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14501


From: Paul Gallagher
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:18pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Keser" wrote:

>
> Tag is a visionary (that's a great thing!) and I remember that, in
> this very group, he argued that no one had ever been able to produce
> a definition of a Western that all could agree on. That's an
> interesting point, but it still seems useful to describe tendencies
> toward plots and settings (and what themes they often accomodated),
> also in light of contemporary constraints like the MPAA Production
> Code. Films were products, and they still are, but under very
> different conditions now.
>

He stated that genres aren't "real." There's a good review of
genre studied by Peter Hutchings in "Approaches to Popular
Film." In the past others have made arguments similar to Tag
Gallagher's. One way of responding is offered by Andrew Tudor: to
accept that, yes, of course genres are cultural constructions:
"Genre is what we collectively believe it to be. [L]ean on a
common cultural consensus as to what constitutes a 'Western'
and then go on to analyze it in detail...'" In other words,
in response to claims that genres aren't real, this acknowledges
that there exist identifiable entities like 'the western,' 'the
gangster film,' etc.

Hutchings also quotes Douglas Pye: "In fact terms like 'definition'
and 'classification', which seem almost unavoidable in genre
criticism, are probably misleading: they suggest a greater
precision of method than is fact possible, and also tend to imply
that genre criticism exists to establish territorial boundaries.
It seems more likely that the outlines of any genre will
remain indistinct and impossible to chart and that genre
criticism should concern itself with identifying
tendencies within generic traditions and placing individual works
in relation to these."

Hutchings in particular emphasizes the role of genre studies in
calling attention to the potentially active role of the audience.
He also notes the overemphasis on the western: "It might be
argued that many of the ideas and models developed within
genre criticism at this time really only worked for the western
(and then only to a limited extent), and when it came to
constructing a broader understanding of other genres and genre
in general, genre studies as it stood was relatively ill-equipped
for the task."



> The problem with Tag's 600 poorest films idea is: who the hell wants
> to do it? Maybe, when unmined material for dissertation topics
> shrivels to near-zero, some film student may want to immerse
> him/herself in the relative merits of Christy Cabanne, William Nigh,
> and Ray Enright, but realistically I wouldn't count on it!
>
Noel Burch circa 1970 had different views than Bordwell nowadays,
and he didn't use the term "poorest," but he offered as examples of
films "totally accounted for and informed at all levels by the
dominant codes" the Republic serials made by William Whitney and
John English. (However, Burch acknowledges that their "schematisation
(ironic to the adult spectator) of the narrative codes" works towards
a kind of deconstruction.) Burch gives as examples of "transparence"
in A features, "if names are needed, Vincente Minnelli, Denys de La
PatelliŤre, and Serge Bondarachuk." (I would have thought Minnelli
at least would be considered to be an example of the dominant codes
"masked by a stylistic" -- but in fact this view of Minnelli was
common -- "mere decorator," "typical false auteur" -- thought I don't
understand it.)

Paul
14502


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:56pm
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
Fred,

I'm intrigued by the Bresson-as-donkey comparison and I do think
you're onto something there. Reminds me of Yeats' last published
line of verse:

"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!"

The protagonist as stand-in for director is obviously an enormous
topic that one can take in any number of directions, but I like the
specific issue you've hit on:

"What interests me here is the way that the process of making,
aspiration behind making and/or attitude toward the making of, a
particular film is revealed in a filmmaker-surrogate character who
the director places among the cast."

So the way that the character interacts with his surroundings runs
parallel with the director's act of directing.

I don't know about BIGGER THAN LIFE, but IN A LONELY PLACE offers a
tremendous example, as Ray was directing Gloria Grahame's onscreen
breakup with Bogart even as his own relationship with Grahame was
dissolving. I believe Ray even took to sleeping in the apartment set
of the Bogart character during the shoots!

Yesterday I watched COLLATERAL, yet another manifesto by Michael Mann
on how a man should go about doing his job, and what values and
ethics should inform his consummate craft. Tom Cruise's character
seems to "direct" Jamie Foxx for most of the film.

There are many many other examples out there... our mutually beloved
Rossellini, for instance -- think RISE OF LOUIS XIV. Among recent
films, there's Richard Linklater as Jack Black in SCHOOL OF ROCK,
Spielberg as Oskar Schindler, or Leonardo DiCaprio in CATCH ME IF YOU
CAN, Jia Zhangke as Wang Hong Wei in XIAO WU, Wes Anderson as Jason
Schwartzman in RUSHMORE, and of course, Abbas Kiarostami in his last
half-dozen
films.
14503


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:25pm
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
> Burch gives as examples of "transparence"
> in A features, "if names are needed, Vincente Minnelli, Denys de La
> PatelliŤre, and Serge Bondarachuk." (I would have thought Minnelli
> at least would be considered to be an example of the dominant codes
> "masked by a stylistic" -- but in fact this view of Minnelli was
> common -- "mere decorator," "typical false auteur" -- thought I don't
> understand it.)

So far, every post in this thread has used at least one example of bad
direction or non-direction that I wanted to defend. (I've only seen a
few Christy Cabanne films, but, on the basis of the 1916 FLIRTING WITH
FATE, I'm pretty sure that he had some directorial personality at some
point. And I'm an outright James Cruze fan, and even liked SUTTER'S
GOLD.) So there's the difficulty in talking about "transparence" -
maybe that filmmaker's artistic efforts fall outside of the range of
style points that the commentator cares about enough to notice. - Dan
14504


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:39pm
Subject: Re: New York Film Festival lineup announced
 
> Whew... sounds terrific. I'm a regular film buff in Atlanta... not a
> critic, filmmaker or student, so no special discounts for me. I've got
> some vacation time and I'd sure love to hit the NYFF for a week... but I
> know practically nothing about the way major festials work. If I plan
> ahead and buy tickets early, do I stand a good chance of seeing the more
> popular films, like "Bad Education", "House of Flying Daggers", and
> (especially) "The Big Red One"? How much can I expect to pay for one solid
> week of movies? I looked online but I can't even find pricing for the 2003
> festival.

NYFF films sell out quickly, so you have to jump if you want to be sure
of anything. You can do that either by buying tickets at the box office
the day it opens (Sep. 12), or by ordering via mail (lots of people,
including Film Society of Lincoln Center members, receive advance
mailings that usually get you in early enough). I suggest you deputize
someone in NYC to help you (write me offlist if you're interested - I
use the mailing option).

Each movie at NYFF last year was $15. Opening and closing night films
were $30 and $17 (don't know what the difference is - sometimes the
cheaper ticket is in a separate venue altogether); the centerpiece was
$20. There might be some expensive package that lets you go to all the
6 pm weekday films or all the 9 pm weekday films - I can't find that
information at the moment. It's not a cheap festival getaway.

The schedule does look great this year, though. - Dan
14505


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Some more on Hero (was: Requesting info on IVAN THE TERRIBLE)
 
Ian, I am glad to hear that you are fond of Jia Zhangke, and I agree
that PLATFORM is the best film to come out of mainland China in a
long time, at least since YELLOW EARTH. I also find it kind of
ironic that you describe Zhang Yimou as being for "afficionados", as
I've had to defend myself many a time against critics of Jia Zhangke
for being an "afficionado" of obscure Chinese cinema, whereas Zhang's
film are considered more mainstream, more accessible and more
relevant. What I dislike in both these instances is the presumptions
being made -- artistic, cultural politcal -- in privileging one
artist over another. So forgive the ensuing rant, it's not meant to
be directed to you but more of a response to what I've seen going on
over the last few years in Chinese cinema.

I used to be a diehard pro-Jia, anti-Zhang person myself, until I had
a dispute with a prominent Chinese critic who shared my views -- but
hearing these sentiments come from his mouth, the degree to which he
had villified Zhang Yimou, made me realize how much these criticisms
had ossified into a self-contented convention, so that we don't even
want to give Zhang a second thought. By doing this I think we're
only missing out on possibilities to understand comprehensively what
is going on in Chinese cinema today.

Yes, the politics in HERO are problematic, but China is a problematic
country, and HERO does as remarkable a job of dramatizing the
dilemmas of its artists and citizens as much as any film, with more
ambiguity and complexity than either its government promoters or
critical detractors seem willing to discern. I would certainly
prefer a movie that deals with politics problematically than one that
deals with it in leftist-pleasing cliches, or else doesn't deal with
it at all. Jia Zhangke has inspired an upsurge in "underground" low-
budget filmmaking, but with every new Jia-wannabe movie I've seen I
feel that this movement is becoming as formulaic in its dour,
fatalist observations of everday grievances as the exoticized
landscapes and feudal tragedies of the Fifth Generation. The thing
that really bugged me about the ending of UNKNOWN PLEASURES was how
it seemed to romanticize the futility of its protagonists, such that
it seemed to capitulate to the power structure that oppressed them.
In other words, it becomes as much of a anti-authoritarian fantasy as
you accuse HERO of being a pro-authoritarian fantasy. The Sixth
Generation has become as much of a box of bittersweet chocolates as
the Fifth.

So I have to express my concern about this trend I've seen among
Chinese critics who embrace Jia Zhangke at the expense of Zhang
Yimou, and who imply that the former depicts a more real or true
vision of China than the latter. There's no question that the two
work in very different idioms, but the more I've looked at both the
more I am inclined to see how much they have in common, even if Jia
himself wouldn't admit it (he hates Zhang Yimou). Jia has fallen
into a similar predicament that Zhang did ten years ago, where the
measure of his success -- both at home with progressive critics and
abroad in the international festival circuit -- lies in how much he
refuses to compromise his vision under the government censors. But I
think this hardline stance against government-sponsored filmmaking is
itself a problematic position insofar as it blinkers oneself from
having to face the reality of what it means to make films in China
(pretty ironic since these Sixth Generation films profess to be all
about reality).

And besides, Jia Zhangke's new film THE WORLD was sponsored by the
government. Details can be found in the current issue of Senses of
Cinema.

Kevin
14506


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:49pm
Subject: Re: R.I.P. Daniel Petrie
 
> I still can't claim to have seen anything like a majority of this director's
> films, but I have seen a few on the recommendation of our own Dan Sallitt. Of
> those, the quite excellent feature "Lifeguard" is the finest. At his best,
> it seems to me that Petrie was a distinctive filmmaker.

I would never have guessed from Petrie's 60's features that he had any
talent at all. But then he suddenly turned into an interesting guy with
1969's TV movie SILENT NIGHT, LONELY NIGHT - though he was always more
about acting and rhythm than composition. LIFEGUARD is my favorite too,
but I also like A HOWLING IN THE WOODS, MOON OF THE WOLF, MOUSEY, and
SQUARE DANCE. Generally Petrie's genre (if I may use the word) TV
movies were better than his prestige TV movies and his theatrical
features. - Dan
14507


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:01pm
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "thebradstevens"
wrote:
> How about R. Lee Ermey in Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET?

Whose first appearance is a direct copy of Ustinov's first appearance
in Lola Montes, a more obvious director metaphor. But Guerin points
out that the "Master of Ceremonies" in Ophuls (the Puppetmaster in La
Ronde, too) represents a mechanical view of existence that is not
Ophuls', which is undercut by the closeup of Lola's face beaded with
sweat before her leap. Pyle's face before he kills the Sergeantin FMJ
serves the same function, plunging the film into a dis-articulated
second half that only returns to tight narrative form during the last
patrol -- undone in its turn by the closeup of the wounded sniper.
Tyrant-director figures tend to be straw men.
14508


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:07pm
Subject: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
>>While I do think this is partly true (but where do you draw the
> line
>>on 'early work'--pre Fly? Or pre-Scanners?), I'd point out Michael
>>Ironside's performance in Scanners and James Woods in Videodrome
> and
>>even Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone as being quite remarkable.

> The other significant division between early Cronenberg and late, is
> the early films often have a hero with nothing to do: SHIVERS, RABID,
> THE BROOD. While the monsters run around being interesting, the hero
> looks confused and drives about, always missing the action.
>
> Then in SHIVERS, the hero himself IS the monster. And this is a great
> step forward in narrative cohesion and in making the films more
> sympathetic. I like the earlier genre pieces (and the experimental
> ones are something else) but they're a bit flawed by this need to
> create a nromal hero. Once we get SCANNERS and THE DEAD ZONE the way
> is paved for THE FLY...

David makes an interesting point about the development of Cronenberg's
stories. I dunno, I think I'm the only person who feels that Cronenberg
got somewhat less interesting as he became more of a prestige director.
Certainly the guy has shown a lot of thematic ambition throughout his
career, and he's been totally up to the challenge of keeping his career
in a lively, offbeat mode as he got bigger and presumably more prone to
interference. But, somehow, I feel the films flattening out after, say,
SCANNERS, or maybe VIDEODROME. For me, it's as if he had trouble when
his themes were driven out into the open. I've never felt that he was a
master of acting or characterization, and these elements have to carry
his later films to a greater extent.

For some reason, I do adore NAKED LUNCH, and might even like it more
than my early favorites: THE BROOD, STEREO, SHIVERS. On the other hand,
I simply can't appreciate his most acclaimed film, DEAD RINGERS, which
seems to me overt to the point of clumsiness.

Even in my favorite periods, I never thought Cronenberg was good either
with actors or with compositions! But he had a gift for exploring that
subtle connection between theme and plot, and maybe also the equally
subtle connection between fantasy and naturalism. - Dan
14509


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:13pm
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt wrote:

I do adore NAKED LUNCH, and might even like it more
> than my early favorites: THE BROOD, STEREO, SHIVERS. On the other
hand,
> I simply can't appreciate his most acclaimed film, DEAD RINGERS,
which
> seems to me overt to the point of clumsiness.
>
Overt about what?

I generally favor the films you list and haven't liked anything since
Naked Lunch --- until Spider, which is amazing, IMO.
14510


From: Fred Camper
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
Kevin Lee:

>There are many many other examples out there... our mutually beloved
>Rossellini, for instance -- think RISE OF LOUIS XIV.....
>
Ah, but as per Bill's comments on Ophuls, Rossellini's Louis is exactly
the kind of "director" that Rossellini was not, making the kind of
"movie" that Rossellni opposed. This doesn't mean Louis as movie
director isn't relevant, only that it has a different nuance in
Rossellini's film than in, say, Gance.

About Bresson, the Yeats reference is helpful, as he was opposing narrow
personal sentimentality, but perhaps the last line of Bresson's great
book, "Camera and tape recorder, carry me far away from the intelligence
that complicates everything," is even more apposite.

Fred Camper
14511


From:
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:26pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
Paul:
<
>
>
> Hutchings also quotes Douglas Pye: "In fact terms like 'definition'
> and 'classification', which seem almost unavoidable in genre
> criticism, are probably misleading: they suggest a greater
> precision of method than is fact possible, and also tend to imply
> that genre criticism exists to establish territorial boundaries.
> It seems more likely that the outlines of any genre will
> remain indistinct and impossible to chart and that genre
> criticism should concern itself with identifying
> tendencies within generic traditions and placing individual works
> in relation to these."
>

Genre studies can indeed be fascinating, but it appears to me that
part of the problem (and I'm sure this has been pointed out) is that
eache genre's definition seems to refer to different things. A
Western often refers to a specific geographical setting, a film noir
refers to both setting and style, a historical film to a temporal
setting. The Western and the film noir, in terms of plot structure,
share many similarities (and might be why some Westerns were adapted
from policier novels). But then there's the "Women's film" which
refers to neither setting nor time, but more to the genders of the
lead characters, and, in a limited sense, to style. Can a film be a
Western *and* a film noir *and* a "women's film"? I guess JOHNNY
GUITAR might qualify. In other words, the genre definition game is
more than inexact: it's messy and contradictory. To pick out
inconsistencies in it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Part of the
reason, I think, is that genre is really a mode of commercial
classification. Genres are best defined by the films' trailers: It's
not so much that STAGECOACH is a Western (even though it is), it's
that the studio releasing it wants you to think of it as a Western.
In other words, a great big commercially reinforced circle.

-Bilge
14512


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:26pm
Subject: Re: The Camera (The Movie character tyrants as directions)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:

the last line of Bresson's great
> book, "Camera and tape recorder, carry me far away from the
intelligence
> that complicates everything,"

Paeans to the magic of the camera as an automatic recorder are a
fascinating subject in themselves. I came across an interesting one
by Dali in which he compares the camera filming a documentary to the
surrealist technique of automatic writing as a way of accessing the
unconscious -- obviously relevant to the last part of the Bunuel
surrealist trilogy, Terre sans pain, even if Dali didn't work on that
one.

That idea was echoed and developed by Pascal Bonitzer in his book on
film and painting, and quoted extensively by me in my Trafic article
on Boetticher's My Kingdom For, "Voici un cheval," which quotes BB on
the same subject. Martin Scorsese said something similar to me in his
interview on King of Comedy and tv in general: "the little things the
journalist's camera discovers" -- which are also brought out in that
film by freeze frames (the method Boetticher uses to foreground
the "uconscious" images in My Kingdom For).

I'm sure Fred can cite many, many examples from the avant-garde.
14513


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:30pm
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- Dan Sallitt wrote:


>
> For some reason, I do adore NAKED LUNCH, and might
> even like it more
> than my early favorites: THE BROOD, STEREO, SHIVERS.

Well I hate NAKEDLUNCH, and as some of you may know I
got into a huge fight with him when I reviewed it for
"The Advocate."

> On the other hand,
> I simply can't appreciate his most acclaimed film,
> DEAD RINGERS, which
> seems to me overt to the point of clumsiness.
>

Or just plain clumsy. He should have used real twins
-- the Malet brothers for instance.

I like Genevieve Bujold in it enormously.

Still Cronenberg has redeemed himself with CRASH.



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14514


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:32pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:

Can a film be a
> Western *and* a film noir *and* a "women's film"? I guess JOHNNY
> GUITAR might qualify. In other words, the genre definition game is
> more than inexact: it's messy and contradictory.

You wouldn't be able to use the terms "noir" and "western" to define
a hybrid like "noir western" if the terms themselves were internally
contradictory. By the way, UCLA had a great series of noir westerns
last year -- Tall T, Canyon Passage, de Toths. The fact that genre
terms can be used this way in no way undercuts their usefulness -- it
proves it. And the fact that they are commercially based simply
states the reason for their existence. Greek tragedy grew out of
religious ritual and still served that purpose -- that didn't stop
Aristotle from writing the Poetics.
14515


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:33pm
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- Dan Sallitt wrote:
>
>
> >
> > For some reason, I do adore NAKED LUNCH, and might
> > even like it more
> > than my early favorites: THE BROOD, STEREO, SHIVERS.
>
> Well I hate NAKEDLUNCH, and as some of you may know I
> got into a huge fight with him when I reviewed it for
> "The Advocate."

Is that available online David?
14516


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:33pm
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- ebiri@a... wrote:

> Can a film be a
> Western *and* a film noir *and* a "women's film"? I
> guess JOHNNY
> GUITAR might qualify. In other words, the genre
> definition game is
> more than inexact: it's messy and contradictory.

Hence my fascination with "Desert Fury" which is both
a "woman's picture" AND a film noir -- in color.



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14517


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- hotlove666 wrote:


>
> Is that available online David?
>
>

I don't think so. There was also an exchange in the
now-defunct "QW" with its resident film critic and
Cronenberg over what I'd said about the de-gaying of
NAKED LUNCH, and the weird way Cronenberg conflated
Joan Vollmer into Jane Bowles.



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14518


From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:54pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
>>I simply can't appreciate his most acclaimed film, DEAD RINGERS,
> which
>>seems to me overt to the point of clumsiness.
>
> Overt about what?

Well, about performance, for one thing. I like Jeremy Irons in other
films, but I feel as if he's just sending big semaphore signals in those
two performances, which are conceived as opposites of each other to the
point where little else comes over to me.

And then I'm somehow really unsatisfied with the way twin-ness is used
in that film. And gynecology, for that matter. Every thematic element
seems brought so far to the surface that all I can do is connect the
thematic dots. - Dan
14519


From: Damien Bona
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:01pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> Hence my fascination with "Desert Fury" which is both
> a "woman's picture" AND a film noir -- in color.


As is Mildred Pierce, albeit in black-and-white.
14520


From: samfilms2003
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:33pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
> You wouldn't be able to use the terms "noir" and "western" to define
> a hybrid like "noir western" if the terms themselves were internally
> contradictory. By the way, UCLA had a great series of noir westerns
> last year -- Tall T, Canyon Passage, de Toths.

Walsh's "Pursued" ?

-Sam
14521


From: samfilms2003
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:35pm
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
Jack Webb and "The DI" ? ;-)

-Sam
14522


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:39pm
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- samfilms2003 wrote:


> Walsh's "Pursued" ?
>

More than that. It's best appreciated when
double-featured with Huston's "Freud."


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14523


From:
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:51pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
Bill K:

> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:
>
> Can a film be a
> > Western *and* a film noir *and* a "women's film"? I guess JOHNNY
> > GUITAR might qualify. In other words, the genre definition game
is
> > more than inexact: it's messy and contradictory.
>
> You wouldn't be able to use the terms "noir" and "western" to
define
> a hybrid like "noir western" if the terms themselves were
internally
> contradictory. By the way, UCLA had a great series of noir
westerns
> last year -- Tall T, Canyon Passage, de Toths.

That's sort of my point. The categories in each case refer to
different things (setting, time, characters, style), so there isn't
too much keeping them distinct from one another. It *is* possible
for a film to be of many genres at once. The reason it isn't is
because then Hollywood would have a tough time marketing it. I'm not
arguing that genres don't exist or that the terms aren't useful. I'm
just saying that the whole thing is a mess, and to try to do
rigorous academic study of it, as if the terms and the definitions
were somehow set in stone, or internaly consistent, appears to be an
exercise in sophistry. (No offense intended to anyone: I myself have
had a grand old time studying genre tropes and whatnot. It just
requires a big grain of salt, and a recognition that you're studying
what is essentially a house of cards.)

>The fact that genre
> terms can be used this way in no way undercuts their usefulness --
it
> proves it. And the fact that they are commercially based simply
> states the reason for their existence. Greek tragedy grew out of
> religious ritual and still served that purpose -- that didn't stop
> Aristotle from writing the Poetics.

Indeed, but religious ritual, and Classical Greek theatre is a lot
more structured and strict than Hollywood genre. I don't know of any
Classical work that was both a comedy and a tragedy. I really don't
know the answer to this -- is there one that legitimately crosses
those boundaries? (And I don't mean in some retrospective postmodern
sense [the way that some might argue that THE TERMINATOR is a
Western or something], I mean in a way that Aristotle might have
recognized.)

-Bilge
14524


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:09pm
Subject: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "samfilms2003"
wrote:
> Jack Webb and "The DI" ? ;-)
>
> -Sam

Cool flick. I also like his Dragnet episode that is just an
interrogation of another cop by the two leads in a little room. I'd
love to see it again. 30 wasn't bad, but DI is the knockout. Thom
Andersen is a Dragnet fan. I put Webb right up there w. Ozzie
Nelso -- the Bressons of tv.
14525


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:13pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:

I don't know of any
> Classical work that was both a comedy and a tragedy. I really
don't
> know the answer to this -- is there one that legitimately
crosses
> those boundaries?
> -Bilge

Sure -- Euripedes' Orestia. The version of Orestes I saw directed
by Arrowsmith at UT was a riot, and it wasn't a "re-imagining" --
that's what Orestes did.
14526


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:13pm
Subject: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "samfilms2003"
wrote:
> Jack Webb and "The DI" ? ;-)
>
> -Sam

Cool flick. I also like his Dragnet episode that is just an
interrogation of another cop by the two leads in a little room. I'd
love to see it again. 30 wasn't bad, but DI is the knockout. Thom
Andersen is a Dragnet fan. I put Webb right up there w. Ozzie
Nelso -- the Bressons of tv.
14527


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:33pm
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- hotlove666 wrote:

I put Webb right up there
> w. Ozzie
> Nelso -- the Bressons of tv.
>
>
Ozzie' closer to Tati, IMO.

As for tyrants a clip of Stroheim in "The Lost
Squadron," where he plays an maniacal director figures
prominently in "Detective" (a most unjustly neglected
Godard that features the movie debuts of Emmaneulle
Seigneur and Julie Delpy.)



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14528


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:56pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:
>
> I don't know of any
> > Classical work that was both a comedy and a tragedy. I really
> don't
> > know the answer to this -- is there one that legitimately
> crosses
> > those boundaries?
> > -Bilge
>
> Sure -- Euripedes' Orestia. The version of Orestes I saw directed
> by Arrowsmith at UT was a riot, and it wasn't a "re-imagining" --
> that's what Orestes did.

But INDIA SONG was a riot to you too, Bill. Were you high again
when you saw Orestes?
14529


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:19pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>

> Hence my fascination with "Desert Fury" which is both
> a "woman's picture" AND a film noir -- in color.
>
>
> Fascinating indeed, and it is most certainly the FIRST
Technicolor film noir. Wendell Corey's character is even more
neurotic and tortured than in other "noirs" (such as the contemporary
I WALK ALONE, another Wallis production with the same three stars).
The character has a fascinated, masochistic attachment to the gambler
and occasional gangster played by John Hodiak -- an attraction that
I'll agree for once must be of a homosexual nature (I'm sure you
didn't miss that, David!). Unfortunately the film hasn't got a "noir"
look -- Allen must have been inhibited by the Technicolor (which he
hadn't used before).He was not a terribly inventive director,
although THE UNINVITED is quite nice (Tourneur considered it the best
fantasy film made at the time.) SO EVIL MY LOVE isn't bad either...

As for DESERT FURY being a woman's picture -- yes and no. Assuming
that there is such a thing as "genres", I definitely don't think that
there is such a genre as the woman's picture. You just can't define a
genre by the kind of audience it is supposed to be aimed at. When the
concept was discussed here a few months ago i made the obvious point
that such a definition would be inaccurate anyway, since the actual
audience of so-called woman's pictures had to be close to 50% male:
women overwhelmingly went to the movies with a male escort --
husband, boyfriend, whatever (they still do, I think). Allowing for
the few who went with a girlfriend and the even fewer who went alone,
the male percventage would still be quite high...
> _______________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.
> http://promotions.yahoo.com/goldrush
14530


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:27pm
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "samfilms2003"
> wrote:
> > Jack Webb and "The DI" ? ;-)
> >
> > -Sam
>
> Cool flick. I also like his Dragnet episode that is just an
> interrogation of another cop by the two leads in a little room. I'd
> love to see it again. 30 wasn't bad, but DI is the knockout. Thom
> Andersen is a Dragnet fan. I put Webb right up there w. Ozzie
> Nelso -- the Bressons of tv.

I still haven't seen THE DI but I really like PETE KELLY'S BLUES,
which is not at all Bressonian -- it has a most unWebb-like tendency
to baroque flourishes (nice use of CinemaScope and color, and
very "noir" dialogue)...
14531


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:30pm
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

Fascinating indeed, and it is most certainly the
> FIRST
> Technicolor film noir. Wendell Corey's character is
> even more
> neurotic and tortured than in other "noirs" (such as
> the contemporary
> I WALK ALONE, another Wallis production with the
> same three stars).
> The character has a fascinated, masochistic
> attachment to the gambler
> and occasional gangster played by John Hodiak -- an
> attraction that
> I'll agree for once must be of a homosexual nature
> (I'm sure you
> didn't miss that, David!).

You betcha! And I wrote about it at rather
considerable length in an essay found here:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0520216024/qid=1093472514/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-6290074-0007062?v=glance&s=books



Unfortunately the film
> hasn't got a "noir"
> look -- Allen must have been inhibited by the
> Technicolor (which he
> hadn't used before).He was not a terribly inventive
> director,
> although THE UNINVITED is quite nice (Tourneur
> considered it the best
> fantasy film made at the time.) SO EVIL MY LOVE
> isn't bad either...
>

I find him a major challenge to auteurism. He wasn't
an auteur, and most of his films aren't all that
interesting. Yet THE UNINVITED is a minor classic, SO
EVIL MY LOVE scarcely chopped liver, and DESERT FURY a
field day for Freudians, surrealists, gay studies
professors and Lizabeth Scott fans.

> As for DESERT FURY being a woman's picture -- yes
> and no. Assuming
> that there is such a thing as "genres", I definitely
> don't think that
> there is such a genre as the woman's picture. You
> just can't define a
> genre by the kind of audience it is supposed to be
> aimed at.

I wonder about that. Think of Sirk -- especially the
Ross Hunter productions. They weren't mere;y "aiming"
ata female audience. There were rather specific formal
elements involved pertaining to class, costumes,
settings, and the age of the protagonist.

This is why ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and FAR FROM HEAVEN
ought to be seen back-to-back.





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14532


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:32pm
Subject: Re: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


>
> I still haven't seen THE DI but I really like
> PETE KELLY'S BLUES,
> which is not at all Bressonian -- it has a most
> unWebb-like tendency
> to baroque flourishes (nice use of CinemaScope and
> color, and
> very "noir" dialogue)...
>
>

Quite true. Raymond Durgnat was a big PETE KELLY'S
BLUES fan



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14533


From: Henrik Sylow
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:33pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ebiri@a... wrote:
>
> I don't know of any
> > Classical work that was both a comedy and a tragedy. I really
> don't
> > know the answer to this -- is there one that legitimately
> crosses
> > those boundaries?
> > -Bilge


Shakespear is tragicomedy. Aristotle defined tradi-comedy as one of
the five dramatic forms, where tragedy show people "in a better
light", comedy shows them "in a worse light".

Of modern work, I would say that Dennis Potter is tragicomedy (Singing
Detective, Pennies from Heaven).

Henrik
14534


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:34pm
Subject: voice-over narration (meant to replace the original versionís intertitles)
 
I wrote a while back asking about voice overs for silent films instead
of inter-titles and found the quoted text below. Sometimes Chaplin is
'intrusively overbearing' but it's his film! I suspect if he made the
voice over today, it would be somewhat different.


> http://www.daily-reviews.com/modules.php?
> name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=369
>
> The Gold Rush is widely considered Chaplinís silent era masterpiece, a
> film so popular during its original run in 1925 that Chaplin
> re-released it in 1942 when audiences were getting a little
> disenchanted with his personal scandals and increasingly ambitious
> features. Both versions of the film are included in the first Chaplin
> Collection set from Warner Brothers and MK2 Editions. The two-disc
> edition favors the better-preserved 1942 version, giving it the entire
> first disc and a 5.1 audio remix. In truth, the 1925 version, crammed
> onto the second disc with a collection of curious extras -- including
> a 27 minute documentary that parallels the story of the filmís
> production with a real gold rush in Burkino Faso, perhaps meant to
> politicize Chaplinís film -- is probably better. It lacks Chaplinís
> often intrusive voice-over narration (meant to replace the original
> versionís intertitles) in favor of what might be closer to pure
> cinema.
>
14535


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:36pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:

>
> But INDIA SONG was a riot to you too, Bill. Were you high
again
> when you saw Orestes?

JP, I was 16 years old and in a parochial school outside Austin
before drugs were known to the non-underworld. I was high on
LIFE, man.
14536


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:39pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:

I definitely
> > don't think that
> > there is such a genre as the woman's picture. You
> > just can't define a
> > genre by the kind of audience it is supposed to be
> > aimed at.
>
> I wonder about that. Think of Sirk -- especially the
> Ross Hunter productions. They weren't mere;y "aiming"
> ata female audience. There were rather specific formal
> elements involved pertaining to class, costumes,
> settings, and the age of the protagonist.

The more commonly used term today is melodrama, but a
melodrama w. a female protagonist is pretty much destined to
be a women's picture, no matter whether the guys get dragged
along or not.
14537


From: hotlove666
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:40pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:

>
> But INDIA SONG was a riot to you too, Bill. Were you high
again
> when you saw Orestes?

JP, I was 16 years old and in a parochial school outside Austin
before drugs were known to the non-underworld. I was high on
LIFE, man.
14538


From: Henrik Sylow
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:56pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
> >
>
> > Hence my fascination with "Desert Fury" which is both
> > a "woman's picture" AND a film noir -- in color.
> >
> >
>As for DESERT FURY being a woman's picture -- yes and no. Assuming
> that there is such a thing as "genres", I definitely don't think that
> there is such a genre as the woman's picture. You just can't define a
> genre by the kind of audience it is supposed to be aimed at.

Quiet true. Genre is defined by narrative elements and how they
related to eachother.

A potential weakness arises when two or more elements are equal. For
instance the westerns by Boetticher would if transposed into post war
US make great "Film Noir" (with some rewriting), yet they are at their
core Westerns. The equality or similarity of narrative elements cause
us to envoke related text. Hence the problem is not that genre is
"messy and contradictive", the problem is how we approach
transtextuality. Genette notes upon and how it can create a
co-existence of two texts at the same time. By extension, if
individual narrative elements can evoke another text, then the entire
text can do so likewise, hence we "read" one text by a code, which in
some cases don't apply to it.
14539


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:18pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> >
>
> .
>
> I wonder about that. Think of Sirk -- especially the
> Ross Hunter productions. They weren't mere;y "aiming"
> ata female audience. There were rather specific formal
> elements involved pertaining to class, costumes,
> settings, and the age of the protagonist.
>

But this is immensely vague, you'll admit... Has there ever been a
serious, acceptable definition of the woman's picture?
>


This is why ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and FAR FROM HEAVEN
> ought to be seen back-to-back.

Is FAR FROM HEAVEN a woman's picture? The term is no longer used
for present-day movies, but is the concept still operative?
>
>
>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Y! Messenger - Communicate in real time. Download now.
> http://messenger.yahoo.com
14540


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:28pm
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
but a
> melodrama w. a female protagonist is pretty much destined to
> be a women's picture, no matter whether the guys get dragged
> along or not.

You and I love women's pictures. Every male in this Group loves
women's pictures (at least many such pictures). I hardly know any
male cinephile, film buff, movie lover, auteurist, whatever you want
to call them who doesn't watch and likes those movies. So what is the
validity of claiming that they are made for women and men only see
them if they get "dragged along"?
14541


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:42pm
Subject: Re: voice-over narration (meant to replace the original versionís intertitles)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
. Both versions of the film are included in the first Chaplin
> > Collection set from Warner Brothers and MK2 Editions. The two-
disc
> > edition favors the better-preserved 1942 version, giving it the
entire
> > first disc and a 5.1 audio remix. In truth, the 1925 version,
crammed
> > onto the second disc with a collection of curious extras --
including
> > a 27 minute documentary that parallels the story of the film's
> > production with a real gold rush in Burkino Faso, perhaps meant
to
> > politicize Chaplin's film -- is probably better. It lacks
Chaplin's
> > often intrusive voice-over narration (meant to replace the
original
> > version's intertitles) in favor of what might be closer to pure
> > cinema.
> >


Chaplin's 1942 voice-over version was the worst artistic mistake
in his entire career.
14542


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 0:11am
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
jpcoursodon wrote:
"Hence my fascination with 'Desert Fury' which is both
a 'woman's picture' AND a film noir -- in color."


"Fascinating indeed, and it is most certainly the FIRST
Technicolor film noir."

Perhaps it doesn't qualify as film noir because Cornel Wilde doesn't die, but LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN comes close to being a hybrid melodrama (or women's picture) -noir in color two years before DESERT FURY.

By the way, I saw Lizabeth Scott at a poetry reading earlier this year and she looked very fit indeed.



Richard





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14543


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 0:13am
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Henrik Sylow" < the
problem is not that genre is
> "messy and contradictive", the problem is how we approach
> transtextuality. Genette notes upon and how it can create a
> co-existence of two texts at the same time. By extension, if
> individual narrative elements can evoke another text, then the
entire
> text can do so likewise, hence we "read" one text by a code,
which in
> some cases don't apply to it.

Same thing on a purely thematic level with She Hate Me. "A child
needs a father," which is fine as part of a film with a black hero
(because within the community he represents, it's a good idea
for more children to have at-home fathers) becomes a slap in
the face to single- or double-parent lesbian couples who want to
have kids. Uncontrolled semiosis with a vengeance, and a fault
in the film, but the principle (Genette's) can also be very fruitful if
used with a bit more control.
14544


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 0:41am
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- Richard Modiano wrote:


>
> Perhaps it doesn't qualify as film noir because
> Cornel Wilde doesn't die, but LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN
> comes close to being a hybrid melodrama (or women's
> picture) -noir in color two years before DESERT
> FURY.
>
Ah but Daryl Hickman dies -- quite spectacularly. (I
mention LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN in my DESERT FURY piece.)

> By the way, I saw Lizabeth Scott at a poetry reading
> earlier this year and she looked very fit indeed.
>
>

She does indeed

http://ehrensteinland.com/htmls/g006/liz.html




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14545


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:22am
Subject: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- Richard Modiano wrote:
>
>
> >
> > Perhaps it doesn't qualify as film noir because
> > Cornel Wilde doesn't die, but LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN
> > comes close to being a hybrid melodrama (or women's
> > picture) -noir in color two years before DESERT
> > FURY.
> >

It's not really hybrid at all, it's just in color, which was
still very unusual for that kind of movie at the time. Whether Wilde
dies or not has nothing to do with whether it is or not a film noir.
The protagonist often does not die at the end of a film noir! (and
anyway Wilde is not the protagonist, Tierney is). And actually, this
discussion seems to show how absurd discussions about genre can get.
There was a mood in Hollywood cinema around the time that made it
possible for some films,( "noir" or otherwise) to be made. No one
thought of sticking a label on them, at least no such new label
as "noir" -- it took about thirty years for Americans to pick up on
that label. If LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN belongs to a "genre" then it's the
good all "women's picture" -- which is not a genre. You could call it
anything you want -- psychological melodrama or whatever.
> Ah but Daryl Hickman dies -- quite spectacularly. (I
> mention LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN in my DESERT FURY piece.)
>
> >> >
> >
>
>
> http://ehrensteinland.com/htmls/g006/liz.html
>
>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - 100MB free storage!
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14546


From: Elizabeth Anne Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:21am
Subject: Re: voice-over narration (meant to replace the original versionís intertitles)
 
>In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
>>In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:

> >often intrusive voice-over narration (meant to replace the
> >original version's intertitles) in favor of what might be closer
> > to pure cinema.

>Chaplin's 1942 voice-over version was the worst artistic mistake
>in his entire career.

I have not seen the original with inter-titles for some time now,
but the 1942 voice-over is rather overbearing, annoyingly so.
What could Chaplin have been thinking? At least he had the good
sense to be 'silent' during some of the best cinematic moments.
14547


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:29am
Subject: KINGS ROW
 
a great -- pure hokum -- film

After all the comments on great bad acting, I wonder what others
think about KINGS ROW as a film (no need to comment on the
acting which I suspect most agree has its moments).
14548


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:48am
Subject: Re: KINGS ROW
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
> a great -- pure hokum -- film
>
> After all the comments on great bad acting, I wonder what others
> think about KINGS ROW as a film (no need to comment on the
> acting which I suspect most agree has its moments).

It's a weird movie indeed. Joseph Breen had admonished Jack warner
that no matter how hard the studio tried, they couldn't satisfy the
Production Code and making the film would be a disservice to the
whole industry (I paraphrase). They did it anyway and selected the
most conservative and less adventurous of directors -- Sam Wood -- to
direct this explosive material. Whatever there is of interest
visually in the film is due to William Cameron Menzies's production
design and James Wong Howe's photography. The direction is static and
wooden like in all of Wood's films.
14549


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:14am
Subject: Re: Re: The Classical Hollywood Cinema
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

>
> Is FAR FROM HEAVEN a woman's picture?

A post-modernist one

The term
> is no longer used
> for present-day movies, but is the concept still
> operative?
> >

You betcha. Two of the biggest of modern times: "Terms
of Endearment" and "Titanic."




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14550


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:16am
Subject: Re: Re: KINGS ROW
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


>
> It's a weird movie indeed. Joseph Breen had
> admonished Jack warner
> that no matter how hard the studio tried, they
> couldn't satisfy the
> Production Code and making the film would be a
> disservice to the
> whole industry (I paraphrase). They did it anyway
> and selected the
> most conservative and less adventurous of directors
> -- Sam Wood -- to
> direct this explosive material. Whatever there is of
> interest
> visually in the film is due to William Cameron
> Menzies's production
> design and James Wong Howe's photography. The
> direction is static and
> wooden like in all of Wood's films.
>
>

And the Korngold score is fabulous.




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14551


From: Elizabeth Anne Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:22am
Subject: Re: KINGS ROW
 
It's like someone decided to do all these horrible things to
people who are like fairytale children. No wonder the
long childhood beginning.

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
> > a great -- pure hokum -- film
> >
> > After all the comments on great bad acting, I wonder what others
> > think about KINGS ROW as a film (no need to comment on the
> > acting which I suspect most agree has its moments).
>
> It's a weird movie indeed. Joseph Breen had admonished Jack warner
> that no matter how hard the studio tried, they couldn't satisfy the
> Production Code and making the film would be a disservice to the
> whole industry (I paraphrase). They did it anyway and selected the
> most conservative and less adventurous of directors -- Sam Wood -- to
> direct this explosive material. Whatever there is of interest
> visually in the film is due to William Cameron Menzies's production
> design and James Wong Howe's photography. The direction is static and
> wooden like in all of Wood's films.
14552


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:37am
Subject: classical / post-modern woman's picture
 
David,
Will you make some comparisons between
classical / post-modern woman's picture? A
reference source (available on the web) would
be useful.
Thanks, Elizabeth

> David wrote
>> jpcoursodon wrote:
>> Is FAR FROM HEAVEN a woman's picture?
>
> A post-modernist one
>
>> The term is no longer used
>> for present-day movies, but is the concept still
>> operative?
>
> You betcha. Two of the biggest of modern times: "Terms
> of Endearment" and "Titanic."
14553


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:52am
Subject: Re: classical / post-modern woman's picture
 
--- Elizabeth Nolan wrote:

> David,
> Will you make some comparisons between
> classical / post-modern woman's picture? A
> reference source (available on the web) would
> be useful.
> Thanks, Elizabeth
>
Well I just came up with this notion about an hour
ago. The short version is the studied effets Sirk
cocktails up for "All That Heaven Allows' take realism
into mannerism. These are "typical" middle class
households -- polished to technicolor perfection for
the audience to luxuriate in.

In "Far From Heaven" giant quotation marks are put
around that same technicolor perfection. Moreover "All
That Heaven Allows" is a contemporary film whereas
"Far From Heaven" is a "period" film -- set in the
50's of "All That Heaven Allows."




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14554


From: Noel Vera
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:02am
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
> Well, about performance, for one thing. I like Jeremy Irons in
other
> films, but I feel as if he's just sending big semaphore signals in
those
> two performances, which are conceived as opposites of each other
to the
> point where little else comes over to me.

Dead Ringers has a lot of problems with its script I agree, but I
didn't feel that way about the performance(s). Seems to me Irons
played out the differences obviously to hide the fact that they were
very similar.

It's something identical twins tend to do among themselves; having
the tendency to be close and to look alike, they play up their
differences to the point of exaggeration. The similarities are
there, but they're almost like subtext--something neither twin will
talk about or even admit to unless forced.

And the similarities are there--that image of the two walking across
the room using the same gait is more than just a visual joke, it's a
revealing insight into their true psychology; when they're alone (I
mean with each other), when they're not aware of trying to be
different, when they follow their natural instincts or are half
zonked out by drugs, they're exactly alike. Even the way they carry
out dialogue between themselves is different from dialogue between
other people--it's like one man having a conversation with himself.

Oh, I found Irons in Dead Ringers eerily accurate and honest. Even
asked my identical twin brother (who's fond of movies too), and he
agreed.
14555


From: Matt Teichman
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:37am
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
Sorry for tuning in a little late...

I thought I'd begin by noting that the appropriateness of viewing films
in video transfer is not an issue that matters only to Fred. In fact, I
don't see how it could be anything but central to anyone who claims to
have an interest in film as an artform.

What in the world is unreasonable about the claim that someone who had
only seen _Smilin' Through_ on video may have missed out on what is
truly great about it? Regardless of whether or not it is true (a matter
on which I can't really comment as I've not seen this particular film,
even on video), it certainly isn't outrageous. And there are enough
utterly "untranslatable" works out there (_Wavelength_ being the classic
example) to suggest to me that there could be something to it.

I don't think it's necessarily a given that a nice video transfer is
always better than a deteriorated print. A good video or DVD may
preserve something closer to the intended color palette, but still isn't
at all capable of conveying anything of the grain texture that in some
films is very important. To say nothing of flicker, resolution, viewing
space, etc...

This stuff about "privilege" strikes me as a bit ridiculous. I don't
know that I've ever met a serious cinephile who hasn't struggled
financially most of the time. I also wonder about this tendency (which
I've encountered elsewhere) to feel threatened by the impulse to support
a dying practice that only a minority still cares about. Um...don't we
have real things to worry about here?

Following the point that some films survive the transfer better than
others, there's a very interesting thesis buried somewhere in _The
Trouble With Video_ that I would paraphrase in the following way: every
medium has a set of fundamental limits and conditions (perhaps something
like the way in which different languages have at their disposal
different lexicons, grammatical constructions, etc.), and any art's
masterpieces have a way of taking advantage of that art's unique
expressive capabilities, whereas works that are intended for multiple
destination formats (either film or video, let's say) have a way of
being somehow blander, as though they were speaking with a stilted
diction.

-Matt
14556


From:
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:45am
Subject: Re: Defining Film Noir (was The Classical Hollywood Cinema)
 
A working definition of film noir, largely lifted from the Alain Silver
studies:
"Film noir consists of Hollywood crime films, shot in black and white during
1941-1960, that are not series whodunit films (such as the Falcon or Saint
movies)."
This is a pretty good boundary marker of film noir. It is not perfect, but it
is generally quite good at deliminating which films have been called film
noir or not over the decades. There are around 500 films that meet the above
definition.
Far more complex: the issue whether the 500 films included in the definition
really have artistic characters in common, or not. After all. one could define
house-pet films as "movies in which cats or dogs are prominent". This
includes the Thin Man films, Thomasina, That Darn Cat, etc - a bunch of films with
few real common characteristics. Is "film noir" defined as above a random
conglomeration of movies with little in common with each other - or do the films
cohere artistically?
Many of the articles in "The Film Noir Reader" edited by Silver and James
Ursini claim that there ARE common characteristics of much film noir - subject
matter, imagery, photographic style.

Mike Grost
14557


From:
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:08am
Subject: Fuller's "Shark"
 
Troma has just released a new DVD of Samuel Fuller's "Shark." I haven't
watched it yet, so I don't know if it's the version we've all seen or some sort of
director's cut (though there's nothing on the packaging to indicate that it's
the latter.) There are a number of special features, including interviews
with Jerry Rudes, Vincent Sherman, and Eric Sherman (who I recently interviewed
about working with Welles on "The Other Side of the Wind"). Anyway, I was
curious if anyone else was aware of this release and if anyone would actually
make a case for the butchered version of the film?

Peter
14558


From: Henrik Sylow
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:45am
Subject: Re: Defining Film Noir (was The Classical Hollywood Cinema)
 
I prefer to define "Film Noir" as a subgenre to Crime ranging from
"Double Indemity" (1944) to "Touch of Evil" (1958), though the
development of noir elements seems to develop from the succes of
Maltese Falcon" (1941); An even earlier begin has been suggested by
"Strangers on the Third Floor" (1940).

The main problem with "Film Noir" is, that its not so much a genre by
itself, as many of its characteristica is found in other films or
genre. So one has to take specific characteristics, which form a
synthesis, which then suggests genre. It becomes even more
problematic, that the male protagonist has various forms (private
dick, random loner, criminal).

That one can find noir elements in various genres and films - "White
Heat" (gangster), "Pursued" and "The Furies" (western), "Lost Weekend"
(drama), "Unfaithfully Yours" (comedy) - suggests that these elements
are part of an ideology of the period and how pervasive they are. It
is therefor of little interest wheather or not "Film Noir" is a valid
genre (to me its a subgenre, to others its a movement, to others its a
period), but the interest should be towards how a group of elements
form a synthesis, a "classical text" which again over time changes
(colour photography, scope, women's liberation, the sexual revolution,
social context (cold war, Vietnam) and ideology).

Another problem arises when the hypertextuality of the "classic text"
is examined by suggesting "modern noir" (from "Harper" and especially
"Klute"), as this by subtracting the two noir forms, isolate specific
elements, which then again, in retrospect, can and has been used to
broaded the "classic text": This suggests a dynamic by hindsight which
will undermine the genre.

Henrik
14559


From:
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:49am
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
I'm very brain dead about TV so excuse my naivete. Assuming these aren't
jokes, can someone give a very brief explanation of how Webb was the Bresson of TV
or Ozzie was the Bresson/Tati of TV? Or direct me to some literature on the
topic?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
14560


From: Adam Hart
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:26am
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
> The protagonist as stand-in for director is obviously an enormous
> topic that one can take in any number of directions


you could go on and on finding filmmaker surrogates in films. just
be careful, because too often it seems that observations like that
mark the end of discussion, when that conclusion in and of itself
isn't all that interesting - like people have been saying, it's
everywhere. fred's definitely on to something with tryin to figure
out the psycholoy that goes into choosing the actor (or animal) a
director wants to represent him/herself onscreem.
my original point, though, was that IVAN THE TERRIBLE is a special
case because Eisenstein was such a freudian thinker, and almost
invited himself to be psychoanalyzed through his films. the
interesting thing about IVAN for me is that the main character
becomes a kind of hybrid for Stalin and Eisenstein (and, i suppose,
Ivan himself...), and everything has multiple resonances.

-adam
14561


From: Adam Hart
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:43am
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
i just want to voice my support for cronenberg. i like everything
he's ever done, even m. butterfly (though i never got around to
watching fast company) and think that both naked lunch and dead
ringers are masterpieces.

that's all i had to say. feeling defensive, i guess.
14562


From:
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:48am
Subject: Re: Defining Film Noir (was The Classical Hollywood Cinema)
 
Crime films have long been seen as a separate category of film (let us avoid
using the word "genre" for the moment.)
Film Noir Reader 2 (edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini) opens with the
reprint of a 1945 New York Times think piece, "Crime Certainly Pays on the
Screen", by Lloyd Shearer. This article discusses the huge wave of crime films
then being made in Hollywood. People noticed 1) crime films as something distinct
2) the large numbers being made in Hollywood 3) the difference between
current crime films, and the traditional series whodunits (The Falcon, the Thin Man,
Philo Vance, etc) made by Hollywood at least since the late 1920's.
It is easy to separate out crime films from non-crime films in 1940-1960
Hollywood. Crime films have a standard set of events and characters: criminals,
detectives, reporter-sleuths, gangsters, government agents, femme fatales,
honest men who go bad, high tech equipment for both committing and solving crimes...
While these films were being made, prose book publishers always separated out
their mystery from their general fiction. Mysteries were labeled such right
on their covers.
People are right to say that crime films of 1940-1960 (what today are called
film noir) influenced other kinds of movies. The downbeat look at American
life and obsessed characters of crime films also showed up in some non-crime
movies - "The Lost Weekend" (Billy Wilder) and "Caught" (Max Ophuls) are often
cited. I disagree that either can be labeled true film noir - they are just not
crime films.
Even closer is "Pursued" (Raoul Walsh). This Western ALSO has a full
crime-mystery plot, complete with the sort of psychologically troubled characters and
amnesia gambit often found in modern day crime films. It is clearly a true
film noir, as well as a Western.
One might note that the treatment of the government weather pilots in
"Slattery's Hurricane" (de Toth), the forest firefighters in "Red Skies of Montana"
(Joseph M. Newman) and the government scientists in the science fiction film
"Them!" (Gordon Douglas) are all clearly modelled on the treament of government
agents in crime films such as "T-Men" and "White Heat". These are not crime
films, but are strongly influenced by them.

Mike Grost
14563


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:21pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- Adam Hart wrote:


>
> that's all i had to say. feeling defensive, i guess.
>
>
Why "feel defensive"? Mount an actual defense.



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14564


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:

> I'm very brain dead about TV so excuse my naivete.
> Assuming these aren't
> jokes, can someone give a very brief explanation of
> how Webb was the Bresson of TV
> or Ozzie was the Bresson/Tati of TV? Or direct me to
> some literature on the
> topic?
>
Webb's style is exceeddinglyterse and minimalist. He
doesn't go for visual effects atall. Everything is
propelled by the Q & A of the investigating
detectives.

Ozzie is likewise minimalist,dealing with very
small-scale situations that never descend into broad
slapstick. I'm thinking of the sections of "Mon Oncle"
dealing with M. Hulot's old neighborhood in
particular. Were Ozzie to have met Hulot theywould
have gotten along famously.



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14565


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Fuller's "Shark"
 
--- ptonguette@a... wrote:

Anyway, I was
> curious if anyone else was aware of this release and
> if anyone would actually
> make a case for the butchered version of the film?
>

I saw "Shark!" when it came out and all I can say is
that it was obviously butchered as it made little
dramatic sense. If there's a version closer to what
Fuller would have wanted available that would be very
interesting. But as I recall interference with
Fuller's plans were underway during the actual
shooting.





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14566


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:30pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- Noel Vera wrote:

Even the
> way they carry
> out dialogue between themselves is different from
> dialogue between
> other people--it's like one man having a
> conversation with himself.
>
> Oh, I found Irons in Dead Ringers eerily accurate
> and honest. Even
> asked my identical twin brother (who's fond of
> movies too), and he
> agreed.
>
>
Hey I didn't know you were a twin, Noel! Granted what
you're saying, doon't you think it would have been
more interesting with actual twins?





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14567


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
Interesting chat with Gabe Klinger, Scott Foundas and legendary
French cinephile Pierre Rissient on the related issue of print
quality during Gabe'swhirlwind passage through LA. Stop me if you've
heard this. Pierre says that print and projection quality were not an
issue in France in the 50s because it was practically impossible to
see good prints -- half the time you were just praying you could
make out what was happening on the screen. (I can testify that on my
first visits to Paris in the 60s I saw the worst prints, and in some
cases the worst projection -- hexagonal screens, anyone? -- of my
life. By way of contrast, The Yale Film Club had collectors' prints,
and NY rep cinemas were great in that regard.) Gabe chimed in that he
thinks the obsession with print quality on the part of archivists and
programmers today sometimes keeps films which don't exist in great
prints from being shown -- Scott cited the omission of Savage
Innocents from a UCLA Ray retrospective -- even though something is
better than nothing, and in some cases a print may be scratched, say,
but otherwise perfectly viewable. This is no reason not to have high
standards, obviously, but all agreed that greater flexibility is
called for where it's a medium print or nothing.
14568


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:23pm
Subject: Re: Fuller's "Shark"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:
> Troma has just released a new DVD of Samuel Fuller's "Shark." I
haven't
> watched it yet, so I don't know if it's the version we've all seen
or some sort of
> director's cut

Highly unlikely -- Christa told me a while back that that ship sailed
a long time ago. Ditto for the butchered late masterpiece Street of
No Return. That doesn't mean that someone shouldn't be trying in both
cases to find out about the existence of materials and some guide for
restoring the director's version, but I doubt if that has happened
yet.

SHARK! is well worth watching, if you bear in mind that it's not
Sam's cut by a mile. One sequence where the producers seem to have
left it alone is the Fordian operating scene. Also, any chance to see
Sylvia Pinal in anything is to be seized. She's especially stunning
in color. I wonder what Tristana would have been like with her
instead of Deneuve.
14569


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:33pm
Subject: Re: classical / post-modern woman's picture
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>

> >
> Well I just came up with this notion about an hour
> ago. The short version is the studied effets Sirk
> cocktails up for "All That Heaven Allows' take realism
> into mannerism. These are "typical" middle class
> households -- polished to technicolor perfection for
> the audience to luxuriate in.

But how does that make it a woman's picture???? Middle class
households are only inhabited by females?
>
> In "Far From Heaven" giant quotation marks are put
> around that same technicolor perfection. Moreover "All
> That Heaven Allows" is a contemporary film whereas
> "Far From Heaven" is a "period" film -- set in the
> 50's of "All That Heaven Allows."


In other words you're saying that FAR FROM HEAVEN is not really a
woman's picture but rather a "woman's pictures" (giant quotation
marks). An ironic comment on a 50s woman's picture.
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Express yourself with Y! Messenger! Free. Download now.
> http://messenger.yahoo.com
14570


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:38pm
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> I'm very brain dead about TV so excuse my naivete. Assuming these
aren't
> jokes, can someone give a very brief explanation of how Webb was
the Bresson of TV
> or Ozzie was the Bresson/Tati of TV? Or direct me to some
literature on the
> topic?
>
> Kevin John

The Bresson bit is a gag, of course, but does accurately describe the
acting styles used in the respective actor-writer-director-producer's
tv shows, which were constantly being satirized as expressionless.
Perhaps this came from the fact that both started in radio, and when
they transferred their existing series to the little screen they
instinctively underplayed the visuals of gesture and expression to
keep the focus on the soundtrack.

Anyway, Dragnet and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet were very,
very good, and so were Jack and Ozzie's rare ventures in feature
directing. Webb's have been discussed; I am a huge partisan of Love
and Kisses, the one Ozzie Nelson feature (although arguably he had a
hand in Here Come the Nelsons!), in which Jack Kelly plays Ozzie's
part and the film is built around Rick (as the show was increasingly
when his singing career took off. Just as an aside, Hawks doesn't
seem to have mind Rick's acting style.)

The minimalism of the visuals and the ease and warmth of the
performances -- this family literally lived its life on radio and
then television for 20-some years -- is often matched by the
brilliance of the writing. Sample: Ozzie gets a loud sports coat from
a female relative for Christmas and reverts to his college days when
he puts it on, a la Monkey Business (but not as broad) -- he hits the
soda shop, flirts with young girls, etc. Then he learns that there
was a mixup -- the package was for David. Suddenly he becomes old and
tired, and says he's going to take a nap in the den. David wants to
wear his new coat on a date but doesn't have a tie -- he's
transitioning in the other direction -- so Harriet tells him it's ok
to borrow Ozzie's, which he's still wearing as he snoozes on the
couch. David slips into the den and removes the tie (!) without
waking Ozzie. Ozziepus Rex!

David became a director for a while. Death House, his slasher, isn't
bad, and I'm curious to see Last Flight Out, but these films are hard
to find. After the show folded Ozzie returned with a series (shot on
video) called Ozzie's Girls where he's the solo landlord of an
apartment building whose main tenants are a blonde just like David
and a black girl just like Ricky. My friends and I watched it
religiously, but it was withdrawn after 26 epidodes.
14571


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Jack Webb, was: Movie character tyrants as directions
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> I'm very brain dead about TV so excuse my naivete. Assuming these
aren't
> jokes, can someone give a very brief explanation of how Webb was
the Bresson of TV
> or Ozzie was the Bresson/Tati of TV? Or direct me to some
literature on the
> topic?
>
> Kevin John
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Webb's TV work attains Jansenist purity by stripping away all
inessentials.
14572


From: joey lindsey
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:40pm
Subject: Re: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
>
> different lexicons, grammatical constructions, etc.), and any art's
> masterpieces have a way of taking advantage of that art's unique
> expressive capabilities, whereas works that are intended for multiple
> destination formats (either film or video, let's say) have a way of
> being somehow blander, as though they were speaking with a stilted
> diction.
>
> -Matt


I think the problem is that works that translate well often didn't have
much there to begin with, thus being "blander" regardless of a concern
for film or video. I believe there are exceptional works that translate
quite well without being bland. I guess what I'm saying is really:
bland works often don't lose anything in the translation, but works that
don't lose anything in the translation aren't neccessarily bland.

The cinematic experiences that have left the largest impact on me were
often quite far from the original medium. When I had just begun at the
School of the Art Institute in 2000, I saw Fear and Loathing on DVD
projected onto an entire impromtu screen in a dorm room, the projection
wrapping around corners and myself surrounded by variously intoxicated
people I didn't like - it was one of the most immersive and formative
experiences I've had with moving images.


joey lindsey
14573


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:

> >
> >
> Hey I didn't know you were a twin, Noel! Granted what
> you're saying, doon't you think it would have been
> more interesting with actual twins?

So David, what did you think of Twin Falls Idaho?
14574


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:52pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> Interesting chat with Gabe Klinger, Scott Foundas and legendary
> French cinephile Pierre Rissient on the related issue of print
> quality during Gabe'swhirlwind passage through LA. Stop me if
you've
> heard this. Pierre says that print and projection quality were not
an
> issue in France in the 50s because it was practically impossible to
> see good prints -- half the time you were just praying you could
> make out what was happening on the screen. .

I can confirm Pierre's statement! Except for the most recent
releases, a good print was rare indeed. Also, subtitled prints (as
opposed to dubbed ones) were in very short supply, often disappeared
after the original release. You had to watch dubbed versions in
neighborhood fleapits. And as far as poor print quality, the
Cinematheque was among the worst. Langlois would show anything in any
condition whatsoever. However there was little acknowledgement among
cinephiles that seeing a poor quality print could affect your
judgement of a film.
JPC
14575


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:53pm
Subject: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


>
> But how does that make it a woman's picture????
> Middle class
> households are only inhabited by females?
> >

They were MADE FOR FEMALES. It was waht was given to
them in the post WWII period in excahnge for the real
power they had ever-so-briefly during the war.


>
> In other words you're saying that FAR FROM HEAVEN
> is not really a
> woman's picture but rather a "woman's pictures"
> (giant quotation
> marks). An ironic comment on a 50s woman's picture.
> >

It's a "woman's picture PLUS."

Like "LIFETIME-- Television for women"

and gay men.



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14576


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- hotlove666 wrote:


>
> So David, what did you think of Twin Falls Idaho?
>
>

Not as much fun as "A Zed and Two Noughts"

Has anyone seen the film the Malet twins made? Never
played stateside.




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14577


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:07pm
Subject: Re: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
>
> >
> > But how does that make it a woman's picture????
> > Middle class
> > households are only inhabited by females?
> > >
>
> They were MADE FOR FEMALES. It was waht was given to
> them in the post WWII period in excahnge for the real
> power they had ever-so-briefly during the war.
>
> Oh, they were no "MADE FOR FEMALES" movies before or during the
war?
> >
> > In other words you're saying that FAR FROM HEAVEN
> > is not really a
> > woman's picture but rather a "woman's pictures"
> > (giant quotation
> > marks). An ironic comment on a 50s woman's picture.
> > >
>
>

















It's a "woman's picture PLUS."

















PLUS what?? the quotation marks?
>
> Like "LIFETIME-- Television for women"
>















You might say that the whole of television is for women. Aside from
sports, the viewership is overwhelmingly female (esp. daytime TV).















and gay men.
> Are all the men who enjoy so-called women's pictures gay? The
most of the members of this Group are gay. Of course David suspected
it all the time.
>
>
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> Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.
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14578


From: Matt Teichman
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:09pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
joey lindsey wrote:

>I guess what I'm saying is really:
>bland works often don't lose anything in the translation, but works that
>don't lose anything in the translation aren't neccessarily bland.
>
>
This sounds right. One qualification, though: I can't think of any film
that literally loses nothing in video transfer.


>The cinematic experiences that have left the largest impact on me were
>often quite far from the original medium.
>
Same here; some of my favorite films I've only seen on DVD. In cases
such as this I feel that I can glean enough about the film to know it
would almost certainly be even greater in 35mm, but I wouldn't object to
someone saying that I hadn't "really seen it."

The main issue (as I see it) is, if you owned the Criterion DVD of, say,
_Diary of a Country Priest_ and it happened by some accident to be
playing at a theater near you, would you go see it? Most folks I know
wouldn't, which is rather tragic--this film does so much with texture
and the DVD has absolutely no way of replicating it.

-Matt
14579


From: Matt Teichman
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
This is interesting. When/how did it get better?

-Matt


> I can confirm Pierre's statement! Except for the most recent
>releases, a good print was rare indeed. Also, subtitled prints (as
>opposed to dubbed ones) were in very short supply, often disappeared
>after the original release. You had to watch dubbed versions in
>neighborhood fleapits. And as far as poor print quality, the
>Cinematheque was among the worst. Langlois would show anything in any
>condition whatsoever. However there was little acknowledgement among
>cinephiles that seeing a poor quality print could affect your
>judgement of a film.
>JPC
>
>
14580


From: Paul Gallagher
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:41pm
Subject: Re: Cronenberg (Was: So no one else believes in "good bad acting"?)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Adam Hart" wrote:
> i just want to voice my support for cronenberg. i like everything
> he's ever done, even m. butterfly (though i never got around to
> watching fast company) and think that both naked lunch and dead
> ringers are masterpieces.
>
I agree, and also never got around to "Fast Company." I'd accept
some of the criticisms of Cronenberg's films as valid, but the
films' apparent weaknesses either are much less important than
their strengths or are part and parcel with them. For example,
Dan Sallitt stated that he didn't think Cronenberg was good with
composition. It's true that Cronenberg once had great doubts about
his own technique, and there are many maladroit shots in Cronenberg's
films, but nonetheless the films are filled with powerful images --
and oddly the images become more elegant, beautiful, and adroit
in memory, at least for me.

Paul
14581


From: Craig Keller
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:42pm
Subject: Quality of Prints (was: Ok, you asked for it, Camper)
 
>
> I can confirm Pierre's statement! Except for the most recent
> releases, a good print was rare indeed. Also, subtitled prints (as
> opposed to dubbed ones) were in very short supply, often disappeared
> after the original release. You had to watch dubbed versions in
> neighborhood fleapits. And as far as poor print quality, the
> Cinematheque was among the worst. Langlois would show anything in any
> condition whatsoever. However there was little acknowledgement among
> cinephiles that seeing a poor quality print could affect your
> judgement of a film.

Interesting that this topic has come up -- recently this letter from
Kent Jones was posted on the Film Society at Lincoln Center's website
for Walter Reade screenings, in the section devoted to the ongoing
Anthony Mann retrospective:

To our patrons -
STATEMENT REGARDING PRINT QUALITY OF FILMS

BY KENT JONES, ASSOCIATE PROGRAMMER

We want to address the issue of print quality. Simply put, this is the
most difficult issue in film programming today.

We have presented several series recently in which the prints that have
arrived have been substandard - faded color, scratched, spliced,
sometimes all of these things at once. And quite often, it's the people
working in the theater who hear the complaints about these prints.Which
we feel is unfair. They are not responsible for the quality of the
prints presented in the theater. We the programmers are responsible.

At this point in the history of movie exhibition, we are at a
crossroad. Because for many companies, meaning the people who own the
"elements" of a given film, making a print is no longer economically
feasible. There are very few revival houses or repertory theaters left
in this country, and the college circuit for 16mm prints gave way to
videotapes, laser discs and DVDs long ago.

This means that many companies simply don't have an interest in
striking a new print. That's the reality, and it's a brutal one. There
are many genuine movie fans within the companies who are sympathetic to
our plight, but even for them it's difficult. And it has now reached
the point where making a new print has become an event, not to mention
a labor of love. It's sad, but it's true.

There are many series at the Walter Reade in which the print quality is
very high, and we are proud of that. We are equally proud of the fact
that we present retrospectives of filmmakers like Joseph Losey, and
literally scour the world looking for the best available prints. And in
the case of that particular series, every single print was the best
available - sad but true. In a few cases, the condition of the print
had worsened since the last condition report was made at the archive or
storage facility where it was held.

Film is fragile. It is very fragile. Because it is made of a material
with which all kinds of things can go wrong. Older prints in particular
can easily become brittle. They can get dirty very easily. Or they can
develop vinegar syndrome, which is an irreversible process. Or they can
be gouged in shipping. And then, once they've actually been threaded
through a projector, the real problems begin. Sprocket damage and
breaks are common occurrences. Which means that the print has to be
repaired, which often means that a piece of it has to be removed and a
splice has to be made, particularly at the heads and tails. Unless it's
kept in optimum conditions (which are very expensive to maintain) and
never screened, a print is more likely than not to deteriorate. And
whenever a new print has to be made, it costs money. A lot of money. As
we said before, that is a cost which many companies are just not
willing to bear.

We do not want to present inferior prints. Nor are we willing to
program according to what new prints are made available. We are
committed to the cinema. Which means that we are committed to the
integrity of the celluloid image. However, it also means that we are
committed to film history, and taking another look at the work of a
Losey or a McCarey. Quite often, when a new print is struck, it's of a
proven classic, or by a director whose place in the pantheon of
officially sanctioned film history is assured. Which makes perfect
economic sense. However, we believe that film history is re-evaluation.
Far from being set in stone, it is in a dynamic process in a state of
constant flux. And this means that we are always trying to balance the
reality of economics with the spirit of discovery and re-discovery.

We do everything we can to ensure that print quality is acceptable
whenever it's in question. And when a print arrives in substandard
condition, we decide immediately whether or not we can show it, and
post an announcement as quickly as possible. We're sorry that this has
to occur at all - we're sorry to disappont you. But we want you to know
that we're trying our best. Thank you.



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
14582


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:00pm
Subject: Re: Re: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:


> >
> > Oh, they were no "MADE FOR FEMALES" movies
> before or during the
> war?
> > >
Of course there were. But they weren't like the
post-war ones with their empahsis on slick, suburban
domesticity.

"Tender Comrade" the war effort film that Giger Rogers
mother claimed was communist propaganda was a woman's
picture. The women in question were working in
factories.


> You might say that the whole of television is for
> women. Aside from
> sports, the viewership is overwhelmingly female
> (esp. daytime TV).
>
True -- in demographic terms.


> > Are all the men who enjoy so-called women's
> pictures gay? The
> most of the members of this Group are gay. Of course
> David suspected
> it all the time.


Actually "LIFETIME: Television for women and gay men"
is a joke (one of their few genuinely funny ones) from
"Will & Grace"



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14583


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:29pm
Subject: QT on the Q.T.
 
According to Jeanette Walls, this

http://qtdiary.blogspot.com/2004/08/qts-casino.html

is a fake Quentin Tarantino website. I don't believe
her. Seems quite authentic to me.



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14584


From: Fred Camper
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
Matt Teichman wrote:

>The main issue (as I see it) is, if you owned the Criterion DVD of, say,
>_Diary of a Country Priest_ and it happened by some accident to be
>playing at a theater near you, would you go see it? Most folks I know
>wouldn't
>
And this is one reason that the audiences for revival venues has been in
a decades-old and seemingly irreversible decline, and why due to
shrinking demands distributors are increasingly unwilling to make new
prints (as indicated in Kent's letter posted by Craig). If cinephiles
won't support the showing of prints by actually taking the trouble to
attend, who will? Yet in the kind of discourse that it seemed to me that
Kevin John was proposing (and forgive me and correct me if I've
misinterpreted), we would freely discuss and accept videos and degraded
prints as if there were no qualifications needed. As I believe Kevin and
I have agreed to, *he* can do so, but I don't have to, and Matt's and
Ken Jones's points offer another reason why I don't want to.

Fred Camper
14585


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:02pm
Subject: Re: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
>
> > >
Re: tv as woman's medium -- Ross Hunter told Hollis Alpert that he launched
his line of femelodramas because women were being driven back into
theatres by the glut of westerns on tv ain the 50s. It certainly wasn't a gal's
medium then.

Today I'm told, BTW, that a lot of the creators of sitcoms for prime time are gay
-- making Fox TV's Sandy Grushow's gay-bashing remarks two years ago esp.
baffling.
>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
> http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
14586


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:15pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Matt Teichman
wrote:
> This is interesting. When/how did it get better?
>
> -Matt
>
I am not competent to answer that, as I haven't live in France
since 1963. I don't know to what extent it got better (although it
certainly did) or when. The situation was a consequence of the
economics of distribution/exhibition at the time. Too few prints
were struck and they were circulated until they were threadbare. Also
most of the theatres (outside of first run venues) were very modest
places that charged very low admission -- the retuns to the
distributor were too small to make it worthwhile for them to struck
new prints. Now most of the small neighborhood theatres have
disappeared, been replaced by multiplexes, and cheap admission is a
thing of the past. Simultaneously the first run/second run/ general
release distribution schedule has been replaced (as in the US) by
the "opening wide" concept and the films no longer circulate for
extended periods of time as they used to. So i guess there is less
exposure to worn out prints. There's also the fact that cinephilic
interest grew considerably in the 50s/60s, probably creating a
greater demand for better quality prints.
JPC
>
> > I can confirm Pierre's statement! Except for the most recent
> >releases, a good print was rare indeed. Also, subtitled prints (as
> >opposed to dubbed ones) were in very short supply, often
disappeared
> >after the original release. You had to watch dubbed versions in
> >neighborhood fleapits. And as far as poor print quality, the
> >Cinematheque was among the worst. Langlois would show anything in
any
> >condition whatsoever. However there was little acknowledgement
among
> >cinephiles that seeing a poor quality print could affect your
> >judgement of a film.
> >JPC
> >
> >
14587


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:32pm
Subject: Re: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> >
> > --- jpcoursodon wrote:
> >
> >
> > > >
> Re: tv as woman's medium -- Ross Hunter told Hollis Alpert that he
launched
> his line of femelodramas because women were being driven back into
> theatres by the glut of westerns on tv ain the 50s. It certainly
wasn't a gal's
> medium then.

It was, to the extent that most of the daytime viewers were
housewives (and kids) and most of the advertising was aimed at them.
The soaps were watched by a 100% female audience. The cheap westerns
were aimed at the kids, of course. Hollywood acknowledged that. In
every fifties and early sixties movie that has a scene in which a TV
is on, there is a kid or several kids sprawled in front of it
watching a western (and it's always a scene with Indians attacking
and being decimated).
>
> Today I'm told, BTW, that a lot of the creators of sitcoms for
prime time are gay
> -- making Fox TV's Sandy Grushow's gay-bashing remarks two years
ago esp.
> baffling.
> >
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
> > http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
14588


From: Programming
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:38pm
Subject: Playtime in 70mm in Chicago
 
Hi All,

I'm sure the Chicagoans on the list know this already, but for those of you
willing/able to take a little trip:

Tati's PLAYTIME will be showing in 70mm at the Music Box Theatre beginning
tomorrow (August 27). I'm not quite sure for how long - looks like either
through September 2 or September 6.

Best,

Patrick Friel
14589


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:51pm
Subject: Re: Re: Women's Pictures and "Women's Pictures"
 
--- hotlove666 wrote:


>
> Today I'm told, BTW, that a lot of the creators of
> sitcoms for prime time are gay
> -- making Fox TV's Sandy Grushow's gay-bashing
> remarks two years ago esp.
> baffling.
> >
> >

My book "Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 19280200" grew out
of an artilce I wrote for "Los Angeles" magazine about
the preponderance of gays and lesbians in sitcom. The
"Frasier" producer who died on 9/11 was the only
straight one.

"Elaine" on "Seinfeld" was the creation of a very
funny lesbian named Marjorie Gross -- who sadly died
quite young of cancer, before I could speak to her for
the book. All the others I spoke to, mind you, were
"out" professional writers -- and all quite successful
in Hollywood.

In short a greatway to break it to your parents is
"Mom, Dad -- I'm going to be a sitcom writer."



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14590


From: Paul Gallagher
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Adam Hart" wrote:

> my original point, though, was that IVAN THE TERRIBLE is a special
> case because Eisenstein was such a freudian thinker, and almost
> invited himself to be psychoanalyzed through his films. the
> interesting thing about IVAN for me is that the main character
> becomes a kind of hybrid for Stalin and Eisenstein (and, i suppose,
> Ivan himself...), and everything has multiple resonances.
>
> -adam

I haven't really investigated the question, but Eisenstein had in the
past emphasized historical truth as essential to historical
films, and he took pride in the extensive research he did
on Ivan's reign. So I have some inclination to think that,
apart from Ivan's allegorical or metaphorical role,
Eisenstein was presenting his analysis of the historical Ivan.

(If I recall correctly, Dwight MacDonald thought the character with
whom Eisenstein identified was Vladimir... Which probably tells you
more about Dwight MacDonald than anything else.)

Paul
14591


From: Joseph Kaufman
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:07pm
Subject: Re: Fuller's "Shark"
 
Bill, were you at the BIG RED ONE re-premiere on Sunday? I saw you
get a "thank you" credit at the end.
--

- Joe Kaufman
14592


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:10pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Matt Teichman wrote:
> joey lindsey wrote:

> >
> Same here; some of my favorite films I've only seen on DVD. In cases
> such as this I feel that I can glean enough about the film to know it
> would almost certainly be even greater in 35mm, but I wouldn't object to
> someone saying that I hadn't "really seen it."
>
This is all pretty Platonic. Of course you've seen it! I recently was shown some
original India ink drawings of black and white Life with Father strips from the
30s. They were the size of paintings, much larger than when they appeared in
the newspapapers, and every nuance of line and shade and composition
burst out at me with a clarity I never imagined possible. Obviously if you're a
connoisseur, you want the original, just as in the best of all worlds you'd want
the original Madonna of the Rocks! And just as obviously, we can't all have it.
But that doesn't mean that people who followed that strip faithfully in the
papers never "saw" it.

But no, I hear you cry: Films can exist in multiple copies, each as good as the
others, so this is not an "aura" question. I agree. It is strictly a question of how
well something can be reproduced. With digital technology, I assume that my
friend's hoarded Life With Father beaverboards could be duplicated and
viewed in a format that makes possible the scales-falling-from-the-eyes effect
I experienced yesterday, without changingh the fact that the originals have
"aura."

And it is strictly a question of quality with film. So why say that someone hasn't
seen a film if he hasn't seen it a certain way, as if we were talking about Van
Gogh's Violets? The normative illusion arises from the fact that films were
originally made to be shown in 35mm in theatres (implicitly, with optimum
projection, although I'm not sure how rgorously true that was outside major
urban centers). And Shakespeare's plays were made for the Globe.
Obviously, the means of presentation and distribution have evolved a bit. I
have seen King Lear twice -- the best version was by Peter Brook with Paul
Scofield. I have seen Vertigo many times -- the best version was at the Grand
Theatre in Electra, Texas, the year of its release. Now I have to choose
between a restored print like the one I last saw at the Cinematheque and the
tape Joseph K. gave me with the restored image-track and Hitchcock's
soundtrack.

The Film is a normative idea. I want to see it too -- and now I'll want to see
every original comic I can. But I have already seen a lot of films, very few
under ideal conditions.
14593


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:37pm
Subject: contemporary vs period piece distinction
 
> From David E
> Moreover "All That Heaven Allows" is a contemporary film
> whereas "Far From Heaven" is a "period" film -- set in the
> 50's of "All That Heaven Allows."

If a person totally unfamiliar with cinema, stars, etc. saw
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and FAR from HEAVEN,
would the viewer see the contemporary vs period piece
distinction? Looking at ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
today, can it be considered a Period Piece; could FAR
from HEAVEN be seen as a contemporary film from 1950?
14594


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Playtime in 70mm in Chicago+ Take That Fred!
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Programming
wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I'm sure the Chicagoans on the list know this already, but for those of you
> willing/able to take a little trip:
>
> Tati's PLAYTIME will be showing in 70mm at the Music Box Theatre
beginning
> tomorrow (August 27). I'm not quite sure for how long - looks like either
> through September 2 or September 6.
>
> Best,
>
> Patrick Friel

Pursuing the idea that there are no films, only versions thereof, I saw Playtime
in 70 at the Academy and later at the Cinematheque. There was no
comparison. The Academy has a big screen and optimum Stereo
presentation. It was like being on acid. The Cinematheque, with its more
modest means, was a disappointment. My date hated it, and I was quite
happy to leave halfway, although I did return the next day and see the whole
thing, because this version was more complete than that screened at the
Academy. Still haven't seen The Film, but I will advise Chicagoans not to hope
too hard if the Music Box is an average screen, because I fear the Academy
screening was as close to It as I'll ever come.

The whole business of seeing The Film with Tati is complicated by the fact
that even when you get an optimal presentation, which version should you
se? According to Stefan Droessler, there are 4 Vacances, 3 Jours and at least
as many Playtimes. Maya, maya, all is Maya. Come back to the raft, Phaedrus
honey, and I'll 'splain.
14595


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:45pm
Subject: Re: Fuller's "Shark"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Kaufman wrote:
> Bill, were you at the BIG RED ONE re-premiere on Sunday? I saw you
> get a "thank you" credit at the end.
> --
>
> - Joe Kaufman

I had to skip to finish my Ringer article for Spirit, but I snuck in and saw the
ambush sequence under the cross. Looked fine to me. Glad I'm thanked.
Actually, I had always assumed that that sequence was the least mutilated in
the film, but Richard said there was more, and Sunday I did indeed see a
fuller version (no pun etc.). Can't wait to see the whole thing at Torino. How'd
you like it, Joe?
14596


From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:12pm
Subject: BIG SCREEN makes a difference
 
I beg to differ; I think many would love to see the classics on
the big screen, especially when they involve the bigger than
life stars.
Sometimes, I sit close to my TV set (either 15 or 15 inch); other
times farther back. There is even a difference at these sizes.
Certainly the BIG SCREEN makes a difference, at least to me.

> The main issue (as I see it) is, if you owned the Criterion DVD of,
> say,
> _Diary of a Country Priest_ and it happened by some accident to be
> playing at a theater near you, would you go see it? Most folks I know
> wouldn't, which is rather tragic--this film does so much with texture
> and the DVD has absolutely no way of replicating it.
>
> -Matt
 
14597


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:12pm
Subject: Re: contemporary vs period piece distinction
 
--- Elizabeth Nolan wrote:


>
> If a person totally unfamiliar with cinema, stars,
> etc. saw
> ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and FAR from HEAVEN,
> would the viewer see the contemporary vs period
> piece
> distinction? Looking at ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
> today, can it be considered a Period Piece; could
> FAR
> from HEAVEN be seen as a contemporary film from
> 1950?
>
No. And that's because Todd has constructed a film
dealing with everything that Sirk leaves out:
interracial love (passing for white is posited as
making it impossible for sarah Jane to know real love
-- which is one of the reasons why it's called
"Imitation of Life") and gayness.

Gayness has, of course, been surreptitiously inscribed
in "All That Heaven Allows" because the viewer knows
Rock Hudson is gay (and as I point out in my book, the
view BACK THEN knew that Rock Hudson was gay.) But in
"Far From Heaven" what was "sub rosa" gets front and
center treatment via Quaid's character.

Jezz but Todd's a genius. He was born in 1961 for
crying out loud (the year I entered high school and
had my first affairs) yet he knows all this stuff
COLD.

http://www.bonusround.com/book3-10/images/outfest04-45.jpg



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14598


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:18pm
Subject: Re: BIG SCREEN makes a difference
 
--- Elizabeth Nolan wrote:

> I beg to differ; I think many would love to see the
> classics on
> the big screen, especially when they involve the
> bigger than
> life stars.
> Sometimes, I sit close to my TV set (either 15 or 15
> inch); other
> times farther back. There is even a difference at
> these sizes.
> Certainly the BIG SCREEN makes a difference, at
> least to me.
>

True. But video availability makes only the most
visually spectacular of films bait for audiences.
"Playtime" in 70mm is a perfect example.



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14599


From:
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:43pm
Subject: Re: Ok, you asked for it, Camper
 
Was lucky enough to see restored version of Vertigo in a theater in 1996. It
was fantastic! The big screen did make the film more "intense", as Peter
phrased it. Saw the restored Contempt (Godard) at the same theater.
But I also loved Vertigo on TV in 1972, its only public show for a decade at
that time.
Some thoughts: Have read that Art History began essentially with the
invention of photography in the 1800's. It allowed scholars to build collections of
black and white photos of paintings. They could then compare them, discover
artist's individual styles, note chronological development, etc. The originals are
just too scattered to do this. The auteur theory works on paintings, too:
there is nothing like looking at two paintings by an artist side by side, and
having the artist's personal style suddenly leap out at you! Usually one can only
do this with photos of the paintings, preferably the largest color
reproductions you can find.
Most art lovers learn about painters and their individual style from books of
photos. Then they go to museums to supplement their insight with originals.
You always learn a lot from originals. But you need the foundation of a
photographic overview only a book can provide.
I think for the near future, the same strange compromise is here on film. We
watch videos and DVD to study films, and learn about their style in depth,
through pause, rewind, looking at several of a director's films in sequence, etc.
But we need to see as much as we can in a theater to see the real thing.
Mike Grost
PS: I love Maggie and Jiggs, from the old comic strip "Bringing Up Father."
Have a tiny reprint volume, "Jiggs is Back" (1986). This contains a photo of
artist George McManus with Charlie Chaplin.
14600


From: Kevin Lee
Date: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:08pm
Subject: Re: Movie character tyrants as directions (was: Requesting info on Ivan...)
 
How interesting Adam to be reading your thoughts on onscreen
filmmaker surrogates, as I have just encountered your essay on Guy
Maddin in sensesofcinema. Great essay, I must say, one that
resonates with your point about Eisenstein inviting psychoanalysis (I
think IVAN THE TERRIBLE is an obvious influence on Maddin). Though
your assessment of his films is resoundingly positive, some of what
you write may speak for my own frustrations about Maddin, how
compelling, how seemingly personal and yet how glib his films can be,
often at the same time. My experience watching his films is
typically one of initial enthrallment followed by a feeling of
asphyxiation concerning all the stifling layers of irony; his
unmistakable visual style becomes increasingly claustrophobic as it
goes on. The only time I've truly felt that the last act didn't let
me down was with COWARDS BEND THE KNEE. There's no denying his
brilliance but there's also a guardedness to it (at times the
pedantry of his films amounts to a defensive gesture) that makes me
approach his films guardedly as well.

Kevin

. --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Adam Hart"
wrote:
>
> you could go on and on finding filmmaker surrogates in films. just
> be careful, because too often it seems that observations like that
> mark the end of discussion, when that conclusion in and of itself
> isn't all that interesting - like people have been saying, it's
> everywhere. fred's definitely on to something with tryin to figure
> out the psycholoy that goes into choosing the actor (or animal) a
> director wants to represent him/herself onscreem.
> my original point, though, was that IVAN THE TERRIBLE is a special
> case because Eisenstein was such a freudian thinker, and almost
> invited himself to be psychoanalyzed through his films. the
> interesting thing about IVAN for me is that the main character
> becomes a kind of hybrid for Stalin and Eisenstein (and, i suppose,
> Ivan himself...), and everything has multiple resonances.
>
> -adam

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