Home    Film    Art     Other: (Travel, Rants, Obits)    Links    About    Contact
a_film_by Main Page
Posts From the Internet Film Discussion Group, a_film_by

This group is dedicated to discussing film as art from an auteurist perspective. The index to these files of posts can be found at http://www.fredcamper.com/afilmby/ The purpose of these files is to make our posts more accessible, for downloading and reading and to search engines.

Important: The copyright of each post below is owned by the person who wrote the post, and reproducing it in any form requires that person's permission. It is possible to email the author of any post by finding a post they have written in the a_film_by archives at http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/messages and emailing them from that Web site.


12501


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:58am
Subject: "Old Timers" Mulligan/Edwards (Was:Sunset)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:


> Another example of what we're talking about, this time from
someone of
> Edwards' own generation, is Robert Mulligan. The difference,
of course, is that
> Edwards gave us upwards of 10 movies or tele-films in the
80s, whereas Mulligan
> only managed two (the flawed "Kiss Me Goodbye" and the
great "Clara's Heart" -
> both are recognizably Mulligan-esque, though

Peter, what about "The Man in the Moon" Mulligan's film from
the early 90's? I think that film is breathtakingly fluid in its
execution, demonstrating a firm grasp on filmic lanquage.

Frankenheimer was cut short, but I think "Ronin" is a work of a
master.

> >Point being, the pleasures to be had with "late Edwards" (so
far as I
> >know) have a lot to do with the grace and beauty with which
Edwards
> >made use of "classical Hollywood style,"

Which I think is on display in "Son of the Pink Panther", an
Edwards film I defend and I long to see all the footage that was
cut before its release.

Michael Worrall
12502


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:08am
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:

"why is there such a tradition of eating food (or candy or ice cream
or...whatever) while watching movies? I realize it goes way back, and
eating popcorn is indispensable to most moviegoers, at least in this
(USA) country. But has anybody studied why? I mean, you don't feel
compelled to eat stuff when you go to the theater, to a museum, to a
concert, or when you read a book... I understand that the movies
being a popular entertainment, the eating of popcorn (pop!) indicates
that you are not in the realm of high culture."

If someone does (or has done) a study of movie spectatorship, food
and drink consumption would definetly merit a chapter. Perhaps the
tradition starts with the nicklelodeon era in the USA, the so-
called "cinema of attraction" when movies were a side show attraction
at fairs and carnivals. How is it in France and other European
countries (and for that matter what about Brazil and the
Phillipines?)

For cross-cultural comparison I can tell you that in Japan people
don't eat or drink during the movie although there's usually a small
cafe in theatres where patrons can have tea, coffee or beer as well
as a light meal. People gather in the cafe after the show and
socialize over food and drink, some people come early and have
something to drink before the movie starts. In Japan it's a matter of
decorum, for example, eating while walking in the street is
considered vulgur. Also, film-going was introduced to Japan as a
high culture activity, and classicly trained actors became the first
benshi (silent movie narrators; I presume evryone on this list is
familiar with the importance of the benshi during the silent era.)

Richard
12503


From:
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:14am
Subject: Re: "Old Timers" Mulligan/Edwards (Was:Sunset)
 
Michael Worrall wrote:

>Peter, what about "The Man in the Moon" Mulligan's film from
>the early 90's? I think that film is breathtakingly fluid in its
>execution, demonstrating a firm grasp on filmic lanquage.

I can't believe I didn't mention "The Man in the Moon" because it's actually
my very favorite Mulligan film - and one of my top 25 or so films of all-time.
I never tire of looking at it. An astonishing film which doesn't so much
hark back to another age and style of filmmaking as represent a grand
continuation of the Mulligan style, which is the point I was making about those 80s
Mulligans.

>Frankenheimer was cut short, but I think "Ronin" is a work of a
>master.

I liked "Ronin" better than just about anything Frankenheimer had done since
the 70s. I didn't care for "Reindeer Games," but I remember his very last
film, the name of which escapes me, but which was about the Johnson
administration, as being very good.

Michael, what was cut out of "Son of the Pink Panther"? Among the non-Sellers
"Panthers," I actually prefer "Curse of the Pink Panther" (which contains at
least two sequences of absolutely first-rate Edwards physical comedy) but I'm
open to having my mind changed.

Peter
12504


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:55am
Subject: Re: Food and movies At least you won't annoy others who pay to watch the movie
 
I know there is a historical tradition about popcorn in the movies,
but at this point, eating in movies is getting somewhat out of hand.
People bring entire meals to the cinema. I am a little guilty when
attending festivals, but in SD there are so few people in the
afternoon screenings, I feel it is ok. I was once in good steed
when I had a box of sushi and was watching a Japanese film.


At one movie, the people behind me had an entire buffet that they
carried in a half dozen gym bags. They ate throughout the
entire movie and fortunately because of subtitles, one could
make out the dialogue. What was most amazing about the
mother - daughter pair, when the movie was over, they were
opening discussing where they were going to eat!

The American people tend to eat a lot. I think it is an
activity related to the passive taking in of a movie; people want
to be entertained and spoon fed. As my memory / cognition
improves, I've lost about 10 lbs because I can engage myself
in things other than eating. I think part of the over-eating
in this country is due to under participating (except for
pot-lucks and other social eating events.)


The only useful thing I can add about eating in movies is that
if you have a food with noisy packaging, wait on the noisy time
in the movie to open it... the car chase, shot out scene, rock band,
etc. At least you won't annoy others.






> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
> wrote:
>
> "why is there such a tradition of eating food (or candy or ice cream
> or...whatever) while watching movies? I realize it goes way back, and
> eating popcorn is indispensable to most moviegoers, at least in this
> (USA) country. But has anybody studied why? I mean, you don't feel
> compelled to eat stuff when you go to the theater, to a museum, to a
> concert, or when you read a book... I understand that the movies
> being a popular entertainment, the eating of popcorn (pop!) indicates
> that you are not in the realm of high culture."
12505


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:44am
Subject: Re: Holleb and Norton (Was: watching movies under the influence)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > When The Sorrow and the Pity played in LA many years ago, my
friend
> > Alan Holleb and his friend Bill Norton took a sixpack when they
went
> > to see it.
>
> Is that B. W. L. Norton? If so, those are two directors that I've
> always thought were talented. CISCO PIKE is an impressive little
movie,
> and I think there's something good going on in CANDY STRIPE NURSES
as
> well. Why didn't Holleb make more films? - Dan

Yes, that's BWL Noryton. Hasn't been heard from lately -- More
American Graffiti, Baby...

Alan and I go way back. After Candy Stripe Nures -- which is the only
nurse picture made by a Red Line 7000 fan -- he and I wrote a
screwball comedy together. It's what brought me to LA originally. It
was optioned twice, the second time by Warners, and on the advice of
his idiot agent Peter Turner Alan decided to break our contract and
rewrite it alone, to establish himself as a writer (no shared credit)
en route to directing. I sued him, the lawyers got the money, and we
stayed friends, more or less.

Long story short, Alan isn't a writer, so by following one bad piece
of advice he threw away his chance at a directing career and spent
the next 25 years doing cheap development deals for scripts that
never got made and playing a lot of tennis. Fortunately his Dad, an
attorney, is the left toenail of the Daly machine in Chicago, so Alan
bought a house in Santa Monica and turned his amazing visual
instincts to finding art treasures at flea markets and garage sales.

He made one more for Corman, School Spirit, and was fired off his
third one, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, because the psychopath who
starred in it, Bo Hopkins, sensed weakness and went for the throat in
between takes until he ran him off. (They were in the jungles of
Argentina when this was happening.) He recently married a lovely girl
named Annie from the art world and is the proud poppa of amazing twin
boys.

Alan is a classic example of why I have stayed away from the business
since I moved here. Your instincts were right: He was a real director
until they got their velvety claws into him. His UCLA thesis project,
Heavenly Star, is legendary -- the "I'm a Pepper" commercials
suspiciously resemble it. He also happens to be a genius cameraman.
If you ever wanted to shoot a low-budget picture (on film) and have
it look even more like a million bucks than All the Ships, he could
do it. He learned from James Wong Howe. But he's slow.
12506


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:58am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
I think the "mysterious alchemy" you talk
> about is the most common thing in the world. Intelligence doesn't
> really count for much in life: it doesn't make us right about
things, it
> doesn't make us successful, it does very little once you're out of
> school. Good thinking is, in my opinion, largely a matter of
deploying
> your emotions properly, keeping them out of the way at the right
times
> and marshaling them at the right times. Most people have the basic
> mental horsepower needed to accomplish most tasks in life. - Dan

I'm talking about genius, though. The following people I talked to
had genius IQs: Welles, Fuller, Boetticher, Ray, Seigel, Sirk and
Edwards. Of the newer breed, you can add Scorsese, Cimino, Hellman,
Ferrara and Bogdanovich, when he isn't hiding his light under a
bushel. (You almost have to get him mad to hear it.) And all the
evidence I've seen points to the same diagnosis for Hawks, Hitchcock,
Jerry Lewis, Dwan, Vidor, Lang....

This means that, for one thing, these guys were all smarter than the
people at the studios they had to do business with, which is not
necessarily a good thing! I was just talking to Christa about Sam --
he had an amazing one-of-a-kind sense of humor, but he was so far
ahead of most people with it that he spent a lot of his time
entertaining himself for want of an audience. Hence the barking
little laugh and the shoulder punches.

On the other hand, intelligence alone won't get films made, I agree.
And as a filmmaker who's also a critic, you probably have to struggle
with one part of your brain to keep the other part working at
anything like the level you need it to work at for the film. But
don't underestimate intelligence -- it's one of the things we are
responding to when we see a great film.
12507


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:20am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
pardon for butting in.

I feel it's important, firstly, to distinguish between genius level
IQ and what we mean when we say "creative genius". Obviously the
latter is hardly something that can be measured in points.

Some of the smartest filmmakers are not necessarily the best, and
vice versa, but I think a certain level of intelligence is necessary
to make great films. The ability to aks yourself the right questions
and answer them well is essential. I think, also, that a lot of the
creative work of generating ideas is unconscious, irrational, but
when chosing which, of the many ideas we generate, we pursue to the
end, intelligence is of central importance.

Polanski describes his method as instict tempered by reason, which
seems right to me.

> This means that, for one thing, these guys were all smarter than
the
> people at the studios they had to do business with, which is not
> necessarily a good thing!

I don't think we can ASSUME that none of the studio people had very
high IQs. But it's probably true that most of them didn't. One of the
frustrations of the job of filmmaking is offering twenty good reasons
why your idea is right, and still being told "no" by a producer based
on his one feeble reason, which has the overwhelming advantage of
being HIS.

I think if the producer is dumb though, being smarter than him IS an
advantage, though it can be a pianful situation to be in.
12508


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:32am
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
Simplistic answer:

Wasn't the first Lumiere bros screening in a restaurant?

I guess removing the live actors from the theatre experience means
the audience feels it's not in danger of putting off the cast - only
fellow audience members.

But then, wasn't food on sale throughout performances at
Shakespeare's Globe? But then, fruit has the advantage of being
possible to unwrap silently.
12509


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:34am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
One of the
> frustrations of the job of filmmaking is offering twenty good
reasons
> why your idea is right, and still being told "no" by a producer
based
> on his one feeble reason, which has the overwhelming advantage of
> being HIS.

When Joe Dante was developing The Mummy at Universal, with John
Sayles handling the writing chores, as he had on The Howling, they
were making it contemporary, and a production executive said it
should be set in the 30s...because the original was. Joe explained
that that WAS a contemprary setting when the original was made, and
the guy looked blank. Joe has lots of stories like that.

The people who've been running H'wd since I got here are the people I
avoided in college. I've met them, talked to them and continue to see
them in their watering holes etc., and it's the same people I would
have dreaded sitting down by me in the Commissary at Yale. That's
also who's President at the moment.
12510


From:
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 0:49pm
Subject: Re: food
 
The questions people ask when you tell them you write about movies
for a living take on a certain similarity over time. I understand why
people want to know if I get to see "all the movies" in advance, or
how many movies I see in a week, etc. But I'm amazed at the number of
people who have asked, independent of each other, "Do you get free
popcorn?" The answer, by the way, is no, and a lucky thing, since
most of the screenings here are at 10 am. I did used to cherish my
free cup of tea until I cut back on the caffeine, though.

I have, in all honesty, been known to smuggle a sandwich (of the
non-smelly variety) into an afternoon screening, but I usually try to
sit off by myself somewhere. Of course, that's true when I'm not
packing a lunch as well...

Sam

>
> Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 01:10:56 -0000
> From: "jpcoursodon"
>Subject: Food and movies
>
>why is there such a tradition of eating food (or candy or ice cream
>or...whatever) while watching movies? I realize it goes way back, and
>eating popcorn is indispensable to most moviegoers, at least in this
>(USA) country. But has anybody studied why? I mean, you don't feel
>compelled to eat stuff when you go to the theater, to a museum, to a
>concert, or when you read a book... I understand that the movies
>being a popular entertainment, the eating of popcorn (pop!) indicates
>that you are not in the realm of high culture. However, some people
>here (and we are all highly intellectual beings, no matter how hard
>we might claim not to be) seem to be addicted to the popcorn thing,
>or some other type of oral consumption. This has always been
>incomprehensible to me. Let's not have instant phony psychoanalytical
>explanations. I'd really like to know why people do it.
>
>JPC
>
12511


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 0:58pm
Subject: Re: Re: Rossellini's Homophobia (Was: Gossip and auteurism)
 
--- joe_mcelhaney wrote:

> One thing Gallagher does refer to is something RR
> wrote for Bergman
> as a kind of response to Tea and Sympathy, a story
> (never filmed, of
> course) called Isa's Decision. This has been
> reproduced in one of
> the Bergala books on Rossellini although I've never
> read it.
> Gallagher attempts to make a case for its
> superiority over Tea and
> Sympathy but his description alone does not make a
> convincing case
> for its ideological superiority over T&S. Like T&S,
> it deals with a
> woman who attempts to "save" a man from his
> homosexuality through
> seduction although in this case the man is the
> woman's ex-husband,
> who is now living with another man.

As Vito Russo has argued, "Tea and Sympathy" isn't
about homosexuality AT ALL, but rather about less than
conventionally "masucline" straight men who (horror of
horros0 might be thought to be homosexual. This
Rossellini story would appear to be about a woman who
wants to have sex with a gay man -- a widespread
social phenomenon that needs to be seriously adresed
some day.

Obviously I
> would have to read
> this story or treatment (which was dictated to
> Truffaut, who had his
> own anxieties about homosexuality, so what a team
> we've got here on
> this one!) before making any attempt at evaluation.
> But all this
> redemption sounds quite terrifying.
>
What ever "anxieties" Truffaut may have had, he made
a serious and most welcome attempt to deal with
realistic three-dimensional gay characters in his
later films, particularly "Day for Night," "The Last
Metro" and "The Woman Next Door."




__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Get it on your mobile phone.
http://mobile.yahoo.com/maildemo
12512


From: Jaime N. Christley
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Food and annoying patrons
 
Or, Mr. Cairns, maybe food has always been part of the audience
experience: only when cinema overtook the theatre's role in mass
entertainment, people decided to eat what they brought with them,
since there was no longer anything living to throw food at.

I become Roderick Usher at the movies. Somehow I always manage to
sit near the old gent with the freakishly loud swallow, the guy who
eats popcorn WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN (there is no sound that is more
hateful to these ears), or in front of the man/woman who has to
respond - by way of tongue-clicking (clucking?) or "Oh, jeez" or
something similar - to every instance of brutality, cruelty, malice,
ghoulishness, or conspiracy to commit any of the above.

Am I magnetic? How do these people know I'm coming? Should I go to
the movies in disguise, so they don't see me and say: "Yes, I've
got a profoundly infuriating nasal disorder...oh, here comes Jaime!"

And some people wonder why home video is so popular.

-Jaime

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "cairnsdavid1967"
wrote:
> Simplistic answer:
>
> Wasn't the first Lumiere bros screening in a restaurant?
>
> I guess removing the live actors from the theatre experience means
> the audience feels it's not in danger of putting off the cast -
only
> fellow audience members.
>
> But then, wasn't food on sale throughout performances at
> Shakespeare's Globe? But then, fruit has the advantage of being
> possible to unwrap silently.
12513


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:36pm
Subject: Re: Re: Holleb and Norton (Was: watching movies under the influence)
 
> Yes, that's BWL Noryton. Hasn't been heard from lately -- More
> American Graffiti, Baby...

I followed him as far as BABY - he didn't do anything else as good as
CISCO PIKE, though the TV movie GARGOYLES was interesting at least. - Dan
12514


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:54pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "cairnsdavid1967"
wrote:
> Simplistic answer:
>
> Wasn't the first Lumiere bros screening in a restaurant?
>
It was in the basement of a cafe, where drinks or food were not
served.
12515


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:14pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano"
wrote:
> If someone does (or has done) a study of movie spectatorship, food
> and drink consumption would definetly merit a chapter. Perhaps the
> tradition starts with the nicklelodeon era in the USA, the so-
> called "cinema of attraction" when movies were a side show
attraction
> at fairs and carnivals. How is it in France and other European
> countries (and for that matter what about Brazil and the
> Phillipines?)
>


France has no tradition of eating popcorn at the movies (although
I think there have been some recent attempts to introduce it, and
given the ravages of Americanization, it may very well become
successful, like McDonalds...) There are no lobby concessions, and
traditionally usherettes would sell candy and icecream bars during
intermission, displaying their stuff on a tray like cigarette girls
in old Hollywood movies. The intermission was between the "first
part" (newsreel, various short subjects, coming attractions) and the
feature film. However there is no longer a first part since newsreels
and shorts have vanished. Still the law requiring a "first part" is
still in place, so it is occupied by commercials and coming
attractions and goes on for 20 to 30 minutes. Newspapers give two
times for each show: "la seance" (= "show time", which is the
commercials and coming attraction) and "film" -- time the movie
starts, so most people come for the film only (unless there's a crowd
and they're afraid of not getting a seat), which has diminished the
importance of candy selling. In many theatres I have been in the past
ten years or so they didn't even bother to sell anything.

What you said about Japan sounds very civilized.

JPC
12516


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
I eat popcorn mostly to stay awake. I chew it a kernel at a time, to
> maximize its revivatory powers. The other reason I eat popcorn is
> because I sometimes don't leave time in my schedule for a real
meal:
> popcorn is probably the healthiest thing at most concession stands,
and
> it fills your stomach with air so that you're not hungry for a
while.
> Lately, though, I've become a little worried that I'm disturbing
people,
> though I try to eat quietly. I think I bothered some friends by
eating
> popcorn during AU HASARD BALTHAZAR.... - Dan


I didn't know popcorn kept you awake. I can't stand the stuff
anyway, just the smell of it makes me sick.

The only time I bring food into a theatre is at a festival when I
see too many films a day to have time for lunch. In Toronto I used to
buy one of those enormous blueberry muffins they have before the
first morning show I attended, and it kept me full until dinner time.

On a separate subject, Dan, please do go and see the original full
version of HEAVEN'S GATE. You may not like it but it's unfair to
Cimino to judge his film based on the wretched short, mutilated
version. Do bring a lot of popcorn!

JPC
12517


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:32pm
Subject: Re: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
> I'm talking about genius, though. The following people I talked to
> had genius IQs: Welles, Fuller, Boetticher, Ray, Seigel, Sirk and
> Edwards. Of the newer breed, you can add Scorsese, Cimino, Hellman,
> Ferrara and Bogdanovich, when he isn't hiding his light under a
> bushel. (You almost have to get him mad to hear it.) And all the
> evidence I've seen points to the same diagnosis for Hawks, Hitchcock,
> Jerry Lewis, Dwan, Vidor, Lang....

IQs are measurable things, and I won't argue with numbers. But at least
five directors on your list trouble me exactly because I feel that their
unsupple thinking gets in the way of their aesthetics. And I've heard
many of these directors speak (including some of my great favorites), or
read their interviews or writings, without coming to the same conclusion
as you about their genius. Certainly some of them are smart cookies by
any standard. But something unmeasurable is creeping in here in the gap
between intelligence and thinking, something that leads to more
disagreement than IQ scores would.

> But
> don't underestimate intelligence -- it's one of the things we are
> responding to when we see a great film.

I'm always amazed and impressed by lucid thought - I don't underestimate
it. I just wonder how much IQ has to do with it. - Dan
12518


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
> I didn't know popcorn kept you awake.

It's not the popcorn, it's moving your mouth. If you fall asleep while
you're eating, you know it's time to take a break. - Dan
12519


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:40pm
Subject: Re: Tea & Sympathy (was: Rossellini's Homophobia)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> As Vito Russo has argued, "Tea and Sympathy" isn't
> about homosexuality AT ALL, but rather about less than
> conventionally "masucline" straight men who (horror of
> horros0 might be thought to be homosexual.

Gallagher says pretty much the same thing about Tea and Sympathy,
that it's a work in which "there is no actual homosexuality." The
only problem I have with this reading of the play and the film is
that I don't agree with it. I've only read the play and have never
seen it staged. But purely on the most obvious level of
representation, there IS one explicitly gay character in it -- the
teacher Tom is caught skinny dipping with, an incident which serves
as a catalyst for bringing out into the open the anxiety and
uncertainty about Tom's sexuality. Due to Production Code problems,
the film eliminates this character and substitutes the skinny dipping
incident with the scene where Tom is discovered sewing with the
faculty wives at the beach. Beyond this, though, I don't see a
strong distinction between a film which deals with anxiety about less-
than-conventionally-masculine behavior and a film about
homosexuality. It seems to me that the film strongly links them, as
does our culture: Tom's gestures, behavior, aesthetic concerns, etc.
all suggest to other characters within the film that he is gay.
Aside from the Production Code-imposed coda in which Tom is said to
be married, I don't think that the film (or the play) firmly
establishes Tom's sexuality. The dynamic and attraction between Tom
and Laura is a complicated one in which Laura is as much mother
figure (Tom never knew his mother and often assumed the feminine role
as a child at home, cooking for his father, etc.) as she is a sexual
object (although these certainly aren't opposed categories) and in
which Laura sees in Tom elements of her first husband, who died in
the war and was very "sensitive." (Laura's monologue about her dead
husband slightly evokes Blanche's monologue about her dead gay
husband in Streetcar.) Laura's motives in seducing Tom are various,
from a genuine desire to convince him that he is not gay, thereby
removing the social stigma surrounding him, to what seems to be a
much stronger reason as the film develops -- which is that she
herself is becoming increasingly attracted to him as she is trapped
within a sexless marriage to a repressed homosexual. (Gallagher
also describes Laura as being "middle-aged" although in fact Anderson
describes her in the play as being in her late twenties and Deborah
Kerr was 35 when the film was shot.)

It's true that as a film produced during the declining years of the
Production Code there are no overt gay characters. But I think that
it is a film which allows for multiple readings of its intentions,
which asks us to sometimes read between the lines of the text, and
much of this comes through the staging and the performances. When I
showed the film last semester in a film history class the first
question asked by a student in discussion after the screenings was:
Was the coach gay? His repressed homosexuality was something which
was clearer in the play but again the Production Code intervened and
asked for a toning down of this element. Nevertheless, it emerges
very strongly through Minnelli's staging, particularly in the Are You
Masculine? sequence at the beach, in which Leif Erickson repeatedly
touches and puts his arms around the boys. For my students, the film
was very much ABOUT homosexuality and about fear of "otherness" in
general. Again, I think this distinction Russo and others make
between a film about masculinity and a film about homosexuality is a
false one.

For a more nuanced reading of the film in relation to these matters
(and other issues as well) I would recommend David Gerstner's "The
Production and Display of the Closet: Making Minnelli's Tea and
Sympathy," from Film Quarterly Spring 1997 and not Russo.
12520


From:
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:46pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
Actually, I was talking about eating popcorn at home, while watching films on TV or video or DVD. I agree that people in theaters should eat quietly, if at all. (I gave up theater popcorn a decade ago for health reasons - it is really high in fat).
Traditionally, people ate at the opera. The songs by the second leads are known as "sherbert arias". Sherbert was usally served while the supporting singers did their stuff. The term "sherbert aria" still survives, even though the sherbert is gone.
Millions of Americans also like to read while eating their lunch.
People eat popcorn, because they think of movies as "entertainment". Movies are fun, popcorn is fun, people go to the show to have a good time.

Mike Grost
"A puritan is a person with a deep, dark suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having a good time." - George Santayana
12521


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:27pm
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
at least
> five directors on your list trouble me exactly because I feel that
their
> unsupple thinking gets in the way of their aesthetics.

And I've heard
> many of these directors speak (including some of my great
favorites), or
> read their interviews or writings, without coming to the same
conclusion
> as you about their genius.

Since we're not talking specifics, I'm at a loss to reply, except to
say that hearing Walsh (to take someone who's not on the list)
address a crowd at MOMA and talking to him face to face (or even on
the phone for 3 hrs., as I did with Welles) are two totally different
things. Which is why I recommended checking out the bit in Who the
Devil Made It, where he's talking to Peter -- also very different
from (infinitely better than) Walsh's written memoirs. If someone's
being interviewed, you also have to take into account the level of
the interviewer - no one is smart talking to a dummy, or to someone
smart who stubbornly keeps asking the wrong questions. Heisenberg
time.

The inferred author, based on seeing a movie or several movies, or
the inferred production process, are not unlike the implied audience
for Woody Allen's films, which was discussed years ago re: an article
JR wrote in Tikkun that was bugging JPC. (I referenced much later a
supposedly irritating film commentator I love who does things like
actually standing outside theatres in multiplexes and polling people
coming out -- about who directed the movie, for example. One DROP of
reality...) All of these inferences are where imagination can creep
in. And much as I salute imagination when it is being used
creatively, to produce or interpret, I fear it as I fear snakes and
Republicans for what it can do to mankind's relationship to the real
world. Imagination is why we're all doomed from the day we're born,
because it keeps us from learning what we need to know to get out of
the mess we find ourselves in. IMO.
12522


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > I didn't know popcorn kept you awake.
>
> It's not the popcorn, it's moving your mouth. If you fall asleep
while
> you're eating, you know it's time to take a break. - Dan

I never saw the UA version of Heaven's Gate. Does it start off with
Heard's commencement address, like the Cimino version?
12523


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:33pm
Subject: Re: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
> I never saw the UA version of Heaven's Gate. Does it start off with
> Heard's commencement address, like the Cimino version?

It's been a long time, but I believe the address basically starts the
film. There might be some other business that takes up time before the
address. - Dan
12524


From: George Robinson
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:14pm
Subject: Re: Bahman Ghobadi
 
I'm with you, Mike. Marooned is quite striking and Ghobadi's take on the
Kurdish plight is incisive and moving.
He's also quite good as one of the teachers in Samira Makhmalbaf's
"Blackboards."
g

Our talk of justice is empty until the
largest battleship has foundered on the
forehead of a drowned man.
--Paul Celan


----- Original Message -----
From:
To:
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 7:29 PM
Subject: [a_film_by] Bahman Ghobadi


> Recently saw two features by Bahman Ghobadi: "A Time For Drunken Horses"
> (2000) and "Marooned in Iraq" (2002). Ghobadi is Kurdish, and is based in
Iran.
> Both films are full of good storytelling and imagery. There is also a good
> interview with Ghobadi on the DVD of "Marooned in Iraq".
> Has anyone on the list seen these? They are well worth watching.
>
> MIke Grost
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
12525


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:02pm
Subject: Re: Re: Tea & Sympathy (was: Rossellini's Homophobia)
 
--- joe_mcelhaney wrote:

>
> Gallagher says pretty much the same thing about Tea
> and Sympathy,
> that it's a work in which "there is no actual
> homosexuality." The
> only problem I have with this reading of the play
> and the film is
> that I don't agree with it. I've only read the play
> and have never
> seen it staged. But purely on the most obvious
> level of
> representation, there IS one explicitly gay
> character in it -- the
> teacher Tom is caught skinny dipping with, an
> incident which serves
> as a catalyst for bringing out into the open the
> anxiety and
> uncertainty about Tom's sexuality.

All offstage so we're"spared" the "horror."

Due to
> Production Code problems,
> the film eliminates this character and substitutes
> the skinny dipping
> incident with the scene where Tom is discovered
> sewing with the
> faculty wives at the beach.

Proving my point. I've never turned down sex for a
sewing bee, and I don't know of a single gay man who
has.

Beyond this, though, I
> don't see a
> strong distinction between a film which deals with
> anxiety about less-
> than-conventionally-masculine behavior and a film
> about
> homosexuality.

A very important difference. The former is about
heterosexual paranoia. The latter (eg. "My Beautiful
Laundrette") is about being gay.

It seems to me that the film
> strongly links them, as
> does our culture: Tom's gestures, behavior,
> aesthetic concerns, etc.
> all suggest to other characters within the film that
> he is gay.
> Aside from the Production Code-imposed coda in which
> Tom is said to
> be married, I don't think that the film (or the
> play) firmly
> establishes Tom's sexuality.

Oh sure it does.

The dynamic and
> attraction between Tom
> and Laura is a complicated one in which Laura is as
> much mother
> figure (Tom never knew his mother and often assumed
> the feminine role
> as a child at home, cooking for his father, etc.) as
> she is a sexual
> object (although these certainly aren't opposed
> categories) and in
> which Laura sees in Tom elements of her first
> husband, who died in
> the war and was very "sensitive." (Laura's monologue
> about her dead
> husband slightly evokes Blanche's monologue about
> her dead gay
> husband in Streetcar.) Laura's motives in seducing
> Tom are various,
> from a genuine desire to convince him that he is not
> gay, thereby
> removing the social stigma surrounding him, to what
> seems to be a
> much stronger reason as the film develops -- which
> is that she
> herself is becoming increasingly attracted to him as
> she is trapped
> within a sexless marriage to a repressed homosexual.

To a homosexual who won't fuck her.

The fantasy is finding one who will eg. "De-Lovely"


> (Gallagher
> also describes Laura as being "middle-aged" although
> in fact Anderson
> describes her in the play as being in her late
> twenties and Deborah
> Kerr was 35 when the film was shot.)
>
Yikes! headed for the glue factory these days.

> It's true that as a film produced during the
> declining years of the
> Production Code there are no overt gay characters.
> But I think that
> it is a film which allows for multiple readings of
> its intentions,
> which asks us to sometimes read between the lines of
> the text, and
> much of this comes through the staging and the
> performances.

"Multiple readings" means nothing more than fudging.
It's like being "slightly pregnant."

When I
> showed the film last semester in a film history
> class the first
> question asked by a student in discussion after the
> screenings was:
> Was the coach gay? His repressed homosexuality was
> something which
> was clearer in the play but again the Production
> Code intervened and
> asked for a toning down of this element.
> Nevertheless, it emerges
> very strongly through Minnelli's staging,
> particularly in the Are You
> Masculine? sequence at the beach, in which Leif
> Erickson repeatedly
> touches and puts his arms around the boys. For my
> students, the film
> was very much ABOUT homosexuality and about fear of
> "otherness" in
> general.

Because they're used to discussing the subjct far more
openly today than anyone was back in the 50's.

Again, I think this distinction Russo and
> others make
> between a film about masculinity and a film about
> homosexuality is a
> false one.
>
> For a more nuanced reading of the film in relation
> to these matters
> (and other issues as well) I would recommend David
> Gerstner's "The
> Production and Display of the Closet: Making
> Minnelli's Tea and
> Sympathy," from Film Quarterly Spring 1997 and not
> Russo.
>
>
>





__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - 100MB free storage!
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12526


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:15pm
Subject: Story telling IQ
 
I think one of the problems with films is that the story telling is
kept on
a simplistic level.
Audiences are not expected to make leaps; often everything is spelled
out.

Separate from the craft of screenwriting and the talent of
story-telling,
for me, there is a demand to hold it all together with a theme / spine
and I find that the weakest part of most films I see.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is about pre-judgement. THE STING is about
the con. Almost every scene in these movies deals with these themes,
not just in service of the main story, but in terms of each side story.
I
like that in a movie.

It takes a lot of mental effort to hold all those ideas in one's head
simultaneously... to be able to look at scenes from different
perspectives.
It helps if one understands that everything is in service of the story.


> From: Dan Sallitt
> I'm always amazed and impressed by lucid thought - I don't
> underestimate
> it. I just wonder how much IQ has to do with it. - Dan
12527


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:18pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > I never saw the UA version of Heaven's Gate. Does it start off
with
> > Heard's commencement address, like the Cimino version?
>

Heard? Do you mean John Hurt? His address (a response to Cotten's
speech) was deleted, which threw the entire sequence off balance and
obscured Cimino's socio-political point. I thought it was one of the
more damaging cuts.

I haven't see the short version since 1981 but I wrote a fairly
detailed description of the differences between the two versions in
CINEMA of June 81 (#270). My study of the full version was published
in the February issue of the same mag.

JPC
12528


From: Doug Cummings
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:02pm
Subject: Re: Rossellini's Homophobia (Was: Gossip and auteurism)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein wrote:

> This Rossellini story would appear to be about a woman who
> wants to have sex with a gay man -- a widespread
> social phenomenon that needs to be seriously adresed
> some day.

Funny you should write this, David, I just read this BBC preview of the Edinburgh Film
Festival:

"One of the most controversial films is expected to be 'Anatomy of Hell,' by Catherine
Breillat.

It stars Rocco Sifredi as a gay man who is picked up at a bar by a woman. Sifredi starred in
Breillat's 1999 film 'Romance'."

Doug
12529


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:08pm
Subject: Re: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
> Since we're not talking specifics, I'm at a loss to reply

Well, we're on a public forum, and I feel as if I'm on the verge of
being nasty.

> The inferred author, based on seeing a movie or several movies, or
> the inferred production process, are not unlike the implied audience
> for Woody Allen's films, which was discussed years ago re: an article
> JR wrote in Tikkun that was bugging JPC.

> All of these inferences are where imagination can creep
> in. And much as I salute imagination when it is being used
> creatively, to produce or interpret, I fear it as I fear snakes and
> Republicans for what it can do to mankind's relationship to the real
> world. Imagination is why we're all doomed from the day we're born,
> because it keeps us from learning what we need to know to get out of
> the mess we find ourselves in. IMO.

What I imagine about a filmmaker's real-life intelligence isn't valid,
it's true. And I don't think it's important. But the solid facts that
one discovers about someone's intelligence are also unimportant, unless
they prompt a new response to the film. The response to the film is the
main thing, really. And this response necessarily engenders a web of
inference and imagination. I don't think that's bad, or possible to
avoid. When Sarris said "Fuller's ideas are undoubtedly too broad and
oversimplified for any serious analysis," it was a response to the
films, not the guy. He might be wrong, but I don't think he was offbase
in opening up the subject. - Dan
12530


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:45pm
Subject: Re: Re: Rossellini's Homophobia (Was: Gossip and auteurism)
 
--- Doug Cummings wrote:

> Funny you should write this, David, I just read this
> BBC preview of the Edinburgh Film
> Festival:
>
> "One of the most controversial films is expected to
> be 'Anatomy of Hell,' by Catherine
> Breillat.
>
> It stars Rocco Sifredi as a gay man who is picked up
> at a bar by a woman. Sifredi starred in
> Breillat's 1999 film 'Romance'."
>

Well that film has been written about a lot in here,
Doug, and from what I understand it has less to do
with sexual desire for a gay man than a desire to
sexually humiliate a gay man.

And needless to say the gay man is played by a
straight man.

This is an important distinction for a number of
reasons. On the alternate track of the recently
released DVD of Richard Glatzer's "Grief" Craig
Chester comments on his love scene with Alexis
Arquette noting that he's had love scenes in movies
with actors before, but with straight actors "you
don't get any tongue." With Alexis he got tongue.

>
>
>
>




__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12531


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:47pm
Subject: Re: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > I didn't know popcorn kept you awake.
>
> It's not the popcorn, it's moving your mouth. If
> you fall asleep while
> you're eating, you know it's time to take a break. -
> Dan
>
My worst moviegoeing experience re food was with a
woman who insisted on loudly shaking her soda and
clinking the ice. This may not sound like much but in
the theater it was the purest form of
chalk-on-a-blackboard I'd ever heard.

Moreover she'd hold the cup up high, as if to make
sure that everyone was seeing her.


__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
12532


From: Robert Keser
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:52pm
Subject: The auteur's not an auteurist ? (was : Gossip and auteurism)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> ...Bunuel always hated Libertad Lamarque,
> the somewhat long in the tooth (but very good!) Argentine diva who
> starred in Gran Casino, his first Mexican film. Why? Because his
> producer, Oscar Dancigers, obliged him to watch one of her
>Argentine melodramas, and it made him cry. He was furious with
>himself afterward -- "How could I cry over such an absurd, maudlin,
>grotesque scene?" -- and never forgave the actress.

How interesting that Bunuel attributed the emotional effect of the
film to the actress rather than the director! So, it seems that
Bunuel was an auteur but not an auteurist.

--Robert Keser
12533


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:22pm
Subject: Re: Rossellini's Homophobia (Was: Gossip and auteurism)
 
I think Hugo Salas does a great job accounting for the homophobic
elements in Rossellini's film and how they relate to Rossellini's
breakthroughs in re-defining cinema, as an exploration of the ethics
of filming reality:

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/rossellini.html

Refer to the section "Ethics" to go straight to his gay discussion.

More or less restating one of the points made by Salas, I perceive
and value Rossellini's films, more than just about anyone pre-New Wave
(except maybe Sternberg, whom I consider a Rossellini prototype), as
an active interrogation of how cinema utilizes appearances to
represent reality -- and how these projected appearances need to be
broken down in order to achieve a more profound understanding of
film, one that engenders a viewer who is both conscious and
personally responsible for his or her own act of viewing. As with
Bazinian theory, I think this way of understanding film has Christian
overtones. Rossellini's homophobia might also be attributed to the
same Christian influences. It is unfortunate, in a career where so
many institutions and ideologies were dismantled onscreen for the
sake of a attaining a renewed sense of Truth, that homophobia wasn't
one of them. So even Rossellini couldn't quite live up to the full
potential of his movies, to liberate us from restrictive, pre-
conceived ideologies. But I think this failure (in our eyes, perhaps
not his) is exactly where Rossellini's insights take on a new burden
of responsibility that courageous film viewers must now bear. It's
not a matter of arguing "is he or isn't he?" but asking how this very
issue can shed light on his films. This may be the only way that
even the viewers most sensitive to homophobia can derive something
valuable from Rossellini. It's a flaw that keeps the rest of us
accountable to his art.

In this regard I think it does a disservice to paint him as Gallagher
does, to argue that Rossellini wasn't homophobic (though I think
Gallagher's pointing to contradictory evidence does help show that
homophobia exists within people in more conflicted and contradictory
ways than we often care to consider). Gallagher's argument may
relieve people of their apprehensions, but this politically correct
strategy for exonerating Rossellini doesn't help us understand how
Rossellini's homophobia represents the very challenge to the viewer
that makes his films so significant to begin with, the continuing
conflict between reality and appearances, between knowledge and
ethics, between upholding one's beliefs as Truth and dismantling them
to embrace a Truth newly revealed.

To repeat Salas' conclusion: "This perspective, based on the
assumption of the transparency of images (it is not coincidental that
Rossellini had better luck with French criticism influenced by Bazin
than with Marxist criticism), is one of the first major insights into
cinema (inside cinema), and as such it surely deserves an important
place in our critical speech. Nevertheless, accepting it as a
revealed truth something the critic has done for too long
presupposes the acceptance of the huge amount of ethnocentric
conceptions it produces (only a few of them studied above)."

Kevin

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
> > --- Michael Worrall
> > Tom
> > > Gunning told me about Rossellini responding to an
> > > interviewer's
> > > observation/challenge that many directors still made
> > > films in the
> > > "classical style" with the remark: "yes, and there
> > > are still
> > > homosexuals." This statement has tainted my
> > > opinions of
> > > Rossellini for years and kept me away from his other
> > > films. I
> > > have stated before that bad politics does not always
> > > make bad
> > > art, but Rossellini's comment cut really deep.
> > > Obviously, I am the
> > > one losing out in the long run.
>
> Tag Gallagher takes exception to claims that Rossellini was
> homophobic. Gallagher makes his case largely in response to Ingrid
> Bergman's autobiography in which she writes about Rossellini's
> extreme anxiety about homosexuality and which came to a head after
RR
> was supposed to direct Bergman in the Paris production of Tea and
> Sympathy. RR agreed to direct the play without having read it and
> was horrified to discover the subject matter after having signed
on.
> (The play was eventually directed by someone else.) Gallagher
claims
> that it was not the homosexual content of the play which disgusted
RR
> but rather the play's "conventional, teasing maudlinity"
(Gallagher's
> words, not RR's). According to Gallagher, RR "had many gay friends
> and enjoyed visiting gay hang-outs" although none of these friends
> are named. Gallagher does concede that homosexuality "denotes
> depravity" in Open City, Germany, Year Zero, and Augustine of Hippo
> but points out that the same subject is "not viewed unfavorably" in
> Age of the Medici. I've never seen the last two films so I can't
> comment. Gallagher's reading of RR's motives allows one to breathe
a
> little easier in relation to RR on this matter of homophobia but
I'm
> not entirely convinced. Bergman, for example, writes in relation
to
> Tea and Sympathy that for RR, "It wasn't the writing or the writer;
> he just hated the general theme." I get the feeling here that
> Gallagher is trying to polish off some of RR's rough edges, making
> him a politically correct (or at least palatable) figure for
today.
> But for that period in Italy, RR was not really all that
inconsistent
> in his attitudes towards homosexuality and the feminine which many
> men shared, regardless of their politics in other areas.
>
> One thing Gallagher does refer to is something RR wrote for Bergman
> as a kind of response to Tea and Sympathy, a story (never filmed,
of
> course) called Isa's Decision. This has been reproduced in one of
> the Bergala books on Rossellini although I've never read it.
> Gallagher attempts to make a case for its superiority over Tea and
> Sympathy but his description alone does not make a convincing case
> for its ideological superiority over T&S. Like T&S, it deals with
a
> woman who attempts to "save" a man from his homosexuality through
> seduction although in this case the man is the woman's ex-husband,
> who is now living with another man. Obviously I would have to read
> this story or treatment (which was dictated to Truffaut, who had
his
> own anxieties about homosexuality, so what a team we've got here on
> this one!) before making any attempt at evaluation. But all this
> redemption sounds quite terrifying.
>
> At any rate, has anyone in the group read this treatment of RR's?
> >
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers!
> > http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12534


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:34pm
Subject: Re: NY: no Shimizu
 
It really sucks that the Shimizu films were cancelled -- I saw NOTES
OF AN ITINERANT PERFORMER in Berlin and it was the best film I saw
there.

On the other hand, I am perturbed to see far more Asian than Asian-
American fare in this Asian AMERICAN festival -- it's a double-edged
trend. On the one hand, it's great to have a venue with so many
selections from less-vaunted countries like the Philippines, Malaysia
and Singapore (be sure to check out Royston Tan's 15 -- I haven't
gotten that much of a punky rush from a film since Fruit Chan's MADE
IN HONG KONG). On the other hand, where's this year's BETTER LUCK
TOMORROW or ROBOT STORIES? It seems the Asian American film movement
has taken a breather following some of its deepest cuts into the
American cinematic landscape, while the Asian New Wave continues to
surge. Even as a devotee of both Asian and Asian American cinema, I
have to wonder if they are not vying against each other in vying for
the patronage of this festival as well as the marketplace.

Two years ago the festival programmed some real Asian American gems --
Sam Fuller's THE CRIMSON KIMONO (which proved to me that Fuller was
one of the most sensitive American directors of race during the '50s,
if not of all time) and Cecil B. DeMille's THE CHEAT (introduced by a
haggard Martin Scorsese in between editing sessions of GANGS OF NEW
YORK).

I'm really curious to see how this ImaginAsian theater is going to
pan out. I'm really hoping for the best.

Kevin


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jess_l_amortell"
wrote:
> The Village Voice article on the Asian-American International Film
Festival (some of it taking place at a new theater
called "Imaginasian") implies that Hiroshi Shimizu films of the '30s
will, anomalously, be shown:
>
> http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0428/ng.php
>
> However, the festival's website lists the "Hiroshi Shimizu
retrospective," without further explanation, as cancelled.
>
> http://66.40.251.133/content.asp?cid=235
12535


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Mizoguchi's Death Poem & Interview
 
Thank you Richard for all the fascinating information on Mizoguchi.
I was particularly excited to read about his meeting with Sternberg.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mizoguchi was a bit Sternberg/Dietrich
fan. Do you know if Ozu ever met Sternberg? I see a heavy
Sternbergian influence in Ozu's early films, such as DRAGNET GIRL and
PASSING FANCY. Aside from their shared affinity for the bric-a-brac
school of mise-en-scene, I feel that some of Ozu's early genre
pictures borrow the idea of personal redemption that one sees in
Sternberg and Borzage, but I don't think this idea is characteristic
of Japanese culture, so it seems like another imported element from
the Hollywood films that Ozu ingested. On the other hand, sometimes
I feel that Sternberg was a Japanese director who was born in the
wrong country, given certain elements of his style that I find
characteristic of early Japanese cinema.

Do you have any online writing available on Mizoguchi?


Kevin



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
>
> "A Geisha / Gion Festival Music is a favorite Mizoguchi. But rarely
> see it discussed."
>
> I think it's neglected because it's mistakenly believed to be a
> remake of GION NO SHIMAI/SISTERS OF GION, and the latter movie is
> generally considered superior to the former. Taken on its own
terms
> GION BAYASHI is of great interest because of the docu-drama
approach
> to showing the apprentice geisha's training, the location shots of
> traditional areas of Kyoto and above all the visual pattern
> connecting dark and cramped interiors with sunny but equally
confined
> exteriors, the visual correalative of the geishas' limited opptions.
>
> Mike, if you haven't seen it, you should take a look at UWASA NO
> ONNA/THE WOMAN OF THE RUMOUR another contemporary Kyoto story that
> takes place in the Shimabara geisha quarters which is
geographically
> opposite of Gion on the other side of the Kamo River. I think that
> movie can be seen as a companion piece to GION BAYASHI.
>
> Finally, one more bit of gossip. In a Japanese book
> called "Personalities of Japanese Film History" the author tells a
> story about Mizoguchi showing Sternberg the geisha quarters in
1936,
> and maybe that's when Sternberg became fascinated with Asian women;
> in his retirement he spent his time painting nudes of Asian women.
>
> Richard
12536


From: Doug Cummings
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:39pm
Subject: Re: Re: Rossellini's Homophobia (Was: Gossip and auteurism)
 
>Well that film has been written about a lot in here,
>Doug, and from what I understand it has less to do
>with sexual desire for a gay man than a desire to
>sexually humiliate a gay man.

Ah, I see--sorry for having missed the discussion before. Maybe it
was before my time.

Doug
12537


From: Jason Guthartz
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:17pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
> why is there such a tradition of eating food (or candy or ice cream
> or...whatever) while watching movies?

"Snack food should always accompany the moving image, but it should be
the kind of soft crunchies that are strictly tactile and don't involve
the eyes. Those must, for the main part, be focused on the screen.
Toothpicks are vital in order not to break the visual concentration by
contortions of the tongue as it tries to dislodge chips and chunks of
dubious merit. The whole idea is to forget about the stomach and
that's why you have to appease it via the candy counter. The head,
heart, and hairy area below the stomach is what should be stimulated
at the cinema. Also the ears."
-- George Kuchar

It would seem easier and less aurally obnoxious to simply eat a meal
before going to the theater, but part of commercial U.S. movie culture
is that audiences can "crunch away" and not pay too close attention to
what is actually taking place before their eyes & ears.

-Jason, who in a matter of hours will likely be crunching away on some
popcorn while watching "Once Upon A Time in the West" at the Film
Center -- though I suppose I should bring some spaghetti instead!
(less noisy)
12538


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Guthartz" wrote:
> "Snack food should always accompany the moving image" -- George
Kuchar
>
But he doesn't tell us why it should.
12539


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > > I never saw the UA version of Heaven's Gate. Does it start off
> with
> > > Heard's commencement address, like the Cimino version?
> >
>
> Heard? Do you mean John Hurt? His address (a response to Cotten's
> speech) was deleted, which threw the entire sequence off balance
and
> obscured Cimino's socio-political point. I thought it was one of
the
> more damaging cuts.

Yes, Hurt -- I was up all night last night. Hurt's address is also
quite possibly the most brilliant sequence in the film, so I'm not
surprised they cut it -- it didn't advance the "action."
12540


From: Jason Guthartz
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:49pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Guthartz" wrote:
> > "Snack food should always accompany the moving image" -- George
> Kuchar
> >
> But he doesn't tell us why it should.

Well, he says:
"The whole idea is to forget about the stomach and that's why you have
to appease it via the candy counter."

I guess he's assuming no one can go for 90 minutes without one's
stomach calling attention to itself. Or perhaps the exertion involved
in film appreciation is such that we'll faint without the extra calories!

Strangely, the films at which I'm most likely to be caught munching
popcorn are the ones most likely to pose a choking hazard -- comedies!!

But seriously, I don't think there's much "justification" (beyond
Dan's valid "no doze" explanation) for what is simply a bad habit
popularized in "entertainment" venues and carried over to "art"
venues. Once the popcorn is popping, sending its
appealing-to-some/repulsive-to-others odor through the air, the battle
has begun: olfactory vs. propriety, social convention vs. moral
righteousness, commerce vs. art... popcorn as polarizing force!

And let's not forget the revenue-generating function of the concession
stand; I don't think many "arthouse" theaters could survive without
that revenue. Would you rather pay 50-100% more per ticket to go to a
concession-less theater? I'll take the cheaper ticket and deal with
the occasional annoying crunch; talkers, however, should be summarily
executed.

-Jason
12541


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:50pm
Subject: Woman/Gay Man Desire (Was: Rossellini's Homophobia)
 
To a cetain extent, a woman having an affair/relationship/sex with a
gay male is in Jacquot's "School of Flesh." Of course the "gay"
male in question is more of a gay/straight hustler opportunist that
ends up with a child.

It's a complicated relationship and film, though some would argue
that Jacquot plays it safe by having the male lead default to a
hetro relationship at the end.

BTW: I thought Jacquot's "A Single Girl" to be one of the best films
of the 90's.

Michael Worrall
12542


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:55pm
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > Since we're not talking specifics, I'm at a loss to reply
>
> Well, we're on a public forum, and I feel as if I'm on the verge of
> being nasty.
>
> > The inferred author, based on seeing a movie or several movies, or
> > the inferred production process, are not unlike the implied
audience
> > for Woody Allen's films, which was discussed years ago re: an
article
> > JR wrote in Tikkun that was bugging JPC.
>
> > All of these inferences are where imagination can creep
> > in. And much as I salute imagination when it is being used
> > creatively, to produce or interpret, I fear it as I fear snakes
and
> > Republicans for what it can do to mankind's relationship to the
real
> > world. Imagination is why we're all doomed from the day we're
born,
> > because it keeps us from learning what we need to know to get out
of
> > the mess we find ourselves in. IMO.
>
> What I imagine about a filmmaker's real-life intelligence isn't
valid,
> it's true. And I don't think it's important. But the solid facts
that
> one discovers about someone's intelligence are also unimportant,
unless
> they prompt a new response to the film. The response to the film
is the
> main thing, really. And this response necessarily engenders a web
of
> inference and imagination. I don't think that's bad, or possible
to
> avoid. When Sarris said "Fuller's ideas are undoubtedly too broad
and
> oversimplified for any serious analysis," it was a response to the
> films, not the guy. He might be wrong, but I don't think he was
offbase
> in opening up the subject. - Dan

He is wrong. Look, I use imagination when I read a script report.
It's all about how you use it. And I don't see the point of using it
to replace facts that are there. Why ua saw to drive a nail? In the
case of meeting directors, I had the advantage of my CdC calling
card, and I used it for those who were left. And I will simply state
that the directors I met aren't the versions of the same directors
who spoke after screenings, or the ones that are in print. Except for
Jack Arnold.

The first question out of anyone's mouth interviewing John Carpenter
is going to be about movie violence, or the effect of horror on kids.
It took me a couple of very difficult conversations -- and finally
talking to him on the phone about In the Mouth of Madness, because
that's how he wanted to do it - to get by the years of defensive
indifference bred by that kind of journalism, which the American
movie press specializes in. The topics that emerged were surprising.

Anyway, if I'm not mistaken, you're what you might call a "reality
MAN," aren't you? (Movie reference?... Comment?...)
12543


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:57pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> --- Dan Sallitt wrote:
> > > I didn't know popcorn kept you awake.
> >
> > It's not the popcorn, it's moving your mouth. If
> > you fall asleep while
> > you're eating, you know it's time to take a break. -
> > Dan
> >
> My worst moviegoeing experience re food was with a
> woman who insisted on loudly shaking her soda and
> clinking the ice. This may not sound like much but in
> the theater it was the purest form of
> chalk-on-a-blackboard I'd ever heard.
>
> Moreover she'd hold the cup up high, as if to make
> sure that everyone was seeing her.

My father started drinking and stopped going to movies after double
bills died. I finally dragged him back to see the Disney live-
actioner about the guy who turns into a dog, and halfway through it
some brat dumped popcorn down the back of his neck. He went back to
juicing while watching Huckleberry Hound. Thirty years later, it
killed him!
>
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
12544


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:00pm
Subject: Re: The auteur's not an auteurist ? (was : Gossip and auteurism)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Keser" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
> wrote:
> > ...Bunuel always hated Libertad Lamarque,
> > the somewhat long in the tooth (but very good!) Argentine diva
who
> > starred in Gran Casino, his first Mexican film. Why? Because his
> > producer, Oscar Dancigers, obliged him to watch one of her
> >Argentine melodramas, and it made him cry. He was furious with
> >himself afterward -- "How could I cry over such an absurd,
maudlin,
> >grotesque scene?" -- and never forgave the actress.
>
> How interesting that Bunuel attributed the emotional effect of the
> film to the actress rather than the director! So, it seems that
> Bunuel was an auteur but not an auteurist.
>
> --Robert Keser

Well, in that case it was probably the right attribution -- as DE
would say, Libertad Lamarque probably WAS the auteur.
12545


From: Noel Vera
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:29pm
Subject: Re: Sunset and Bogdanovich
 
>I like it better than SUNSET BLVD (blasphemy!)

Not really--not a big fan of the movie, or of Wilder
in general.

Talk of Bogdanovich and of his 'classical' style
reminds me--saw King Vidor's The Patsy recently, and
Marion Davies was gorgeous, wonderful, enchanting in
that one. I don't think Kirsten Dunst (if that's the
one who played her) did her justice in The Cat's Meow.



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
12546


From: jess_l_amortell
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:37pm
Subject: Re: Food and movies
 
> > > "Snack food should always accompany the moving image" -- George
> > Kuchar
> > >
> > But he doesn't tell us why it should.
>
>
> perhaps the exertion involved
> in film appreciation is such that we'll faint without the extra calories!


Getting stoned can give folks the munchies.

It's actually possible to chew popcorn soundlessly. I've seen this demonstrated, although I wouldn't try it myself.

Popcorn can also cause a perturbation of the visual field, undercutting the film's rhythms. I was fit to be tied at an Ozu (I think it was) recently, forced to behold a person in the row in front of me continuously, dramatically "pop" each kernel into his mouth. (At least, any fidgeting I may do isn't premeditated.)
12547


From:
Date: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:44pm
Subject: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
Bill Krohn wrote:

>Hurt's address is also
>quite possibly the most brilliant sequence in the film, so I'm not
>surprised they cut it -- it didn't advance the "action."

Hurt's address, yes ... and the Reverend Doctor's address ... and James and
Ella dancing by themselves at Heaven's Gate, the camera swirling around them
... so many brilliant sequences!

Peter
12548


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 0:53am
Subject: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:

"Hurt's address, yes ... and the Reverend Doctor's address ... and
James and Ella dancing by themselves at Heaven's Gate, the camera
swirling around them ... so many brilliant sequences!"


Not to mention the fantastic sound mix.

Richard
12549


From: Craig Keller
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:03am
Subject: Re: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
>Not to mention the fantastic sound mix.

So is the DVD the short version or the long version of the film?

craig.
12550


From: Jaime N. Christley
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:06am
Subject: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Craig Keller wrote:
>
>
> >Not to mention the fantastic sound mix.
>
> So is the DVD the short version or the long version of the film?
>
> craig.

Long version. 219 minutes, approx. the same length that will play at
Film Forum, which is said to run 225 min.

Terrific picture.

-Jaime
12551


From: Craig Keller
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:24am
Subject: Re: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
>Long version. 219 minutes, approx. the same length that will play at
>Film Forum, which is said to run 225 min.

Wait, so the six minute difference... is due to PAL speed-up? I didn't think MGM released PAL-to-NTSC discs, but then again MGM's DVD releases aren't quite up to snuff with Warners' or Universal's, although they're still quite competent, I think...

craig.
12552


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:32am
Subject: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jaime N. Christley"
wrote:
> >
> Terrific picture.
>
> -Jaime


Yes, yes, and where were all the people who think it's a terrific
picture when it came out? All I could do was to write about it for a
French film magazine (I couldn't even get stills from UA.) Absolutely
no one defended the film when it came out and ran for a week or less
before it was withdrawn. Saw it on the first and second or third day
knowing it wouldn't be around long. I think I posted about this
before so I apologize if I repeat myself. That first screening was
such a great experience. And reading the reviews such an awful one.
Even worse than when LOLA MONTES came out in Paris, because there at
least there were a few voices in support. Not that it's a perfect
film, but still...

JPC
12553


From: Jaime N. Christley
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:43am
Subject: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"

> Yes, yes, and where were all the people who think it's a terrific
> picture when it came out?

I wash my hands of the whole affair - I was three years old.

It's a sad story, with this picture. Even today people scrunch their
eyebrows at you if you say it's anything but a big shitty film.

Was the film as badly received outside the US?

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Craig Keller wrote

> Wait, so the six minute difference... is due to PAL speed-up? I
> didn't think MGM released PAL-to-NTSC discs, but then again MGM's DVD
> releases aren't quite up to snuff with Warners' or Universal's,
> although they're still quite competent, I think...

I don't place a lot of faith in the accuracy of listed running times.
I'd go with two things for absolute certain: a clock to time the
film as it plays, and Leonard Maltin. So to answer your question,
until I find out for sure, I'd chalk the discrepancy up to rough
estimates on either Film Forum or MGM/UA's DVD division.

The DVD looks quite good, though. Non-anamorphic w/s but good.

-Jaime
12554


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:04am
Subject: Re: Sternberg and Japan (was Mizoguchi's Death Poem & Interview)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Lee"
wrote:

"Do you know if Ozu ever met Sternberg?"

Sternberg's host when he visited Japan in 1936 was Kawakita Nagamasa
an executive at Toho who was also in charge of foreign film
distribution. Kawakita arranged for Sternberg to visit the major
studios and introduced him to the leading filmmakers of the day, and
Sternberg attended a banquet at Shochiku's Kamata studio where Ozu
was working at the time, so they probably were in the same room at
the very least. There's no record that they ever socialized though.

Sternberg seems to have had more in common with Mizoguchi; they were
both collectors of shunga (erotic wood block prints) for example.

Kawakita and Sternberg became friends, and after the war when
Kawakita set up Towa his own distribution company he invited
Sternberg to come to Japan and make a picture to be co-produced by
himself and Osawa Yoshio, another former Toho executive. Sternberg
spent a year in Japan preparing and shooting ANATAHAN in Kyoto. If
someone writes Sternberg's biography I hope he or she consults the
Kawakita Memorial Film Libray in Tokyo because it probably has a lot
of information about both of Sternberg's sojourns in Japan.

Sternberg was much admired by Japanese filmmakers, and Ozu as well as
Mizoguchi greatly admired THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK. I agree that Ozu's
early films bear a distinct Sternberg influence. Ozu also liked King
Vidor, especially THE CROWD and later THE CHAMP, so I also agree that
Ozu picked up on the personal redemption theme from Hollywood films
that he liked.

"Do you have any online writing available on Mizoguchi?"

Unfortunately I don't. The Mizoguchi research was done out of my own
interest. My step-mother is Japanese, and after my younger brother
died I went to live in Japan for awhile (this was many years ago I
should add.) I taught English in Kyoto and went to screenings at the
Japan Foundation and the Kyoto City Museum's cinematheque where I met
Japanese cinephiles who lent me back issues of Kinema Jumpo and Eiga
Kyo Ron. I also used the libaries at the Japan Foundation and the
City Museum. My cinephile friends helped with translations so I was
able to make a lot of notes. There are a couple of multi-volume
histories of Japanese cinema, and most of the Mizoguchi information
comes from Shindo Kaneto, "Aru eiga kantoku no shogai" (The Life of a
Certain Film Director,) Yoda Yoshitaka, "Mizoguchi Kenji no hito to
geijitsu" (Kenji Mizoguchi: The Man and His Art) and Sato
Tadao, "Mizoguchi Kenji no sekai (The World of Kenji Mizoguchi.) If
any list members are going to write about Mizoguchi I'd be glad to
share my research (I need to polish it up a little first.)

Richard
12555


From: Noel Vera
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:31am
Subject: Re: Greatest film never made
 
By the way, on the subject of films never made,
there's this:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=14



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12556


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:11am
Subject: The Fluffer (Was: Rossellini's Homophobia)
 
> This is an important distinction for a number of
> reasons. On the alternate track of the recently
> released DVD of Richard Glatzer's "Grief" Craig
> Chester comments on his love scene with Alexis
> Arquette noting that he's had love scenes in movies
> with actors before, but with straight actors "you
> don't get any tongue." With Alexis he got tongue.

Leaving aside the escalation of the charges against Mlle. Breillat: I
really liked THE FLUFFER, directed by Glatzer and Wash West. Is GRIEF
similar in any way? Does anyone who knows THE FLUFFER have any thoughts
on whether Glatzer or West is the primary creative force? - Dan
12557


From: Jaime N. Christley
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:18am
Subject: Re: Greatest film never made
 
That's been debunked. Pure fiction.

-Jaime



--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Noel Vera wrote:
> By the way, on the subject of films never made,
> there's this:
>
> http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=14
>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.
> http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12558


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:23am
Subject: Re: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
> He is wrong. Look, I use imagination when I read a script report.
> It's all about how you use it.

I had the sense that you were saying that inferring a director's
intelligence from the movies was more imaginative and hence less
reliable than getting real-life information about the director. Maybe I
misread you. Anyway, I was just opining that determining actual
intelligence isn't the most important goal.

> Anyway, if I'm not mistaken, you're what you might call a "reality
> MAN," aren't you? (Movie reference?... Comment?...)

If this is a new movie reference, I'm missing it. If you're asking
about the old one: you knew you were paraphrasing DESIGN FOR LIVING, right?

A reality man.... Well, I don't think that the purpose of cinema is to
reveal or even necessarily to illuminate the world, so maybe I'm not.
To my mind, Bazin's insight was an aesthetic one, a way of talking about
cinema's particular style of artifice. - Dan
12559


From: Noel Vera
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:48am
Subject: Re: Greatest film never made
 
I was going to add "too good to be true, though." Forgot.


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jaime N. Christley"
wrote:
> That's been debunked. Pure fiction.
>
> -Jaime
>
>
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Noel Vera
wrote:
> > By the way, on the subject of films never made,
> > there's this:
> >
> > http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=14
> >
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.
> > http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12560


From: Jason Guthartz
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:48am
Subject: Re: Early Anthony Mann (and mid, and late)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> >Mann retro at Lincoln Center...Aug 11-29.
> >
> Do not miss "Men in War."


Coming to Chicago's Film Center on Thu, August 26, 6:15pm -- one and
only screening!

-Jason
12561


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:02am
Subject: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jaime N. Christley"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
>
> > Yes, yes, and where were all the people who think it's a
terrific
> > picture when it came out?
>
> I wash my hands of the whole affair - I was three years old.
>
> It's a sad story, with this picture. Even today people scrunch
their
> eyebrows at you if you say it's anything but a big shitty film.
>
> Was the film as badly received outside the US?
>
-Jaime

I wasn't blaming any three-year old...

Outside the US they only saw the shorn version. That's the one
they reviewed at the time. It was not as badly received as in the US,
but almost.
JPC
12562


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:18am
Subject: Re: Re: Sunset and Bogdanovich
 
--- Noel Vera wrote:
.
>
> Talk of Bogdanovich and of his 'classical' style
> reminds me--saw King Vidor's The Patsy recently, and
> Marion Davies was gorgeous, wonderful, enchanting in
> that one. I don't think Kirsten Dunst (if that's the
> one who played her) did her justice in The Cat's
> Meow.
>
>
Marion Davies was a marvelous commedienne who has
sadly been overshadowed in film history by her
doppleganger "Susan Alexander Kane." Welles in his
later years noted that this was quite unfair to
Davies, who was a great star and a marvelous person.

In Frank O'Hara's play "The General Returns From One
Place to Another" the title character (played by
Taylor Mead) has a monologue in which he declares that
Marion Davies reputation might have been saved had she
been promoted properly.

I also reccomend the chapter of Louise Brooks' "Lulu
in Hollywood" entitled "Marion Davies' Niece."



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
12563


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:28am
Subject: Re: Re: Heaven's Gate (Was: Food and movies (& Cimino)
 
--- "Jaime N. Christley"
wrote:

>
> It's a sad story, with this picture. Even today
> people scrunch their
> eyebrows at you if you say it's anything but a big
> shitty film.
>
Wish I could join the Hallalujah chorus, but I can't.
Maybe it's because I hated "The Deer Hunter." I never
warmed to Cimino. Lord knows "Heaven's Gate" is
interesting -- sometimes even fascinating. But it's
conceptually stillborn. Cimino appears to have started
out with a Leone-style epic but gave it up in favor of
a film about circular movements. In that sense it's a
bit like "La Cicatrice Interieure." The music is
lovely and individual scenes are striking, but that's
about it.

Lord knows there have been infinitely worse films. But
"Heaven's Gate" because the whipping boy of
directorial self-indulgence.

Cimino's susbsequent films, particularly "The
Sicilian" were far more worthy of critical wrath.



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12564


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:32am
Subject: Re: The Fluffer (Was: Rossellini's Homophobia)
 
--- Dan Sallitt wrote:

>
> Leaving aside the escalation of the charges against
> Mlle. Breillat: I
> really liked THE FLUFFER, directed by Glatzer and
> Wash West. Is GRIEF
> similar in any way? Does anyone who knows THE
> FLUFFER have any thoughts
> on whether Glatzer or West is the primary creative
> force? - Dan
>
Richard hadn't met Wash when he made "Grief" -- which
as you know is about the death of his previous lover
from AIDS.

"The Fluffer" is really a 50/50 collaboration. Wash, a
gentleman and a pronographer, supplying the background
on that score, but the emotional core is pure Richard.
he has a way with sentitive-loser characters that's
quite unique.




__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
12565


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:09am
Subject: Re: Sternberg and Japan (was Mizoguchi's Death Poem & Interview)
 
A long time ago at a_film_by posted a link to this "tree" of filmmakers:
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/zclad.htm

It shows Sternberg directly influencing Mizoguchi. And other, related
filmmakers of the "pictorialist" tradition. While these filmmakers are of many
different nationalities, they seem to have common artistic approaches.

There is also a tree of Neo-realist filmmakers. And links at the end to trees
of mystery writers.

Wholeheartedly agree that Mizoguchi's "Sisters of the Gion" and "Gion
Festival Music" are only dimly linked. They are just not re-makes, in any
conventional sense of the word. Nor do such Ozu pictures as "I Was Born, But..." and
"Good Morning" seem like re-makes, despite what is often said about them. Very
strange!

Just saw "Dragnet Girl" (Ozu) at the Ozu retrospective at the Detroit Film
Theater. It is a fascinating film. It is a Japanese film clearly inspired by US
gangster pictures, but also with a heavy aspect of romantic drama. It did not
occur to me at the time to look for Sternberg influences on it. It seemed a
bit like Roland West's "Alibi" (1929), which also mixes gangsters and romance.
Would love to see it again, maybe on DVD, and really study the film in-depth.
Have never seen "Passing Fancy" (Ozu). Or "Woman of the Rumor" (MIzoguchi).
Would love to see both!

Mike Grost
12566


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:25am
Subject: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
>
> Separate from the craft of screenwriting and the talent of
> story-telling,
> for me, there is a demand to hold it all together with a theme /
spine
> and I find that the weakest part of most films I see.
>
> TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is about pre-judgement. THE STING is about
> the con. Almost every scene in these movies deals with these
themes,
> not just in service of the main story, but in terms of each side
story.
> I
> like that in a movie.
>
> It takes a lot of mental effort to hold all those ideas in one's
head
> simultaneously... to be able to look at scenes from different
> perspectives.
> It helps if one understands that everything is in service of the
story.

But Elizabeth, I am one who believes that a film should not be at
the service of the story. A talented director usually has more
preoccupations than just illustrating a story. Is "To Kill a
Mockingbird" JUST about pre-judgement? How then does Mulligan make
it a Mulligan film? If the film was only about that particular
theme, then it would make any difference if Stanley Kramer directed
it?

I think you are talking about a very traditional/classical style of
filmmaking that in the end, I find, chains cinema to literary and
theatrical conventions. When people mention the word "spine" in
regards to a film or script, I crindge. I had a narrative film
teacher who reduced everything down to the Syd Field/Mead(?) school
of filmmaking, sucking out the exploration and development of
cinematic lanquage to covey multiple ideas and cementing it to brick
wall of theme and character motivation/psychology. (He was totally
narrative driven/centered in his teachings, quite indifferent or
even hostile to the avant-garde or even European filmmaking.)
I, for one, became incredibly unhappy making films at that time
because I had to center the whole construction of a short around
the "spine". The theme may be the thing to some, but it's style for
me. Scott Bukatman said it best for me when he remarked: "when
people tell me about a film, I do not what to know what it was
about, I want to know what it was like."

Yes, an auteur may have central themes in their films and so I have
to ask: isn't an auteur always remaking his/her own films in some
way?

On the subject of directors' ability/inablity to express themselves,
I remember an audience member at a Museum of the Moving Image
screening asking Stan Brackage what he was trying to "say" in a film
he just screened. "If I could stand up here and tell you what I was
intending or wanting to communicate," Stan roared. "Then I would
not have spent over 8 months and 4,000 to make a film!!" A lot of
directors can't express themselves eloquently or intelligently,
that's why they may make films. This applies to all other artists
and their mediums.

Michael Worrall
12567


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:37am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> The first question out of anyone's mouth interviewing John
Carpenter
> is going to be about movie violence, or the effect of horror on
kids.


Anyone's? Hardly what I would first ask Carpenter.

Michael Worrall
12568


From: hotlove666
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:12am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Worrall"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
> wrote:
> > The first question out of anyone's mouth interviewing John
> Carpenter
> > is going to be about movie violence, or the effect of horror on
> kids.
>
>
> Anyone's? Hardly what I would first ask Carpenter.
>
Nor I, but if you look in the JC clipping file at the Herrick or
Lincoln Center, that's what you'll see. That's what I saw when I
looked 4 years ago. Has it changed since then?
12569


From: hotlove666
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:23am
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Worrall"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
> >
> > Separate from the craft of screenwriting and the talent of
> > story-telling,
> > for me, there is a demand to hold it all together with a theme /
> spine
> > and I find that the weakest part of most films I see.

Example: I, Robot, which I just saw. Alex Proyas's visual ideas (when
he could get away with them) chained to John Davis and Will Smith's
childish ideas of story development, dialogue, emotional depth. F
everybody's I: John Davis is a Harvard MBA -- his father is the
Denver oil man who bought Fox and sold it to Murdoch. Will Smith is a
tv star who has been in a couple of good films, which he did not
produce. It's like watching George W. Bush and Howdy Doody produce a
film for Fellini, with them calling the shots. And it will die a
death -- you can rely on that too.
12570


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:38am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:

> Nor I, but if you look in the JC clipping file at the Herrick or
> Lincoln Center, that's what you'll see. That's what I saw when I
> looked 4 years ago. Has it changed since then?

4 years ago was after CdC had a large section of the publication
devoted to him, which I believe was around the time of "Vampires".
I really don't read popular press on filmmakers, so I cannot tell
you if it has changed I was just trying to point out that
saying "anyone" was a bit of a generalization.

Michael Worrall
12571


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:02am
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
> But Elizabeth, I am one who believes that a film should not be at
> the service of the story. A talented director usually has more
> preoccupations than just illustrating a story. Is "To Kill a
> Mockingbird" JUST about pre-judgement? How then does Mulligan make
> it a Mulligan film?

I would argue that Mulligan puts himself at the service of the story,
and his style emerges from the distinctive, individual and
intelligent choices he makes in telling it in cinematic terms. This
may include diversions from the central theme or plotline, or it may
not. In those choices he is stamping his personality on the film -
not as a deliberate "look at me!", but at the service of the point he
wants to make.

> When people mention the word "spine" in
> regards to a film or script, I crindge. I had a narrative film
> teacher who reduced everything down to the Syd Field/Mead(?) school
> of filmmaking, sucking out the exploration and development of
> cinematic lanquage to covey multiple ideas and cementing it to
brick
> wall of theme and character motivation/psychology.

The trouble with this approach is it tends to focus on the
screenwriter's role rather than the director's. it's OK as far as it
goes, but unnecessarily limiting, and often neglects the uniquely
cinematic forms storytelling or abstract exploration of ideas can
take. But it's useful to look at this approach. And I don't think the
word "spine" should horrify you so much - I think even abstract art
has a spine.

> The theme may be the thing to some, but it's style for
> me. Scott Bukatman said it best for me when he remarked: "when
> people tell me about a film, I do not what to know what it was
> about, I want to know what it was like."

the thing that horrifies ME, is that the public still chooses films
based on (apart from who's in them), what they're about. as in "I
like films with snow/horses/tanks in them." Now THAT'S a fallacy.

Obviously, a strong theme does not make a strong film - what we are
looking for is a filmmaker who can explore his ideas in an
interesting way. But it should be obvious that if the theme chosen is
uninteresting, the filmmaker has little chance to make a great film.

> Yes, an auteur may have central themes in their films and so I have
> to ask: isn't an auteur always remaking his/her own films in some
> way?

"In some way" is right, perhaps. But there ARE filmmakers with more
than one theme...

>"If I could stand up here and tell you what I was
> intending or wanting to communicate," Stan roared. "Then I would
> not have spent over 8 months and 4,000 to make a film!!" A lot of
> directors can't express themselves eloquently or intelligently,
> that's why they may make films. This applies to all other artists
> and their mediums.

I think you have his meaning wrong here. What I take from this
statement is that Stan is attempting to express something that CAN
ONLY BE EXPRESSED IN FILM. His chosen medium is the best for what he
wants to say. Nabokov hated the question "What is the author trying
to say?" - it assumes that all authors are failed essayists, and it's
a position popular with essayists, for some strange reason.

The public has no such problem. After an unsatisfying film, somebody
might say "What was the point of that?" but they don't waste time
after a good film trying to boil down the film's message to a simple
homily. They understand that the film itself is the unique expression
of it's own point. I'm almost saying the medium is the message here,
but not quite. The work of art is the message.
12572


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:06am
Subject: Re: Food and annoying patrons
 
> I become Roderick Usher at the movies. Somehow I always manage to
> sit near the old gent with the freakishly loud swallow, the guy who
> eats popcorn WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN (there is no sound that is more
> hateful to these ears), or in front of the man/woman who has to
> respond - by way of tongue-clicking (clucking?) or "Oh, jeez" or
> something similar - to every instance of brutality, cruelty,
malice,
> ghoulishness, or conspiracy to commit any of the above.

except i doubt roderick Usher would snarl "For christ's sake!" and
vigorously climb over three rows of seats to escape.

Actually, that cinema showing the Welles films seems to attract
incredibly annoying patrons - you can't escape.

In Marrakech folks mainly go to the cinema for the air conditioning,
and chat to the people next to them, or make mobile phone calls,
throughout the movie. The hubbub is so constant it's oddly LESS
distracting than one snoring person.
12573


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:10am
Subject: Re: remakes and whatnot/gossip folks
 
> When Joe Dante was developing The Mummy at Universal...

Good example!

In a sense, screenwriting books have done some damage - now producers
think they understand film storytelling. In Goldwyn's day
his "opinions" would randomly fall on any element of the process, and
he could be steered away from the important stuff. Nowadays they have
enough knowledge to home in on the stuff that matters, and fuck it up.
12574


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:37am
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
Bill Krohn writes:

Example: I, Robot, which I just saw. Alex Proyas's visual ideas (when
he could get away with them) chained to John Davis and Will Smith's
childish ideas of story development, dialogue, emotional depth. F
everybody's I: John Davis is a Harvard MBA -- his father is the
Denver oil man who bought Fox and sold it to Murdoch. Will Smith is a
tv star who has been in a couple of good films, which he did not
produce. It's like watching George W. Bush and Howdy Doody produce a
film for Fellini, with them calling the shots. And it will die a
death -- you can rely on that too.

I have not seen "I, Robot" yet. Still:
Bill's admitable discussion above encapsulates many fears I have about modern
commercial film:
1) The art of good plotting is dead. Hollywood films used to be extremely
well plotted. The studios employed top screenwriters; they often adapted the best
novels and stories of all types, from literary to pulp fiction; and everyone
involved in filmmaking understood the "need to tell a good story". All this is
considered unhip today. My aesthetic: good plotting is art; bad plotting is a
betrayal of art.
2) The "dumbing down of popular culture". Taking a book like Isaac Asimov's
"I, Robot" (1940-1949), famous for its plotting craftsmanship, completely
gutting it, and turning it into an action adventure movie centering on violence
and horror. This is a work of cultural vandalism. It reminds me of that man who
took a hammer to Michelangelo's Pieta some decades ago! What sort of complete
@#$%^%#$^&*&^ would do this??
Paranoia: Is this sort of thing done by the Republican military-industrial
complex, to make Americans dumber? Are they afraid that if the public can think,
we will vote George W. Bush out of office?
3) Asimov published the "I, Robot" short stories in a pulp magazine, that
probably paid him a half a cent a word. The salaries of everyone involved in the
film version are probably astronomical. Yet he produced brilliant plots, while
today's six figure writers churn out plotless drivel. Why?
4) The "connections" of the screen writer involved. One often suspects that
today's successful writers are people with connections, not people with talent.
Here is a good example of this.
You know, Ursula K. Le Guin, the world's greatest living science fiction
writer, has never been hired by Hollywood to script a movie. She would probably
work at a small fraction of Davis' salary. Of course, her father is not one of
Murdoch's men. It is too bad that she lacks the sort of "qualifications" that
count in today's tinseltown.
5) Finally, a loud raspberry to the "public". A large proportion of the
public is tuned into advertising. They only want to see movies and read books that
have big ad campaigns. They are the audience that is supporting the whole
Murdoch Empire of Shit.
Years ago, the public was a lot more entertainment driven. They could find
their way to "Astounding Science Fiction", the pulp magazine that published
Asimov, Clifford D. Simak, A. E. Van Vogt, etc, and read it. This magaine had a $0
advertising budget - it never advertised at all. But the public read it
because they enjoyed it, and it appealed to them. Now many people stand around like
sheep, waiting for expensive "hype" ad campaigns to tell them what to read
and watch. This is a formula for cultural disaster!

Mike Grost
12575


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:36pm
Subject: RE Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
Thanks for your comments, Michael Worrall. I don't want
cinema to be a filmed story or stage play... but I still think
that great movies have a 'theme' that runs though out them.

A few weeks back, I made a comment about some movies
having 'no mise-en-scene,' and didn't provoke the replies
I expected. I think these movies lack a director.


As I think about screen writing, I think about how
scenes should produce a still that captures the essence
of that scene, such that if you saw a series of stills you
would have a sense of the 'story.'

> Scott Bukatman said it best for me when he remarked: "when
> people tell me about a film, I do not what to know what it was
> about, I want to know what it was like.

I like to know 'how the images told the story, or mood,
or sentiment, or ... whatever (even message if that is
demanded by some). I want to know why I need to
"SEE" and, secondarily, "HEAR" the film. What do I
miss if I close my eyes?
(it is interesting that subtitles only include dialogue, and
not the mood intended by the soundtracks... sometimes
I watch movies captioned for the hearing impaired to
see what additional sound info beyond the dialogue is
deemed important.)


> asking Stan Brackage what he was trying to "say" in a film
> he just screened. "If I could stand up here and tell you what I was
> intending or wanting to communicate," Stan roared. "Then I would
> not have spent over 8 months and 4,000 to make a film!!"


I don't think films need to have messages, but I do like
a story. There are many episodic slice of life films
(even those including no people -- I am reading
an interesting book called PHANTOM of the CINEMA
and it suggests to be that 'actors' really have to be
in service to the character who are in turn in service
to the story) that a genuinely interesting but do carry
the weight of dramatic story-telling for me. And I
recognize that my interest in screenwriting puts me in
a classical narrative tradition.

{{Are most experimental or avant-garde or cutting
edge movies written by the director? Are there
screenwriters who specialize in these types of cinema
for specific directors?}}







I watched THE SEARCHERS yesterday and am reading
the script today. It is a good exercise that separates out
the story (originally from a novel) from the film. It is also
apparent what FORD does as a director to make the story
cinematic.



Message: 17
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 06:25:01 -0000
From: "Michael Worrall"
Subject: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
>
> Separate from the craft of screenwriting and the talent of
> story-telling,
> for me, there is a demand to hold it all together with a theme /
spine
> and I find that the weakest part of most films I see.
>
> TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is about pre-judgement. THE STING is about
> the con. Almost every scene in these movies deals with these
themes,
> not just in service of the main story, but in terms of each side
story.
> I
> like that in a movie.
>
> It takes a lot of mental effort to hold all those ideas in one's
head
> simultaneously... to be able to look at scenes from different
> perspectives.
> It helps if one understands that everything is in service of the
story.

But Elizabeth, I am one who believes that a film should not be at
the service of the story. A talented director usually has more
preoccupations than just illustrating a story. Is "To Kill a
Mockingbird" JUST about pre-judgement? How then does Mulligan make
it a Mulligan film? If the film was only about that particular
theme, then it would make any difference if Stanley Kramer directed
it?

I think you are talking about a very traditional/classical style of
filmmaking that in the end, I find, chains cinema to literary and
theatrical conventions. When people mention the word "spine" in
regards to a film or script, I crindge. I had a narrative film
teacher who reduced everything down to the Syd Field/Mead(?) school
of filmmaking, sucking out the exploration and development of
cinematic lanquage to covey multiple ideas and cementing it to brick
wall of theme and character motivation/psychology. (He was totally
narrative driven/centered in his teachings, quite indifferent or
even hostile to the avant-garde or even European filmmaking.)
I, for one, became incredibly unhappy making films at that time
because I had to center the whole construction of a short around
the "spine". The theme may be the thing to some, but it's style for
me. Scott Bukatman said it best for me when he remarked: "when
people tell me about a film, I do not what to know what it was
about, I want to know what it was like."

Yes, an auteur may have central themes in their films and so I have
to ask: isn't an auteur always remaking his/her own films in some
way?

On the subject of directors' ability/inablity to express themselves,
I remember an audience member at a Museum of the Moving Image
screening asking Stan Brackage what he was trying to "say" in a film
he just screened. "If I could stand up here and tell you what I was
intending or wanting to communicate," Stan roared. "Then I would
not have spent over 8 months and 4,000 to make a film!!" A lot of
directors can't express themselves eloquently or intelligently,
that's why they may make films. This applies to all other artists
and their mediums.

Michael Worrall
12576


From: hotlove666
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:41pm
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence, I,Robot
 
Mike,

I should not have given the impression that the plot isn't worthy of
its source in I, Robot. It is, and it's far ahead of many plotted
films today in that respect -- in fact I thought of you watching it,
because it's built around a locked room mystery based on the "Three
Laws" and has a satisfactory solution.

The story is by a writter I don't know, inspired by Asimov, and like
Proyas, it was a good element in a stew that could have yielded a
classic. The problem is what happened next on the script level, which
is where the dumbing-down happened in an attempt to make it a Will
Smith movie with teen appeal. But they kept the story, and Proyas did
direct with flair, and you definitely should see it!
12577


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:46pm
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
This is easily remedied by reading a script before /
after / or while watching a film... it is clear what the
directors, cinematographers, editors (and actors)
can do.

I'm of the opinion that some of the 'best lines' in a
screenplay are the ones that might never get spoken
because every other means of conveying the
spoken word are employed by actual film makers.


> From: "cairnsdavid1967"
>
> The trouble with this approach is it tends to focus on the
> screenwriter's role rather than the director's. it's OK as far as it
> goes, but unnecessarily limiting, and often neglects the uniquely
> cinematic forms storytelling or abstract exploration of ideas can
> take. But it's useful to look at this approach. And I don't think the
> word "spine" should horrify you so much - I think even abstract art
> has a spine.
12578


From: Jaime N. Christley
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:15pm
Subject: Carlito's Way or: What the hell was I thinking?
 
Just watched CARLITO'S WAY, for the first time in about a decade.

I take back all that I said about the ending. My mind had totally
obliterated the opening scene, in which Benny Blanco kills
Carlito...so my memory of the ending went like this: "De Palma thinks
he's slick, that the audience will be shocked by the ending, but you'd
have to be incredibly stupid not to see it coming from a mile off."
But in fact the movie never lets the audience forget that he'll
eventually be killed, and by whom. This shifts the emphasis to De
Palma's real concern, the chain of events and personal choices that
leads up to the scene. Rohmer's MY NIGHT AT MAUD'S and THE MARQUISE
OF O... both have this quality - that the ending is not supposed to be
a surprise at all, that the emphasis is on the process. (I wouldn't
stress too much any kind of De Palma/Rohmer connection, though.)

Also, when I saw it the first time I scarcely any appreciation for De
Palma - I probably thought the film was excessive and riddled with
improbabilities - Like the kid who says, "Hey man, there's no beer
down here." Come on, kid.

While De Palma's personal style is all over this one, there are a
couple of "tableau" compositions that are very Preminger: I'm
thinking of some of the interiors in CARMEN JONES and BUNNY LAKE IS
MISSING.

And there's a strong sense of Lang's mise-en-scene: shots heavy with
bric-a-brac and clutter (how can anybody not love Kleinfeld's office,
or Carlito's club) on one hand, and on the other hand a sense of sharp
angles and depth in the exteriors, such as the alley in which
Carlito's thugs beat up Benny.

But in the end it's all De Palma. CARLITO'S WAY is brimming with
intricate compositions: multiple planes and levels and frames and all
kinds of activity going on, all tied up with masterful tracking and
steadicam shots (the party at Kleinfeld's; the moment before Carlito
goes into talk to Lalin; the strip club where Gail dances; the crane
shot that scales the different floors of the dancing school - this is
right before the lovely shot of Carlito holding the garbage pail lid
over his head as he watches Gail). I can't think of another De Palma
film that so bursts with movement and pizzazz - and the competition is
pretty stiff.

-Jaime
12579


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence, I,Robot
 
Bill,
I should not go off half cocked!
I think my hot buttons just fired off.
I should never comment on a movie I have not seen. Or they will wind up
making a remake of "Rien sur Robert" about me.

Sorry everybody,
Mike Grost
12580


From: Michael Worrall
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "cairnsdavid1967"
>
> The trouble with this approach is it tends to focus on the
> screenwriter's role rather than the director's. it's OK as far as
it
> goes, but unnecessarily limiting, and often neglects the uniquely
> cinematic forms storytelling or abstract exploration of ideas can
> take. But it's useful to look at this approach. And I don't think
the
> word "spine" should horrify you so much - I think even abstract
art
> has a spine.

I "cringe" I do not scream out in horror. --BTW:There are so many
Syd's (musician, art director/designer, "screenwriter") I get their
last names all mixed up.--

> the thing that horrifies ME, is that the public still chooses
films
> based on (apart from who's in them), what they're about. as in "I
> like films with snow/horses/tanks in them." Now THAT'S a fallacy.

In a consumer based society, people are lead by what
advertising/media tell them what to look for and this may not be
willfull behavior on their part, but rather learned or reinforced as
a social norm. For the other person on this board that sighted the
public as a big part of the problem, I suggest he/she read
Rosenbaum's "Movie Wars". I too get frustrated with peoples' focus
on story and stars, but I know that people are limited to choices by
the powers that be. (What Miraxe does with HK films alone is
criminal, and nothings gets to the screen -- it usually gets cut,
dubbed and sent directly to video via Dimension-- without Harvey's
touch, a person who thinks he has the insight and right to deem what
is interesting- see below.)

> Obviously, a strong theme does not make a strong film - what we
are
> looking for is a filmmaker who can explore his ideas in an
> interesting way. But it should be obvious that if the theme chosen
is
> uninteresting, the filmmaker has little chance to make a great
film.

I disagree. First of all, who deems the theme uninteresting? One
viewer? The studio head? Variety? Second, but more importantly, a
talented director can take a bad script/theme/idea and make a great
film. Kathryn Bigelow's "Point Break" is, to me, a perfect example.
The script is dopey and a lot of people dismiss it becuause it's
about "stupid surfers", but the filmmaking on display takes my
breath away. I believe a talented director can make a film rise
above a bad script, but even a good script can't help a bad director
get the film into the realm of the cinematic.

> > Yes, an auteur may have central themes in their films and so I
have
> > to ask: isn't an auteur always remaking his/her own films in
some
> > way?
>
> "In some way" is right, perhaps. But there ARE filmmakers with
more
> than one theme...

I used the word THEMES not theme, plural not singular. I want to
clarify that using the the word theme should also note directorial
obsessions, ideologies, preoccupations, techniques, etc.. And when I
say style, I do not mean some flashy, "hey look at me", superfcial
camerawork or editing
>
> I think you have his meaning wrong here. What I take from this
> statement is that Stan is attempting to express something that CAN
> ONLY BE EXPRESSED IN FILM. His chosen medium is the best for what
he
> wants to say. .

No, I think I used the wrong example. What I was trying to say, and
Brackage is a bad example becuase his writting on film is quite
lucid, is that artists may be bad communicators, have a limited
expressive vocabulary, bad spelling, bad table manners and such.
This
does not have to reflect a lack of intelligence on or off
screen,because for me, the proof is in the pudding when the image is
on the screen.

>The work of art is the message

This last statement seems to me to be exactly the idea that I was
arguing against in my first post. I also may be reacting to the way
you write with some of the absolute; words you
use: "we", "certainly", "obviously""wrong", etc..

Michael Worrall
12581


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence, I,Robot
 
PS The screen story for "I, Robot" is by Jeff Vintar, a new name to me too.
Vintar is a former bus driver, now writing sf screenplays in Hollywood,
according to the IMDB. His latest work is an adapation of "Scanners Live in Vain"
(1948), the sf short story by Cordwainer Smith.
This is one of my all time favorite science fiction stories. The villian in
the story, Vomacht, was a role that Orson Welles was born to play - but now it
is too late.
Asimov, Cordwainer Smith: I'll say this for Vintar: we'll give him an award
for Good Taste.

Mike Grost
12582


From: Aaron Graham
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Carlito's Way or: What the hell was I thinking?
 
the crane
> shot that scales the different floors of the dancing school - this
is
> right before the lovely shot of Carlito holding the garbage pail lid
> over his head as he watches Gail)

I seem to recall the shot of Carlito holding the garbage pail as a
visual reference to Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS. Someone on the
briandepalma.net forums posted captures from both and the resemblance
was uncanny.... I'm trying to find the page right now, but it's been
awhile and looks to have been taken down.

-Aaron
12583


From: joe_mcelhaney
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:30pm
Subject: Tea and Sympathy
 
David, I don't think that you and I will ever agree on Tea and
Sympathy. But I just want to respond to your last set of comments
that were brought on by my original post.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

JM: But purely on the most obvious level of representation, there IS
one explicitly gay character in it -- the teacher Tom is caught
skinny dipping with, an incident which serves as a catalyst for
bringing out into the open the anxiety and uncertainty about Tom's
sexuality.

DE: All offstage so we're"spared" the "horror."

JM: The play does not regard this skinny dipping moment as
a "horror." It's true that the skinny dipping is not represented
since this event precedes the raising of the curtain on the first
act. But we are not invited to find the event sordid. If anything,
Tom is criticized by the play for the cold shoulder he gives the
teacher after the teacher is fired. At any rate, I can't imagine a
Broadway play of the 1950s representing two men onstage, swimming in
a lake, naked. I'm sufficiently impressed that the play even raises
the subject.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

JM: Due to Production Code problems, the film eliminates this
character and substitutes the skinny dipping incident with the scene
where Tom is discovered sewing with the faculty wives at the beach.

DE: Proving my point. I've never turned down sex for a sewing bee,
and I don't know of a single gay man who has.

JM: Funny wisecrack. But Tom does not really have the option of
choosing between a sewing bee and sex. Tom is at a prep school in a
small town in New England and not in Manhattan. At this point, his
choice is between playing sports with his macho classmates, who are
already hostile to him, or sitting at the beach with some faculty
wives who, as it turns out, except for Laura, are equally repulsed by
this feminine side to Tom. "You'll make someone a good wife," one of
them sarcastically tells him.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JM: Beyond this, though, I don't see a strong distinction between a
film which deals with anxiety about less-than-conventionally-
masculine behavior and a film about homosexuality.

DE: A very important difference. The former is about heterosexual
paranoia. The latter (eg. "My Beautiful Laundrette") is about being
gay.

JM: Here is where you and I strongly differ. If I'm reading you
correctly, a film about homosexuality, about "being gay," is one in
which we have clearly defined gay characters who are often shown to
engage in romantic and sexual relationships with one another. For
me, it is not necessary for a film to be so utterly explicit and
literal about this in order to qualify as a film about homosexuality,
particularly when we are talking about a Hollywood film made during
the 1950s. A film on the order of My Beautiful Laundrette is simply
not an option for Minnelli and his collaborators working at MGM in
1956 although I think that Laundrette partakes of its own very
problematic evasions and fantasies. But save this for later. As
I've already noted, Tea and Sympathy is a film which deals to a large
extent with homosexuality as a form of social behavior. How do we
read someone's body language, gestures, interests as being gay? And
what are the implications of this kind of behavior when it is placed
within a particular social situation which cannot accommodate it, in
this case a prep school although I think that this confined setting
is also intended to be a microcosm of American society in general
during this period. Homosexuals don't just perform certain sexual
acts. (Even Margaret Thatcher has said that she is not bothered by
the possibility of homosexuals having sex in private.) They also
create social worlds and discourses which the dominant culture is
often threatened by since it is precisely this idea of a certain
alternative (and visible) culture in which, among other things,
conventional distinctions between masculine and feminine behavior and
interests are not so rigidly in place which is problematic, leading
to what Thatcher sneeringly refers to as "the gay lifestyle." In an
embryonic fashion, this fear of "the gay lifestyle" contaminating a
social environment is what Tea and Sympathy taps into since Tom is a
feminine man who sews and cooks, listens to classical music, is
interested in flowers, theater, and interior decoration, bored by
sports, has long hair, and prefers the company of women to men. He
walks in a "swishy" manner and wants to kiss his father a gesture
which the father pointedly rejects. All of this occurs within a world
in which there are rigid distinctions between acceptable masculine
and feminine behavior and which Tom threatens. Heterosexual
paranoia? Yes, but an attempt at an analysis of it rather than a
symptom.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
-

JM: Aside from the Production Code-imposed coda in which Tom is said
to be married, I don't think that the film (or the play) firmly
establishes Tom's sexuality.

DE: Oh sure it does.

JM: Where? Any examples, aside from the coda? I think Tom is best
seen as a typical sensitive fifties male figure, a much younger and
more bourgeois version of the school of Dean, Brando, Clift, or of
the Beats. (His father is horrified that Tom wants to be a folk
singer.) And it's important to remember that an aura of gayness or
sexual ambiguity often surrounds this new kind of sensitive male.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
JM: Laura's motives in seducing Tom are various, from a genuine
desire to convince him that he is not gay, thereby removing the
social stigma surrounding him, to what seems to be a much stronger
reason as the film develops -- which is that she herself is becoming
increasingly attracted to him as she is trapped within a sexless
marriage to a repressed homosexual.

DE: To a homosexual who won't fuck her.

JM: Well, whatever. But Bill is not a homosexual in a way that he
seems fully conscious of.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

JM: But I think that it is a film which allows for multiple readings
of its intentions which asks us to sometimes read between the lines of
the text, and much of this comes through the staging and the
performances.

DE: "Multiple readings" means nothing more than fudging. It's like
being "slightly pregnant."

JM: Multiple readings was a poor choice of words on my part. I
don't think that Tea and Sympathy is a film like Invasion of the Body
Snatchers which tries to have it both ways in terms of its subject
matter, in which you can read it in either a right or left-wing
fashion. Rather, I think that T&S wants to give voice to something as
clearly as it possibly can, adapting a play written within a certain
conventional, liberal, socially-conscious manner, a play whose
ideology is one which the filmmakers are in sympathy with but is
still too much for the Production Code in 1956. And so what it
cannot state explicitly through the scenario, it must communicate
through mise-en-scene. I don't want go so far as to say that the film
is utterly clear, coherent and consistent from beginning to end. I'm
not sure that this would even have been possible under the
circumstances. But I think that is struggling to articulate
something about masculinity and femininity in a manner that deserves
very serious and detailed attention and which also has serious
implications in terms of how homosexuality is interpreted and
represented within our culture.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

JM: When I showed the film last semester in a film history class the
first question asked by a student in discussion after the screenings
was: Was the coach gay? His repressed homosexuality was something
whichwas clearer in the play but again the Production Code intervened
and asked for a toning down of this element. Nevertheless, it emerges
very strongly through Minnelli's staging, particularly in the Are You
Masculine? sequence at the beach, in which Leif Erickson repeatedly
touches and puts his arms around the boys. For my students, the film
was very much ABOUT homosexuality and about fear of "otherness" in
general.

DE: Because they're used to discussing the subjct far more
openly today than anyone was back in the 50's.

JM: If a group of students (some of them gay) in 2004 look at the
film and see it as being about homosexuality while someone like Russo
in the 1980s doesn't see it in this way such a reading can only
partially be related to a higher comfort level in terms of openly
discussing gay issues. Instead, this difference in interpretation is
related to shifts that have taken place in terms of how we interpret
particular works. Certain elements of the film which Russo and
others did not or could not see in the past because they were looking
for something else(largely strong gay images of empowerment for a
newly emerging political movement) seem clearer or at least more
interesting today. This shift is typical of all manner of
interpreting texts over history. It's not so much that Russo's
reading is completely off the mark as it is partial and needs to be
complicated by other methods of interpretation.
12584


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:40pm
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
In a message dated 7/17/04 2:31:31 PM, joe_mcelhaney@y... writes:


> And so what it cannot state explicitly through the scenario, it must
> communicate through mise-en-scene.
>
But how exactly does it do this? Specific examples (in relation to Tom)?

Kevin John




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
12585


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:27pm
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
--- joe_mcelhaney wrote:
> David, I don't think that you and I will ever agree
> on Tea and
> Sympathy.

No shit, Sherlock!

But I just want to respond to your last
> set of comments
> that were brought on by my original post.

Fine.

>
> JM: The play does not regard this skinny dipping
> moment as
> a "horror." It's true that the skinny dipping is
> not represented
> since this event precedes the raising of the
> curtain on the first
> act. But we are not invited to find the event
> sordid. If anything,
> Tom is criticized by the play for the cold shoulder
> he gives the
> teacher after the teacher is fired.

You don't understand why I used the word "horror."

Homosexuality always ALWAYS involves the visible.

"How do you know he's gay?" is a query about what can
be SEEN. Heterosexualty does not have to be SEEN
because it simply IS by right of it's all-consuming
invariably smug power and authority.

Homosexuality is like fantomas -- a dormant threat
thatmay creep across your rooftop atnight, steal in
your window, cook your dinner, redecorate the living
room -- and fuck you.

At any rate, I
> can't imagine a
> Broadway play of the 1950s representing two men
> onstage, swimming in
> a lake, naked.

You forget "Wish You Were Here."

I'm sufficiently impressed that the
> play even raises
> the subject.
>

WHICH subject?

Tom does not really have
> the option of
> choosing between a sewing bee and sex. Tom is at a
> prep school in a
> small town in New England and not in Manhattan. At
> this point, his
> choice is between playing sports with his macho
> classmates, who are
> already hostile to him, or sitting at the beach with
> some faculty
> wives who, as it turns out, except for Laura, are
> equally repulsed by
> this feminine side to Tom.

You're forgetting the quite obvious option Tom has of
fucking those preppies on the side -- and keeping his
mouth shut about it. Read "Teh Professor of Desire" --
the biography of Truman Capote's college professor
Newton Arvin.


>
> JM: Here is where you and I strongly differ. If
> I'm reading you
> correctly, a film about homosexuality, about "being
> gay," is one in
> which we have clearly defined gay characters who are
> often shown to
> engage in romantic and sexual relationships with one
> another.


Uh, no.

Consider "Rope" -- the gayest film made under the
production code. The play was about gay New York life
in the period in which it was set -- complete with a
fag-hag to be passed around for a "beard." Both leads
were gay and one of them was having an affiar with the
screenwriter. The set decorator (EVEN THE SETS WERE
GAY!) was arrested in a t-room bust during the
shooting and nearly sent away to prison for lengthy
stint.

although I think that Laundrette partakes of
> its own very
> problematic evasions and fantasies. But save this
> for later.

And I'd love to hear about them.

As
> I've already noted, Tea and Sympathy is a film which
> deals to a large
> extent with homosexuality as a form of social
> behavior. How do we
> read someone's body language, gestures, interests as
> being gay?

WHOSE "social behavior"? Surely not that of
homosexuals. "Tea and Sympathy" CAN be read as a film
about the hysterical fantasies of heterosexuals
however.

And
> what are the implications of this kind of behavior
> when it is placed
> within a particular social situation which cannot
> accommodate it, in
> this case a prep school although I think that this
> confined setting
> is also intended to be a microcosm of American
> society in general
> during this period.

See above.

Homosexuals don't just perform
> certain sexual
> acts. (Even Margaret Thatcher has said that she is
> not bothered by
> the possibility of homosexuals having sex in
> private.)

And so has Bush. But that's in the wake of :awrence
vs. Texas overturning sodomy laws. For those laws were
about acts. One in fact. Anal intercourse. That gay
life consits of far more than anal intercourse, a
fortiori that gay sex consists of far more than anla
intercourse, is an enormous surprise to most
heterosexuals -- particularly those in a position of
political power.

They also
> create social worlds and discourses which the
> dominant culture is
> often threatened by since it is precisely this idea
> of a certain
> alternative (and visible) culture in which, among
> other things,
> conventional distinctions between masculine and
> feminine behavior and
> interests are not so rigidly in place which is
> problematic, leading
> to what Thatcher sneeringly refers to as "the gay
> lifestyle."

Meaning what? Meaning social integration, of course.
I don't have a lifestyle. I have a life. And so do
millions of other gays and lesbians.

In an
> embryonic fashion, this fear of "the gay lifestyle"
> contaminating a
> social environment is what Tea and Sympathy taps
> into since Tom is a
> feminine man who sews and cooks, listens to
> classical music, is
> interested in flowers, theater, and interior
> decoration, bored by
> sports, has long hair, and prefers the company of
> women to men. He
> walks in a "swishy" manner and wants to kiss his
> father a gesture
> which the father pointedly rejects. All of this
> occurs within a world
> in which there are rigid distinctions between
> acceptable masculine
> and feminine behavior and which Tom threatens.
> Heterosexual
> paranoia? Yes, but an attempt at an analysis of it
> rather than a
> symptom.
>
What analysis? Just a display of paranoia, not an
interrogation of it at all.

For that see "Performance"

> -
>
> JM: Aside from the Production Code-imposed coda in
> which Tom is said
> to be married, I don't think that the film (or the
> play) firmly
> establishes Tom's sexuality.
>
> DE: Oh sure it does.
>
> JM: Where? Any examples, aside from the coda?

According to the strictures of the Heterosexual
Dicatatorship (Christopher Isherwood's invaluable
term) EVERYONE is Heterosexual.

No exceptions.

Homosexuals are simply heterosexuals who have "gone
wrong" or been damanged by an "absent father" and an
"overprotective mother" or exposure to musicla
production numbers featuring Dolores Gray viewed at"an
impressionable age."

I
> think Tom is best
> seen as a typical sensitive fifties male figure, a
> much younger and
> more bourgeois version of the school of Dean,
> Brando, Clift, or of
> the Beats. (His father is horrified that Tom wants
> to be a folk
> singer.) And it's important to remember that an
> aura of gayness or
> sexual ambiguity often surrounds this new kind of
> sensitive male.
>
Not that new. See Marchbanks in Shaw's "Candida." And
for the nightmare version see Willa Cather's "Paul's
Case."


>
> JM: Well, whatever. But Bill is not a homosexual in
> a way that he
> seems fully conscious of.
>

So you have to be "fully conscious"? That's a neat
excuse! "Yes I bought a time-share in Cherry Grove but
I wasn't Fully Conscious when I did!"






__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail is new and improved - Check it out!
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
12586


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:33pm
Subject: Son of Tea and Sympathy
 
JM: Multiple readings was a poor choice of words on
my part. I
don't think that Tea and Sympathy is a film like
Invasion of the Body
Snatchers which tries to have it both ways in terms of
its subject
matter, in which you can read it in either a right or
left-wing
fashion. Rather, I think that T&S wants to give voice
to something as
clearly as it possibly can, adapting a play written
within a certain
conventional, liberal, socially-conscious manner, a
play whose
ideology is one which the filmmakers are in sympathy
with but is
still too much for the Production Code in 1956. And
so what it
cannot state explicitly through the scenario, it must
communicate
through mise-en-scene. I don't want go so far as to
say that the film
is utterly clear, coherent and consistent from
beginning to end. I'm
not sure that this would even have been possible under
the
circumstances. But I think that is struggling to
articulate
something about masculinity and femininity in a manner
that deserves
very serious and detailed attention and which also has
serious
implications in terms of how homosexuality is
interpreted and
represented within our culture.

Maybe.

But on that level I think William Inge is a lot closer
to the mark in "Bus Stop" and "Picnic"



JM: If a group of students (some of them gay) in 2004
look at the
film and see it as being about homosexuality while
someone like Russo
in the 1980s doesn't see it in this way such a reading
can only
partially be related to a higher comfort level in
terms of openly
discussing gay issues. Instead, this difference in
interpretation is
related to shifts that have taken place in terms of
how we interpret
particular works. Certain elements of the film which
Russo and
others did not or could not see in the past because
they were looking
for something else(largely strong gay images of
empowerment for a
newly emerging political movement) seem clearer or at
least more
interesting today. This shift is typical of all manner
of
interpreting texts over history. It's not so much
that Russo's
reading is completely off the mark as it is partial
and needs to be
complicated by other methods of interpretation.

Again, maybe.

But as I've been at pains to point out "Tea and
Sympathy" is not about homosexuality, save for the
hysterical fantasies of heterosexual culture --
delivered is a "tasteful," sex-free and therefore
unremittingly dishonest way.



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
12587


From: Noel Vera
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:54pm
Subject: Re: I, Robot (was: Storytelling/Remakes/Intelligence)
 
Uh...I've read Asimov's I, Robot and while the plots
are ingenious enough in a whodunit or puzzle manner,
they're hardly high literature or even very good SF.
Actually, the Robot Laws themselves have logical flaws
that Asimov spent much of his later years trying to
plug up.

An excellent deconstruction of the Laws can be found
in John Sladek's (a much better writer, in my opinion)
Roderick novels.



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Vote for the stars of Yahoo!'s next ad campaign!
http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/yahoo/votelifeengine/
12588


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:27pm
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
In a message dated 7/17/04 3:28:20 PM, cellar47@y... writes:


> I don't think that the film (or the play) firmly establishes Tom's
> sexuality.
> DE: Oh sure it does.
> JM:  Where? Any examples, aside from the coda?
>
> According to the strictures of the Heterosexual Dicatatorship (Christopher
> Isherwood's invaluable
> term) EVERYONE is Heterosexual.
>
But does that FIRMLY establish Tom's sexuality? For the Production Code
Police, sure. For many viewers, ok. But not for EVERYONE. And I think this is where
the "multiple readings" come in. I couldn't care less what the ending of the
film says. Neither could my husband, who's not a film professional, I might
add. To us, the boy is gay. A certain KIND of homosexuality is made visible to
us. Tom's "social behavior," his "body language, gestures, interests," IS that
of SOME gay men. I wouldn't deny that the film can be read as being about "the
hysterical fantasies of heterosexuals." I wouldn't even deny that the film
doesn't interrogate these fantasies at all. But I DO think that the film makes
visible the social behavior of SOME gay men. That's why I asked about how the
supposedly repressed homosexuality gets transferred onto the mise-en-scene.
It doesn't seem to be all that repressed to me.

And I fail to see how Rope is necessarily "gayer" than Tea & Sympathy. The
play may have been about "gay New York life in the period in which it was set."
But what about the film? This is the first time I've entertained the notion
that it was about gay New York LIFE. I didn't know that the two leads were gay
(although I certainly suspected). I had absolutely no idea that the
screenwriter and the set decorator were gay (or bi) nor did I know about the affair and
the bust. So I would ask: gayer to whom? You are bringing a good deal of
(specialized?) knowledge to bear on the film. Does that make your reading
illegitimate? Certainly not. But I think we have to take into account the competencies
of various viewing audiences at various points in history. We all can't be at
full or maximum knowledge (if such things even exist) when viewing a film. So I
don't have a problem with the term "multiple readings" at all.

Kevin John




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
12589


From: joey lindsey
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:26pm
Subject: Re: Son of Tea and Sympathy
 
This has been an interesting debate - I'm going to try to rent both "Tea
and Sympathy" and "Rope" and watch them next weekend and post some thoughts.
I'm inclined to side with David so far. Sometimes I think we may be now
experiencing with regards to gay culture what happened with native
american culture - moving from people finding you alien or bad to
everyone wanting to be part of the tribe, to horribly paraphrase it.

I hesitate to think any character is gay that doesn't want a cock in his
mouth, to put it bluntly. I've always figured "Sex will out" as far as
that goes.
Then again, I grew up in the 80s and 90s.

speaking of presentations of supposedly gay characters in past years,
David, what did you think of Lost Horizon (1937, i think), if anything?

joey lindsey
12590


From: Fred Camper
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:55pm
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:

>In a message dated 7/17/04 3:28:20 PM, cellar47@y... writes:
>
>
>... To us, the boy is gay....
>
I've certainly known straight males who share a number of Tom's
behaviors, including his gait. While it's true that all of his behaviors
taken together amount to suggesting that there's better than a five
percent or ten percent (or whatever the percentage of gay to straight
males is in the population) that he's gay, I don't think it guarantees
it by any means.

There are also gay males who act like loudmouthed blue collar macho
football fans, or football players.

Also remember, please, that we're talking about a character in a movie.
The question is not, what is he, because what he *is* is some reflected
light on the screen, but how was he meant to be understood. The end of
the film tells us that what he really likes is, well, women. I think
that's what the film wanted audiences to understand. And this "reading"
of him is indeed as socially useful a message as having people
understand that he was gay: that one shouldn't judge sexual orientation
by appearances or stereotypes.

Finally, I'm never comfortable with hen discussions of sexuality that
treat sexual orientation as some kind of ontological given that has only
two possibilities. gay and straight, that apply to a person now and
forever. Many people are like "that," to be sure -- always and only ever
desired one particular gender, whether their own or the opposite one --
but not everyone can be described that way.

Fred Camper
12591


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:02pm
Subject: ROPE and Gayness
 
Because I am currently immersed in a piece on ROPE I would like to
ask David for an elaboration on his remark that "even the set
decoration is gay" in the film. I'm serious, no wisecrack, please...

It's curious that even among the very sophisticated members of this
group some have never realized that the two young murderers in ROPE
are a gay couple. But then, Hitchcock fooled even the Production Code
police -- they never objected to the almost blatant homosexuality,
because they didn't see it, and they didn't see it because the two
men didn't correspond to the crude stereotypes homosexuals were
circumbscribed in at the time. Critics at the time didn't mention the
homosexual element -- perhaps because homosexuality was unmentionable
in respectable neewspapers and magazines. So Hitchcock got away with
something quite unique and unprecedented for 1948.

JPC
12592


From: Fred Camper
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:13pm
Subject: Re; Tea and Sympathy (oops)
 
I don't usually clutter up the board correcting my many typos, but the
unintentionally hilarious

Fred Camper wrote:

>
>Finally, I'm never comfortable with hen discussions of sexuality that
>treat sexual orientation...
>

shouldn't be allowed to stand. Delete "hen" -- a leftover from "when,"
as in" I'm never comfortable when discussions...," before I reformulated
it with "with."

Not all "hen" jokes are gay, though. Remember, please, one of my
favorite lines in "Seven Women":
"...how does it feel to be the only rooster in this henhouse."

Fred Camper
12593


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:17pm
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
>
>

>
>
> Finally, I'm never comfortable with hen discussions of sexuality
that
> treat sexual orientation as some kind of ontological given that has
only
> two possibilities. gay and straight, that apply to a person now and
> forever. Many people are like "that," to be sure -- always and only
ever
> desired one particular gender, whether their own or the opposite
one --
> but not everyone can be described that way.
>
> Fred Camper

You just alluded to the third category -- bisexuals. They confuse
straight people even more than gays do.

Room should be allowed for ambivalence and ambiguity. For example,
most (male) crossdressers, contrary to widespread belief, are
thoroughly heterosexual. Preferring the arts to sports doesn't a
homosexual make (although I always felt the sewing in T&S was a bit
much, but after all, why not?)

JPC
 
12594


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:21pm
Subject: Re: Re; Tea and Sympathy (oops)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> I don't usually clutter up the board correcting my many typos, but
the
> unintentionally hilarious
>
> Fred Camper wrote:
>
> >
> >Finally, I'm never comfortable with hen discussions of sexuality
that
> >treat sexual orientation...
> >
>
Fred, I'm sure when hens discuss sexuality they debate what came
first, the chicken or the egg.
12595


From: Fred Camper
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:48pm
Subject: Re: Re: Re; Tea and Sympathy (oops)
 
jpcoursodon wrote:

>---
>
> Fred, I'm sure when hens discuss sexuality they debate what came
>first, the chicken or the egg.
>

You may be right about that, I have know way of verifying it though. But
I do know for sure that when hens -- or humans -- discuss sexuality, the
wisdom of the professor in Borzage's "The Mortal Storm" applies. As he
says in that masterpiece, "Every hen thinks she's laid the best egg."

Fred Camper
12596


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 11:47pm
Subject: Re: Carlito's Way or: What the hell was I thinking?
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jaime N. Christley"
wrote:
> Just watched CARLITO'S WAY, for the first time in about a decade.
>
> -Jaime

Very nice post, Jaime. I've watched "Carlito's Way" about a dozen
times since it came out and I think it's my favorite DePalma. And as
you said, ther's a lot of competition.

JPC
12597


From:
Date: Sat Jul 17, 2004 8:14pm
Subject: Re: ROPE and Gayness
 
I always had a different impression of the Production Code and "Rope". It is
NOT based on research - just an intuitive guess - and hence it could be wrong!
A hypothesis:
The two killers in "Rope" were obviously gay to the censors and the audience
of the time
AND
the censors allowed it, because it depicted "gays as evil": a dominant
ideological belief on the era.
There were several gay villains of the films of the era: the killer played by
Charles McGraw in "T-Men", the spy in "The House on 92 Street", the Nazi spy
in "Saboteur", and his childhood reminsensces of being dressed as a girl, the
villains in "Born to Kill", etc. And prose mystery novels of the1945-1955
period are just full of stereotyped Evil Homosexuals. It was a national mania!
Also, just about everybody seeems to have heard of Leopold and Loeb. They
were endlessly publicised, and the sad fact was that many people thought of these
two depraved killers as "typical homosexuals". "Rope" was based on them... So
I thought everybody but an occasional naive little old lady recognized the
leads in Rope as gay in 1949.
I could be wrong!

Mike Grost
12598


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Sun Jul 18, 2004 0:16am
Subject: Re: Re; Tea and Sympathy (oops)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> >---
> >
> > Fred, I'm sure when hens discuss sexuality they debate what
came
> >first, the chicken or the egg.
> >
>
> You may be right about that, I have know way of verifying it
though. But
> I do know for sure that when hens -- or humans -- discuss
sexuality, the
> wisdom of the professor in Borzage's "The Mortal Storm" applies. As
he
> says in that masterpiece, "Every hen thinks she's laid the best
egg."
>
> Fred Camper

A masterpiece no doubt. But how did the professor know what every
hen thinks (even metaphorically)? And then there is the double
meaning of the phrase in this language. "to lay an egg". Well, I
won't egg you on any further.

JP
12599


From: hotlove666
Date: Sun Jul 18, 2004 0:48am
Subject: Re: ROPE and Gayness
 
So Hitchcock got away with
> something quite unique and unprecedented for 1948.
>
And again in Strangers on a Train. Chandler's early drafts are pretty
blatant re: Bruno's gayness.
> JPC
12600


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Sun Jul 18, 2004 0:49am
Subject: Re: Tea and Sympathy
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:

"To us, the boy is gay. A certain KIND of homosexuality is made
visible to us. Tom's "social behavior," his "body language,
gestures, interests," IS that of SOME gay men. I wouldn't deny that
the film can be read as being about "the hysterical fantasies of
heterosexuals." I wouldn't even deny that the film doesn't
interrogate these fantasies at all. But I DO think that the film
makes visible the social behavior of SOME gay men. That's why I
asked about how the supposedly repressed homosexuality gets
transferred onto the mise-en-scene. It doesn't seem to be all that
repressed to me."

Although I haven't seen TEA AND SYMPATHY for years there was one
scene that I thought was about repressed homosexuality. While Tom is
with the faculty wives at the beach, the Deborah Kerr character's
husband is on the other side of the rocks with all the young jocks in
swimming trunks. The jocks playing volley ball under the admiring
gaze of the coach seemed to be pointing to the coach's repressed
homosexuality. On the other hand, the fact that Tom is with the
women and dosen't seem interested in the jocks at all indicated to me
that he wasn't "really" gay despite the body language and so on. So
maybe the repressed homosexuality has to do with the character of the
coach and not with the charcater of Tom.

Richard

a_film_by Main Page
Home    Film    Art     Other: (Travel, Rants, Obits)    Links    About    Contact