 July 1968 - ad in the October 1968 issue of Films and Filming
(pg. 31) specifies 70mm ("Presented by Dimitri de Grunwald"); review
by Allen Eyles (pg. 43) notes: 123 min. running time (originally 152
min.) - also reviewed (with Tati interview) by John Russell Taylor in
The Times, 13 July 1968 (pg. 17).

James Monaco writing in Take One magazine (3:11) published 26
September 1973 says of the American release: "Tati had held out for a
long while to have it seen in its original format, but when U.S.
distributors refused to accept it in 70mm he found discretion the
better part of valor and made it available in a 35mm print with which
he is apparently satisfied... The original version of the film
(besides being at least half an hour longer) also used a stereophonic
sound track to great effect..."

http://www.in70mm.com/news/2003/playtime/restoration.htm

About the aspect ratio, Tati cropped the 70mm framing of 2,2:1 down to
1,70:1.

http://www.in70mm.com/news/2003/playtime/images/playtime_original.jpg

On DVD Beaver, there is a detailed account of both the 1,85:1 cropping
and overscanning, and the difference between the various versions of
the film.

http://207.136.67.23/film/DVDCompare2/playtiime.htm

Henrik
7066


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:46am
Subject: Re: Rafelson, Schatzberg
 
<"Scarecow" has an enormous reputation in France, but
did not impress me at all.>




Amen. I discovered it on the big screen during the 70s series at the
Amiens Festival in 1999, which also introduced me to Delmer Daves. In
some ways Scarecrow the East coast equivalent of Two Lane Blacktop.

Thanks for the tip about the new Rafelson, Peter. I'll always look at
a new Rafelson film. I liked Blood and Wine--it's his more ambitious
recent projects, like Mountains of the Moon, that leave me cold.
Gabe, a chance to see The King of Marvin Gardens on the big screen is
not to be missed.
7067


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:56am
Subject: Re: Oswald, Walsh
 


Seen here in the Cinematheque 3-D series - a knockout.
7068


From: Henrik Sylow
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:59am
Subject: Aspect Ratios and DVD
 
Simple widescreen masking of 35mm is nothing next to whats happening
on DVD.

Films are getting remasked from 1,66:1 into 1,78:1 or 1,85:1 to allow
16x9 compression. While its possible to 16x9 compress any format by
reducing the size of frame (underscan), but extremely few (I only know
of 1 or 2) does this. Apart from horizontal cropping, there is also
vertical cropping, when reframing a 1,85:1 film down to 1,78:1 to
avoid black bars on a 16x9 Set, thereby removing 7% of vertical frame.

The standard 16x9 compression croppes 7-11,5% of the frame, add to
this the common 5-10% overscan, which suggests that up to 21,5% of the
frame could be missing when you see a film on DVD.

This is a problem which will become bigger and bigger, as the industry
doesnt care, as the public doesnt know, and as 16x9 technology will
become the standard (if it not already is: In Australia 4:3 sets were
dropped completely per 1/1/04). Few companies do care, they do treat
the source with some respect, but DVD has IMO become a bastard
technology, too obsessed with techonology, still primitive, and less
concerned with what films are released; Just consider the material
available on Laserdisc vs. DVD.

Henrik
7069


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:05am
Subject: Re: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
Incidentally, I know from scanning the Berlin fest's web site that Richard
Linklater's sequel to "Before Sunrise" - now titled, apparently, "Before Sunset"
- is debuting there. This is certainly one of the films I'm most
anticipating for 2004. If you're able to see this, Gabe, and have time to post, please
let us know what you think!

I was lucky enough to see "Sunrise" in 35mm during a Linklater retrospective
at the Wexner Center in 2000. Linklater introduced the film himself. If I
recall correctly, it was being presented on a double bill with "Some Came
Running," one of his favorite films. The scene in "Sunrise" of Jesse and Celine
inside the listening booth at the record shop is one of my favorites in the film
and, I'd hold, one of the great examples of mise-en-scene in American movies
in the '90s. It's a single handheld shot of a scene containing not a line of
dialogue - and it's stunning. Although his films are very talkly, this scene -
shot, really - and others in "Slacker," "Dazed and Confused," "Tape," "Waking
Life," and even "School of Rock" are ample evidence of what a subtle,
sophisticated filmmaker he is.

And allow me to make a rare reference to an actual actor (heh heh) and say,
please marry me, Julie Delpy. Apparently she's an auteur too, though, having
directed several films (none of which I've seen, shamefully.)

Peter
7070


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:12am
Subject: Re: Re: Rafelson
 
Bill Krohn wrote:

>Thanks for the tip about the new Rafelson, Peter. I'll always look at
>a new Rafelson film. I liked Blood and Wine--it's his more ambitious
>recent projects, like Mountains of the Moon, that leave me cold.

I'd tend to agree. "Mountains" was clearly very personal, and of interest in
that sense, but it's the smaller scale Rafelson films which tend to work
best, I find. And they also tend to be in the noir genre. "Blood and Wine" is
definitely the best of them, but "Black Widow" and "No Good Deed" are both very
fine. Filipe also likes his TV movie "Poodle Springs," based on Chandler.

In this sense, his career has taken an interesting turn. I wasn't around
when he was making films like "Five Easy Pieces" and "Marvin Gardens," but I
don't know that I would have guessed at the time that twenty, thirty years later
he'd be a 'genre' specialist. It reminds me of what Dan wrote in his capsule
on Friedkin's "The Hunted" and the journey that filmmaker has taken from
prestige director (which he was oh-so briefly in the '70s) to director of
disreputable action thrillers. What's interesting is that, in their journey down river
in terms of visibility and prestige, both are arguably working at the top of
their game right now! (Friedkin moreso than Rafelson, admittedly...)

Peter
7071


From: Raymond P.
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:18am
Subject: Re: Blind Shaft
 
Here's my quick review, written early last year:

Blind Shaft (Li Yang) 6/10

A very critical look at modern China and its attempts to "modernize".
People become dispensable in the quest for money. Greed takes
precedence over friendship and loyalty. Corrupt official using bribes
to get off scott-free without being charged. And then there's the
last scene - people literally used as fuel to drive the cold and
uncaring industrialization of China. Which means that none of it is
even remotely subtle or nuance. Instead, for the whole duration of
the film you are constantly hammered by the film's bolded and
exclamationed message. Me? I prefer filmmakers who don't need a
sledgehammer to tell the audience the point (like Jia Zhangke).


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "George Robinson"
wrote:
> Sorry for the cross-listing but I wanted to reach as many film
people as
> possible, especially in NYC, to urge you to catch Blind Shaft, the
Li Yang
> film, which is opening at Film Forum on Feb. 4.
> This is definitely the first really brilliant film I've seen this
year, a
> very noirish drama about an insurance scam in the corruption-
riddled Chinese
> coal mining industry. It's a cold, heartless film and, needless to
say, I
> love it.
>
> George (cold and heartless when it suits) Robinson
>
> To find a form that accommodates the
> mess, that is the task of the artist.
> --Samuel Beckett
7072


From: Elizabeth NOLAN
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:24am
Subject: American Movie Classics
 
I have not watched AMC in quite some time, even with the TiVo capacity
to skip commercials. Sounds like it has only gotten worse.



On Monday, January 26, 2004, at 08:22 PM, a_film_by@yahoogroups.com
wrote:

> the once admirable but now
> despicable American Movie Classics, which does all sorts of awful
> things to movies, including printed running commentary underneath the
> picture, commercial breaks, even little parody skits of the film
> they're showing)
7073


From: Brian Darr
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:41am
Subject: Re: Bangkok Int'l Film Festival
 
I'm sorry to see that the festival is not being run more
professionally. Though I can't deny reading it also helps me feel
less like I've been missing out; the schedules for the past two years'
fests have had me salivating, but a festival cannot succeed on the
strength of programming alone.

It's sad to hear that, even at some festivals, Thai cinema practice is
still to switch off the film before the credits finished rolling. It
happened to me at EVERY film screening I ever saw in Chiang Mai
commercial theatres, except for Thai films and EU Film Fest films. I
got so used to the practice that I was shocked upon going to some of
the fancier venues in Bangkok where this didn't happen.

Also sad to hear that the film started late; at least this never
happened to me when I lived there. In fact the practice seemed to be
to show most of the previews/commercials before the announced start
time. If I entered a 12:30 movie right at 12:30, I'd be right in time
to stand for the Royal Anthem, then have to endure perhaps one trailer
or commercial, and then the film would start. Reserved seating
ensured that I never had to sit through more so-called "pre-show" than
I ever wanted to.

Glad to see a thumbs up for "Saddest Music in the World", especially
under the circumstances.

I suspect I'll still want to check out "Blind Shaft" for myself, but
thanks for the brief warning.

-Brian Darr
7074


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:46am
Subject: Re: From Justin to Kelly
 
THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE left me cold but I'm glad you brought up STUCK ON
YOU which I rather liked. That musical number seems so tacked on and bizarrely
earnest it almost functions like an integrated number anyway.

< kitsch, so unbearable as
"packaged", American Idol-ized singers, that I would easily flip over them on
TV, and probably think twice (or ten times) if I would want to suffer through
their songs in a feature film.>>

Well then let me rephrase: Why we can accept Spiderman whizzing around
buildings but not anyone revving into song on the beach?

Kevin


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7075


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:18am
Subject: Re: Rafelson
 
In the 80s all the mavericks were rounded up and put to work for the
studios. I was working at Fox when Rafelson made Black Widow, and I
compared the film to a Tourneur - for its Zen qualities of
impersonality - in a Cahiers article at the time.

I sometimes see Julie Delpy at Rocket Video, the best East LA
videotheque. I'll pass your proposal on to her the next time I do,
but I hear she's not the marrying kind.
7076


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:27am
Subject: Re: Stuck on You
 
"I'm glad you brought up STUCK ON YOU which I rather liked. That
musical number seems so tacked on and bizarrely earnest it almost
functions like an integrated number anyway."

The choice of "Summetime" compounds the arbitrariness, unless it's a
reference to the fact that Walt and Meryl Streep are doing their
musical of Bonnie and Clyde in "summer stock." The rather touching
use of Moon River was more motivated. ("Two drifters/Off to see the
world...") Did anyone else like this movie?
7077


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:56am
Subject: Shangri-La Pizza (Nick Castle); Carlos Saura
 
"Shangri-La Pizza" (Nick Castle, 1990) is an integrated musical. It is a half
an hour long, and made as a TV pilot. It is an all-singing, all-dancing
extravaganza, set in a brightly colored pizza parlor. It is so much fun, but it has
disappeared from view.
Cannot recommend too highly Carlos Saura's dance films. "Tango" is a
"back-stage musical", about a director putting on a stage musical. This old formula
still works wonders, even if Ned Sparks is no longer around to play the
"director" (see Walsh's "Going Hollywood"). A pure concert film, such as Saura's
"Flamenco" (1995), is also terrific. This film has 300 of Spain's top musicians and
dancers doing their thing. Super-duper!
I also enjoyed "Last Dance" (Tsai Ming-liang), Tsai's combo of weird science
fiction film and musical. Every so often three women come out, and do
wonderfully slinky dance numbers to Grace Cheng tunes. The sheer pleasure of much of
this movie is one reason I was so disappointed with the downbeat "What Time Is
It There?" (which I promise not to mention again).
Do not miss such 80's musicals as "Grease 2" (Patricia Birch) or "Back to the
Beach" (Lyndall Hobbs). There are also some good animated musicals made for
kids, such as "Beauty and the Beast", "Pocohontas" and "Shrek". And a lot of
fun music throughout "Sister Act".
Then there is the huge world of filmed opera, ballet and classical music
video....

Mike Grost
I've got my beret
I'm on my way
I'm Going Hollywood!
7078


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:04am
Subject: Shanghai everything
 
Have to note that "Shanghai Noon" (Tom Dey, 1990) and its sequel "Shanghai
Knights" (David Dobkin, 1993) are two of the more pleasurable light
entertainments made in Hollywood in recent years. Silly fun. Dey is a director of
commercials; Dobkin is a music video director, whose previous feature "Clay Pigeons"
is still unseen here. It is way too early to crown either man with auteur
status... "Shanghai Knights" also has some of the most spectacular costumes of any
recent movie.

Mike Grost
7079


From: Aaron Graham
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:24am
Subject: Richard Fleischer
 
I'm curious as to the general opinion of this filmmaker. Would you
consider him an auteur? And if not, for what reasons?

I'm researching a piece on Fleischer, which is going to attempt to
trace the early styles of his noirs through to his mid-50s 'scope
films, and on through his best decade - in my opinion - the 1970s
(with such works as THE NEW CENTURIONS and MR. MAJESTYK.)
His 80s films pose a particular pecularity, as he re-made THE JAZZ
SINGER and would make not one, but two, sequels to H-Wood franchises
he had nothing to do with.

Any evaluations would be of great service.

-Aaron
7080


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:39am
Subject: Paris, New York, LA... Lansing!
 
Fred Camper urges young cinephiles to move to Paris. He definitely has a
point!
In his survey of the world's cultural centers, he somehow omits my home town
of Lansing, Michigan.
Lansing has some of the most beautiful gardens on Earth. There are few places
in the whole North Temperate Zone in which you can learn so much about trees
and flowers. Here, you can learn about Nature itself, in all Her glory!
Inside Beal Botanical Gardens at Michigan State University (some of the
oldest and best in North America) is MSU's Library. And inside the Library are 150,
000 comic books, the largest publicly held collection in the world. It is
THE place to study comics. The comics are from all over the world - it has a
famous collection of European comics that is better than anything publicly
available in Europe, for example.
A word to the wise...

Mike Grost
Waiting for spring to come, and the flowers to bloom....
7081


From: Joseph Kaufman
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:46am
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
>I'm curious as to the general opinion of this filmmaker. Would you
>consider him an auteur? And if not, for what reasons?

He made at least two movies I consider great, that most wise of
coming of age comedies THE HAPPY TIME, and the biblical spectacle as
art film, BARABBAS. I'm not sure if I sense an auteurist streak in
him, but at his best he certainly exhibits the precious qualities of
intelligence and taste.
--

- Joe Kaufman
7082


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:43am
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
There is a piece on my web site dealing with Richard Fleischer. It mainly
tries to analyze the visual style of his early B movies, especially his use of
complex and elaborate pans.
Please see:
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/fleisch.htm

Mike Grost
visual style rules!
7083


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
--- Aaron Graham wrote:
> I'm curious as to the general opinion of this
> filmmaker. Would you
> consider him an auteur? And if not, for what
> reasons?
>
Autuers must be involbed oin the script-writing
process to some degree, IMO. Fleischer doesn't qualify
on that scroe. He's an often-powerful stylist. I am a
great admirer of "Mandingo."

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7084


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:07pm
Subject: Re: Re: Rafelson
 
--- hotlove666 wrote:
> In the 80s all the mavericks were rounded up and put
> to work for the
> studios. I was working at Fox when Rafelson made
> Black Widow, and I
> compared the film to a Tourneur - for its Zen
> qualities of
> impersonality - in a Cahiers article at the time.
>
"Black Widow" is a gem -- and almost as big a lesbian
cult film as "The Hunger."

The casting alone is extraodinary: Dennis Hopper,
Nicol Williamson, and Sami Frey among the husbandsthat
Femme fatale Theresa Russell picks off. She's quite
amazing here, conveying qualities of predator rapture
thatNick Roeg mever got out of her. The Wing is
perfect as the hunter who gets captured by the game.
And even Mary Woronov shows up as a scuba-diving
instructor!

It's a just-about-perfect movie-movie
>


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7085


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:58pm
Subject: Re: Re: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
--- Robert Keser wrote:

>
> Me and My Brother
> David Holzman's Diary
> The Cool World
>
"Me and My Brother" is one of the greatest barely-seen
films ever made. Among other thing it's a corrective
to the noxious "Rainman."

"The Cool World" is a masterpiece.


>
> (Dan's view of Wanda as not all that exciting pretty
> much
> reflects mine).
>
Bu not mine. It's the greatest one-shot since "The
Night of the Hunter."

__________________________________
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http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
7086


From: Aaron Graham
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:15pm
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
Mike -

Your piece initially started me thinking about whether or not there's
any link between these earlier crime films and his later films.
Of course, there are certain similarities between the sun-drenched
look of both BARABBAS and the much later CONAN THE DESTROYER.

Apparently, there's Fleischer commentary on the Austrailian dvd for
DESTROYER, which I just ordered off of ebay.



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> There is a piece on my web site dealing with Richard Fleischer. It
mainly
> tries to analyze the visual style of his early B movies, especially
his use of
> complex and elaborate pans.
> Please see:
> http://members.aol.com/MG4273/fleisch.htm
>
> Mike Grost
> visual style rules!
7087


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:53pm
Subject: Fleischer & Critical Principles
 
I knew too little about Fleischer's later films to comment meaningfully.
One difficulty in writing about Fleischer, and many other directors: there is
not a widely accepted profile of the director, laying out common themes,
approaches, plot techniques, visual compositional style, and use of camera
movement. One can do this for a few directors: below is a re-post of a list of
recurring characteristics in the films of the great Max Ophuls.
At the first posting, some list members immediately replied, that they were
opposed to the making of any such lists, and found them 1) false and 2)
misleading. The criticism was not of this Ophuls list; it was of the whole approach
of looking for recurring form and content in a director's work.
If such lists are considered bad, however, it is very unclear how we actually
SHOULD write about directors and their work.
Of course, some list members feel that art CANNOT be written about at all:
that works of art are ineffable, and cannot be discussed in rational terms, only
experienced. This too is a legitimate point of view.
I keep trying to take the opposite approach: works of art and artists can be
discussed, if only we find the right ideas.
I've also come a cropper by proposing "impersonal" or "cross-artist"
approaches to discussing art. I once suggested that "violence in modern films is
largely boring filler". Once again, this sort of thing was rejected on principle.
But later, when studying the lists of Best Films by Year provided by the
members of a_film_by, one discovers that there are almost NO violent or action
films whatsoever on anybody's list, with the solitary exception of Quentin
Tarantino movies. In fact, my occasional enthusiasm for such action fare as "Die
Hard", "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" or "American Ninja 2" is completely
NOT shared by anyone on the list.
This leads one to wonder: Why DO a_film_by members dislike most current
action films? If they do not think "violence is boring", why in practice do they
not enjoy most Hollywood action films - to judge by their lists? Is there some
consistent aesthetic principle involved? Or do all members of a_film_by rush
madly off with high artistic expectations to films like "Murdercycle" and
"American Kickboxer 4", only to be once again frustrated by their directors' lack of
fluency in lateral tracking, compostion and framing?
Recent suggestions here that "good plotting is an artistic virtue in films"
also caused controversy.
Critical methodolgy is fraught with problems. I would enjoy seeing positive
ideas from a_film_by members on of what good approaches to the study of films
and directors consist.

Mike Grost


Here is a checklist of features that occur in many of Max Ophuls' films:
· Elaborate camera movement, often lateral.
· Back and forth camera movements along a path.
· Staircases.
· Sets on multiple levels.
· Episodic and sectional construction of stories.
· Avant-garde narrative techniques.
· Love stories.
· Sophisticated subject matter.
· Fallen women.
· Men who buy women's sexual favors.
· Historical recreations of continental eras and societies.
· Entertainment spectacles: fairs, circuses, merry-go-rounds, the carriage
ride with unrolling pictures in Letter From an Unknown Woman.
· Scenes at opera houses.
· Dance scenes.
· The presence of tradesmen and servants as supporting players in camera
movements.
· A playful quality.
· Complex direction of actors, expressing nuances of character and romantic
feeling.
· Irony.
· Persistent, symbolic objects.
Naturally, these do not all occur in every Ophuls film.
7088


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:51pm
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- Aaron Graham wrote:
> > I'm curious as to the general opinion of this
> > filmmaker. Would you
> > consider him an auteur? And if not, for what
> > reasons?
> >
> Autuers must be involbed oin the script-writing
> process to some degree, IMO. Fleischer doesn't qualify
> on that scroe. He's an often-powerful stylist. I am a
> great admirer of "Mandingo."
>
> ___David, what makes you think that Fleischer was not involved to
some degree in the writing of his scripts? It seems unlikely that an
artist who lavished as much care as he did on the structure and look
of his films would just pick up a finished script and shoot it.

I wrote somewhere that "even if Fleischer is not an auteur in the
most exalted sense of the term, he is much more than a mere
craftsman." I too am an admirer of the much-
maligned "Mandingo". "Barabbas" is by far the best Biblical epic (for
lack of a better label) ever made -- there isn't one shot in the
entire film that isn't visually arresting; and Quinn's performance is
one of his very best.. The use of space and wide screen in "The
Vikings" is absolutely stunning (check out that dizzying sword fight
on top of a tower overlooking the sea at the end). "The Boston
Strangler" and "10 Rillington Place" are major thrillers based on
real events and I also have fond recollections of "Girl on the Red
Velvet Swing" although I haven't seen it in ages. Fleischer was one
of the directors who most consistently used CinemaScope in a
creative, visually stimulating way. Among his early
thrillers, "The "Narrow Margin" is a small masterpiece worthy of
early Anthony Mann (Mann was involved in the direction of "Follow Me
Quietly"). His first film, Child of Divorce, is quite nice too (I
think Pierre Rissient is a great admirer of it). Also above
average: "Bandido", "Violent Saturday", "The new Centurions".
After "Mandingo" he seems to have given up, although he continued to
be given big budgets and big stars -- for questionable projects,
unfortunately (does "The Great Sarah" qualify as camp, David?)
JPC

> Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
> http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
7089


From: hotlove666
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:03pm
Subject: Re: Critical Principles
 
I'm your man when it comes to continuities, Mike. It's just that in
some directors they are thematic, in some formal, in some both
(but to different degree in some cases). Hence Shmiette's - uh,
Biette's - suggestion of multiple overlapping categories. It's an
extension of auteurism, that's all.

Fred has said - I don't know if this is what you're quoting - that no
element in film is good or bad in and of itself. I agree, and this
would include violence. Some members, however, shy away
from action films because they like a certain kind of filmmaker --
slow-burn lock-frame wide-shot guys with names like Barrel Tar
-- and not others. I applaud their stamina and their idealism,
without sharing their focus.

Your remarks about story and character values were immensely
fruitful. I would tend to reply by citing, as I have, the evolution of
modern cinema - a process that can't be turned back. But I
reiterate that I think Olivier Assayas - who more or less
discovered Hou S. S (I can't spell that name - I do love his
movies) - is right to say that H'wd films like Conspiracy Plot and
Fight Club are connected to contemporary reality - if only through
their scripts and only in part, due to compromises - in a way that
American indy films generally aren't. So we need to keep looking
at them.

Didn't ANYONE like Stuck on You??
7090


From: Robert Keser
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:11pm
Subject: Re: Stuck on You
 
I went back to see Stuck On You twice in one
week, something I rarely do. Even if the movie
somewhat disintegrates in the last fifteen minutes,
it's still a joyous and frank ode to life and love
and (natch) brotherhood, and its optimism and
energy kept reminding me of Le Crime de M. Lange.
In the "Honey and the Beeze" TV movie excerpts,
I especially enjoyed the witty use of the edges
of the frame, where we keep catching unintended
glimpses of the superfluous brother.

Chicago critic Ray Pride (New City) says it best,
I think, when he calls the Farrellys "our knucklehead
Jean Renoirs". He compares them to Cronenberg in
Crash because they are all exploring "a metaphor
that almost no one on earth will ever experience. It's
like Greek dramatists dealing with gods, Shakespeare
dealing with kings, and Eric Rohmer with the idle rich:
these people are so unlike us, they're exactly like us,
and get a load of the obstacles the authors are putting
those poor saps through. It's comedy in a parallel universe,
with emotions very much like our own...There are jokes
that are shockingly great, exploiting structure, context,
intelligence, character... but there's also room for Cher,
playing Cher. ("I love it when famous people turn out not
to be dickwads," one of the brothers notes.)

Indeed.

--Robert Keser

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> "I'm glad you brought up STUCK ON YOU which I rather liked. That
> musical number seems so tacked on and bizarrely earnest it almost
> functions like an integrated number anyway."
>
> The choice of "Summetime" compounds the arbitrariness, unless it's
a
> reference to the fact that Walt and Meryl Streep are doing their
> musical of Bonnie and Clyde in "summer stock." The rather touching
> use of Moon River was more motivated. ("Two drifters/Off to see the
> world...") Did anyone else like this movie?
7091


From: Robert Keser
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 9:35pm
Subject: Re: Stuck on You
 
I went back to see Stuck On You twice in one
week, something I rarely do. Even if the movie
somewhat disintegrates in the last fifteen minutes,
it's still a joyous and frank ode to life and love
and (natch) brotherhood, and its optimism and
energy kept reminding me of Le Crime de M. Lange.
In the "Honey and the Beeze" TV movie excerpts,
I especially enjoyed the witty use of the edges
of the frame, where we keep catching unintended
glimpses of the superfluous brother.

Chicago critic Ray Pride (New City) says it best,
I think, when he calls the Farrellys "our knucklehead
Jean Renoirs". He compares them to Cronenberg in
Crash because they are all exploring "a metaphor
that almost no one on earth will ever experience. It's
like Greek dramatists dealing with gods, Shakespeare
dealing with kings, and Eric Rohmer with the idle rich:
these people are so unlike us, they're exactly like us,
and get a load of the obstacles the authors are putting
those poor saps through. It's comedy in a parallel universe,
with emotions very much like our own...There are jokes
that are shockingly great, exploiting structure, context,
intelligence, character... but there's also room for Cher,
playing Cher. ("I love it when famous people turn out not
to be dickwads," one of the brothers notes.)

Indeed.

--Robert Keser

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> "I'm glad you brought up STUCK ON YOU which I rather liked. That
> musical number seems so tacked on and bizarrely earnest it almost
> functions like an integrated number anyway."
>
> The choice of "Summetime" compounds the arbitrariness, unless it's
a
> reference to the fact that Walt and Meryl Streep are doing their
> musical of Bonnie and Clyde in "summer stock." The rather touching
> use of Moon River was more motivated. ("Two drifters/Off to see the
> world...") Did anyone else like this movie?
7092


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:26pm
Subject: Re: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


> > ___David, what makes you think that Fleischer was
> not involved to
> some degree in the writing of his scripts? It seems
> unlikely that an
> artist who lavished as much care as he did on the
> structure and look
> of his films would just pick up a finished script
> and shoot it.
>
> I wrote somewhere that "even if Fleischer is not
> an auteur in the
> most exalted sense of the term, he is much more than
> a mere
> craftsman." I too am an admirer of the much-
> maligned "mandingo --


Well then let's just say that as far as I'm concerned
for a real auteur screenplay credit must be indicated
-- unless you're Hitchcock or Minnelli.

Fleischer is far from an indifferent hack, though it's
clear that some of the films he's credited with were
more involving to him than others. This is certainly
the case with "The Vikings" -- a romantic adventure
that has yet to be topped after all these years.

And make no mistake, I don't consider the auteur to be
a necessarily SUPERIOR category. Minnelli is an
auteur. Walters isn't.

And as you know, I prefer Walters.


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7093


From: Travis Miles
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:15pm
Subject: Re: Re: Berlinale Hollywood retrospective
 
I have to jump in to say that I totally agree with David about Me and My
Brother and that it¹s not to be missed. So many films I¹ve seen since that
tried to blend the same elements of biography, fictional riffing and
lyricism pale dismally in comparison. For its rarity and possible affect, it
soars above the other films in that program.

TM

On 1/27/04 9:58 AM, "David Ehrenstein" wrote:

>
> --- Robert Keser wrote:
>
>> >
>> > Me and My Brother
>> > David Holzman's Diary
>> > The Cool World
>> >
> "Me and My Brother" is one of the greatest barely-seen
> films ever made. Among other thing it's a corrective
> to the noxious "Rainman."
>
> "The Cool World" is a masterpiece.
>
>
>> >
>> > (Dan's view of Wanda as not all that exciting pretty
>> > much
>> > reflects mine).
>> >
> Bu not mine. It's the greatest one-shot since "The
> Night of the Hunter."
>
> __________________________________
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> Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
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>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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> *
> * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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> <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
>
>
>



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
7094


From:
Date: Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
Jean-Pierre Coursodon wrote:

>Fleischer was one
>of the directors who most consistently used CinemaScope in a
>creative, visually stimulating way.

Indeed, he was an absolute master of 'Scope photography. On the commentary
track to his very good "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," Fleischer (who sounds as
sharp as ever at 87) says that he took to 'Scope like a fish to water. I
don't think that he ever strayed from the format in the years after "20,000
Leagues"; Dan?

>Also above
>average: "Bandido", "Violent Saturday", "The new Centurions".

I'm a big fan of all three of these too. "The New Centurions" has one of the
most stunning long takes that I've ever seen. I won't give away what happens
in the scene, but the shot is of George C. Scott sitting at a desk on the
phone and it goes from a wide shot to an extreme close-up over the course of
several minutes; at first, Fleischer is simply dollying in and then he settles
into a slow zoom to get so close. Absolutely amazing.

I saw "The Girl In the Red Velvet Swing" recently and I think it's my
favorite, actually.

>After "Mandingo" he seems to have given up, although he continued to
>be given big budgets and big stars -- for questionable projects,
>unfortunately

I like some of the '80s Fleischers. Dan has long made a case for "Amityville
3D" and it is indeed terrific - completely unrelated to the films which
preceded it in terms of plot, it gives Fleischer the opportunity to show off some
nice, moody effects. "Conan the Destroyer" is good. In parts, so is "Tough
Enough," believe it or not. I'm curious to see "The Jazz Singer" again; Kehr -
a longtime Fleischer supporter - doesn't hate it. Anyway, it's been useful
for me to look at these late Fleischer films with inconsistent, sometimes poor
scripts because they help illuminate what's distinctive about all of his work.
He isn't a director who seems particularly attracted to certain genres or
even themes, but rather one who is able to impart an amazing visual integrity to
virtually any project - even ones which don't deserve him. There's no reason
something like "Soylent Green" should be as good as it is; but that dynamite
Fleischer 'Scope is there from frame one.

So to answer Aaron: I'd definitely say that Fleischer is an auteur.

And to Bill: "Stuck on You" is my #3 film of the year. I think it's close to
being a masterpiece.

Peter
7095


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 0:56am
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>

>
>
> Well then let's just say that as far as I'm concerned
> for a real auteur screenplay credit must be indicated
> -- unless you're Hitchcock or Minnelli.
>
...Or Lubitsch; or Walsh; or Hawks; or... the list goes on and
on, although they all worked a lot with the writers. Actually, until
Sturges and Wilder started directing their own screenplays, a credit
for even a collaboration to screenplay going to a director was
exceptional, and frowned upon by the front office. When the Cahiers
people concocted La Politiques des Auteurs they never had it in mind
that an "auteur" was or had to be someone who actually wrote scripts
and got credit for it. In fact they were originally leery of writer-
directors such as Wilder or Mankiewicz.
JPC
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
> http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
7096


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:20am
Subject: Schatzberg
 
>>The Panic in Needle Park -- Jerry Schatzberg
>
> Schatzberg's been on my list of directors to take a look at for
> ages. Can anyone recommend any essential titles (in addition
> to "Panic")?

There's actually only one Schatzberg film that I really like, and it's
an odd film out: THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN. - Dan
7097


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:29am
Subject: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
> I'm curious as to the general opinion of this filmmaker. Would you
> consider him an auteur? And if not, for what reasons?
>
> I'm researching a piece on Fleischer, which is going to attempt to
> trace the early styles of his noirs through to his mid-50s 'scope
> films, and on through his best decade - in my opinion - the 1970s
> (with such works as THE NEW CENTURIONS and MR. MAJESTYK.)
> His 80s films pose a particular pecularity, as he re-made THE JAZZ
> SINGER and would make not one, but two, sequels to H-Wood franchises
> he had nothing to do with.
>
> Any evaluations would be of great service.

I like Fleischer a lot - not all the time, but often. When he's on,
he's very distinctive: I think of him as closest in temperament to
Preminger, in a certain mobile visual balance that he brings to drama,
and in the way he uses wide screens. My favorites are THE GIRL IN THE
RED VELVET SWING, BANDITO, BARABBAS, and MANDINGO. Most of the later
films besides MANDINGO don't look all that personal, but there are nice
moments in a few, like AMITYVILLE 3-D. - Dan
7098


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:45am
Subject: Re: Re: Richard Fleischer
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> When the Cahiers
> people concocted La Politiques des Auteurs they
> never had it in mind
> that an "auteur" was or had to be someone who
> actually wrote scripts
> and got credit for it. In fact they were originally
> leery of writer-
> directors such as Wilder or Mankiewicz.
>

Oh I know.And that's where I broke off with Cahiers in
later years -- as Hawks became less interesting to me
than Huston. And so on and so forth.

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7099


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:25am
Subject: Re: Re: Stuck on You
 
> "I'm glad you brought up STUCK ON YOU which I rather liked. That
> musical number seems so tacked on and bizarrely earnest it almost
> functions like an integrated number anyway."
>
> The choice of "Summetime" compounds the arbitrariness, unless it's a
> reference to the fact that Walt and Meryl Streep are doing their
> musical of Bonnie and Clyde in "summer stock." The rather touching
> use of Moon River was more motivated. ("Two drifters/Off to see the
> world...") Did anyone else like this movie?

I'm of two minds on it. There's obviously something cool, personal,
brave, and funny about the Farrelly Bros.; there's also some aspect of
them which sticks really close to Hollywood modes of conveying emotion,
in a way that makes me feel that I'm watching an odd hybrid of Luis
Bunuel and a Julia Roberts vehicle, or something. On the whole, I'm
inclined to say good things about the film. - Dan
7100


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:18am
Subject: Morvern Callar
 
> The earlier post linking LIT with the modernist current that runs
> through Bresson and Antonioni got me wondering how this history might
> tie in with a film like MORVERN CALLAR, also directed by a woman,
> where the lead character moves through a comparably "unreal" world
> like a sleepwalker: not really integrated into society, yet (as far
> as we can judge) immersed in the moment and devoid of critical
> distance. There are quite a few characters like her in recent movies,
> and "alienated" doesn't seem quite the word for them either.

I don't think MORVERN CALLAR can be explained in terms of character
psychology, alienated or otherwise. Her actions would indicate
REPULSION-type insanity if we encountered them in real life, and yet the
film concerns itself on some level with her evolution and personal
growth. We're talking some odd (and, for me, unsatisfying) mix of the
metaphorical and the literal. - Dan

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