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19901


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:20am
Subject: Re: Bill's burps
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>
> Bill K. is not an idiot (this is the understatement of the year, or
> of the century)and he knows it and we all know it and that may be
> why he thinks it's cute to behave in an uncouth idiotic way (irony,
> you know) when responding to a perfectly polite and in no way
> aggressive post -- twice! So his "burp" in response to two of my
> posts, if considered appropriate on this board, would allow me to
> ratchet up and say "Fuck you, Bill." However I may be an idiot but
I
> am a polite person, so I shall refrain from escalating. Just wanted
> to get this off my chest. JPC

BURP! was one letter shorter than (burp) - I was just trying to
top "the shortest post of the year, if not the most intelligent."
There's another topper possible, but I'm not going to post it!
19902


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:24am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >
> > I will never stop repeating: The business of critics is not WHAT
> > films mean, but HOW they mean.
>
>
> I remember Donald Spoto telling that to his students (as though
> he had just coined the phrase)sometime in the seventies after a
> screening of "Portrait of Jennie."

Hey, I thought I coined it! What did Spotoi say about Portrait of
Jennie?
19903


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:27am
Subject: Re: Worst films list (Was: DID NOT SEE)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
>
> In a message dated 12/29/04 7:23:43 PM, zerospam@n... writes:
>
>
> > There should be "10 worst" lists.

I try to avoid bad movies, but I was dragged to Lemony Snicket, and
it makes the list. And yet Andy Klein, a sharp critic, enjoyed every
minute of it! De gustibus...
19904


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:29am
Subject: Re: LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE (WAS: varying degrees of merit)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
>
I read somewhere that LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE was never finished and
> that what circulates is a 60-minute work print.

It looked finished when I saw it at Lincoln Center.
19905


From:
Date: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:30pm
Subject: OT Re: Caetano Veloso (was: Lists Lists Lists)
 
I must admit that I've always preferred Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé to Veloso.
But this last album floored me!

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
19906


From: Fred Camper
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:39am
Subject: Re: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
I want to reply at length to Zach's post to me, his earlier acting post,
and the engaging dialogue with Yoel, but I have a couple of deadlines in
the next two days so a real reply will have to wait.

But I do want to argue that Patrick Ciccone's thought experiments are
not real tests of what he apparently thinks they prove (that the acting
is more important than Yoel says it is, I gather). The conventions of a
film like "Citizen Kane" are that we expect to hear normal, intelligible
dialogue when the actors' lips move. Anything else will be freighted
with its own heavy meanings -- certainly the versions Patrick proposes
would. I *do* think the film would hold up if seen with the sound off
(and that some later Welles films would hold up even better that way),
but seeing them with the sound off would be imposing a big change too,
and pushing them in the Brakhage direction, with various meanings
attached to that. And I'd guess "Kane" wouldn't be as good with the
sound off.

Simply because changing an element changes a film a lot does not
necessarily mean that that element is a key to the creative vision that
made the film a work of art.

Fred Camper
19907


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:43am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
I *do* think the film would hold up if seen with the sound off
> (and that some later Welles films would hold up even better that way

The biggest satori I've had recently was turning off the famous, way
over-discussed v.o. on Terre sans pain and watching it silent. Until
then I didn't know what a good movie it was. There was also this
sensation of suddenly seeing what was IN the images unmediated -
looking across the ages into the dark heart of Spain.

19908


From:
Date: Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:08pm
Subject: Re: Shortest Post (was: Bill's burps)
 
In a message dated 04-12-29 22:21:47 EST, you write:

<< I was just trying to top "the shortest post of the year, if not the most
intelligent." >>

!
19909


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:13am
Subject: Re: LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE (WAS: varying degrees of merit)
 
--- LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:


> I'm glad you brought him up. I saw my first two
> Garrel films recently: LE
> REVELATEUR and LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE.


Mazel Tov!

Not sure if
> this is a common reaction but
> both films scared the shit out of me, especially the
> latter (what the FUCK is
> up with that utterly terrifying shot in almost pitch
> black and increasingly
> louder splashes responding to one of the actor's
> calls?).
>
I don't recall such a scene.

> Anyhoo, I read somewhere that LA CICATRICE
> INTERIEURE was never finished and
> that what circulates is a 60-minute work print. Is
> this true?

The version I saw at the New York Film Festival in
1972 was about 60 minutes long and had no credits.

The version I
> saw was 60 minutes and ended with no credits but I
> don't recall LE REVELATEUR
> having any either. Common practice for Garrel?
>

Yes.

> And what are Garrel's thoughts on releasing his work
> on DVD?
>

Love to hear them myself. His post-Nico work is rather
different from his High-Nico period.

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
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19910


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:28am
Subject: OT - Re: Shortest Post (was: Bill's burps)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 04-12-29 22:21:47 EST, you write:
>
> << I was just trying to top "the shortest post of the year, if not
the most
> intelligent." >>
>
> !

Not to be topped. Mike certainly knows this: For a while the shortest
horror story in the world was "The last man in the world sat alone in
the room. There was a knock on the door." Then someone thought of
topping it by substituting "l" for "kn." At some point the great
Frederick Brown wrote a regular-length story based on the original
shortest-story, called "Knock."

Ogden Nash gave us this as the shortest poem: "Fleas": Adam/Had 'em.
19911


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:37am
Subject: Re: DID NOT SEE
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Nolan wrote:
> >> Elizabeth wrote

> > ... how exactly does someone rank movies that they haven't seen?
>
> It's my attempt to suggest that the film would be somewhere in between
> the best and worst of the list, but the more important information for
> the reader of list would be available, that is that it was not seen.

*****
Ah. I see. That's actually a great idea, in that a list of Films Not
Seen has the potential for being even more revealing than a critic's
Best/Worst presentation.

By the way, I wonder how many here would agree that a Best/Worst List,
irrespective of the critic's initial intentions, can very easily
become a projection of his or her own sense of their status (there's
that word again) as a cinephile?

Tom "Max Weber disciple" Sutpen
19912


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:45am
Subject: Re: Worst films list (Was: DID NOT SEE)
 
Did you stick around for the end credits? I thought they were really
wonderful, although certainly not worth sitting through the movie
for. They're done in cut-out animation style, almost like a magic
lantern show, and have just the mix of gothic foreboding and
self-consciousness that the movie utterly fails to capture. They're
listed as being done by "Axiom Design".

Sam

>
> Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 03:27:04 -0000
> From: "hotlove666"
>Subject: Re: Worst films list (Was: DID NOT SEE)
>
>
>--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
>>
>> In a message dated 12/29/04 7:23:43 PM, zerospam@n... writes:
>>
>>
>> > There should be "10 worst" lists.
>
>I try to avoid bad movies, but I was dragged to Lemony Snicket, and
>it makes the list. And yet Andy Klein, a sharp critic, enjoyed every
>minute of it! De gustibus...
>
>
19913


From:
Date: Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:45pm
Subject: Re: OT - Re: Shortest Post (was: Bill's burps)
 
Oooh! That beats my previous favorite short story, Taboo by Enrique Anderson
Imbert:

His guardian angel whispered to Fabian, behind his shoulder:
“Careful, Fabian! It is decreed that you will die the minute you
pronounce the word doyen."
”Doyen?” asks Fabian intrigued.
And he dies.

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
19914


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:52am
Subject: Re: Worst films list (Was: DID NOT SEE)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, samadams@e... wrote:
> Did you stick around for the end credits?

Not all the way thru.

I thought they were really
> wonderful

So did I. My leaving was a statement - I'd have enjoyed watching them.
19915


From: Zach Campbell
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:53am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Yoel wrote:
> Films do not ONLY work in abstract terms. However, they
> ALSO do have to work in abstract terms.

But why? This is more or less the question I eventually asked
myself, and I couldn't give a satisfactory answer.

> The films, whether we want them to or not, have an abstract
> dimension and actually, the represented is contained within it.
> Is it so strange that I find the ones that work on both levels much
> deeper than the ones that only work on one of the levels?

It's not strange at all--in fact it seems quite logical. But I don't
know that it could work for me because, logically, it would mean that
I would have to cherish less those films that are, say, narratively
mediocre or inept and which provide amazing experiences for whatever
reasons. In the past, as a cinephile, I've never made a
categorically evaluative distinction between those films that succeed
both "abstractly" and in terms of (for lack of a better all-
encompassing word) "drama"--like THE RULES OF THE GAME, LATE SPRING,
or FORT APACHE--and films that succeed "abstractly" but don't work
quite as well as "drama" and are carried along by the qualities of
the former rather than the latter--like WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES,
MR. ARKADIN, or SEVEN WOMEN. All six of these films are great ones,
to me, and I don't value the number of levels on which they work but
rather the richness of experience they offer based on those levels
they happen to work from.

But I would say that I have neglected consideration of narrative as
form, and neglected the realm of acting as a form of expression
(expression of the actors and also of the directors through the
actors). A narrative film necessarily possesses 'form' on its
narrative level--this seems self-evident to me, at least now. And a
consideration of how a narrative film structures a story, how it
deals with the *process* of thematic constructions, how it
utilizes "pleasure delivery" and "identification" (NOT whether or not
it accomplishes these things!), seems to me to be just as important
as how a film's editing rhythms or mise-en-scene effect our
experience and our understanding. This is why I wanted to stress my
opinion that the cinema is not, in the end, visual but temporal, and
that ultimately the cinema is something where a structure unfolds--
and this unfolding need not be visual, or realized foremost or only
on the visual level.

> I don't think artworks should be divided as the ones that work in
> abstract terms and the ones that work as a representing. My
> experience tells me that the ones that interrelate both are greater
> than the other ones.

I don't advocate some heavy division between representational and
nonrepresentational either, but for the purposes of this discussion,
I think a delineation is useful. I think we should engage works of
art on the levels in which they are meant to engage us. This isn't
a "rule"--we can choose to "play" with "texts" and all that--but in
general I think the deepest comprehension of a work of art is to
allow it as much space as possible. And to try to find greatness
where it resides, not solely where we look for it.

--Zach
19916


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:53am
Subject: OT - Re: Shortest Post (was: Bill's burps)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> Oooh! That beats my previous favorite short story, Taboo by Enrique
Anderson
> Imbert:
>
> His guardian angel whispered to Fabian, behind his shoulder:
> “Careful, Fabian! It is decreed that you will die the minute
you
> pronounce the word doyen."
> ”Doyen?” asks Fabian intrigued.
> And he dies.
>
That's what he gets for being a Rogerian. (Very esoteric joke.)
19917


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:58am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Zach Campbell"
wrote:
>
In the past, as a cinephile, I've never made a
> categorically evaluative distinction between those films that
succeed
> both "abstractly" and in terms of (for lack of a better all-
> encompassing word) "drama"--like THE RULES OF THE GAME, LATE
SPRING,
> or FORT APACHE--and films that succeed "abstractly" but don't work
> quite as well as "drama" and are carried along by the qualities of
> the former rather than the latter--like WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES,
> MR. ARKADIN, or SEVEN WOMEN

I'm sure this is just coincidence, but the last three were either
trimmed after the director left (SEVEN WOMEN), completely recut
(ARKADIN) or taken out of the director's hands during shooting
(WIND), and each of the first three is as the filmmaker wished it to
be.
19918


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 0:16am
Subject: Re: LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE (WAS: varying degrees of merit)
 
In a message dated 12/29/04 10:15:53 PM, cellar47@y... writes:


> I don't recall such a scene.
>

It comes about halfway into the film. It's an extremely dark shot. On the
left side of the frame sits one of the men (I can't tell which) nude on a rock.
The right side is consumed by darkness. The man calls out and you hear a
splash. It appears that he is sitting immediately at the side of a body of water.
The splash creates just the vaguest play of light in the darkness but you can't
tell what causes the splash (presuably, the call and nothing else causes it,
at least conceptually). The call and splash/response repeats three times (I
think), the last time the loudest. The shot lasts about a minute, no cuts and no
camera movements. Scarier than anything in Hitchcock. Anyone remember this
scene?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
19919


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:21am
Subject: Re: LA CICATRICE INTERIEURE (WAS: varying degrees of merit)
 
--- LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:


>
> It comes about halfway into the film. It's an
> extremely dark shot. On the
> left side of the frame sits one of the men (I can't
> tell which) nude on a rock.
> The right side is consumed by darkness. The man
> calls out and you hear a
> splash. It appears that he is sitting immediately at
> the side of a body of water.
> The splash creates just the vaguest play of light in
> the darkness but you can't
> tell what causes the splash (presuably, the call and
> nothing else causes it,
> at least conceptually). The call and splash/response
> repeats three times (I
> think), the last time the loudest. The shot lasts
> about a minute, no cuts and no
> camera movements. Scarier than anything in
> Hitchcock. Anyone remember this
> scene?
>

I recall a scene like that but it wasn't as dark as
you describe. Never found anything particularly
firghtening about that one.

"Le Lit de La Vierge,"on the other hand, is quite
scary. Underground caves with people screaming as Nico
sings.



__________________________________
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19920


From: Jonathan Rosenbaum
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:39am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
> Jonathan,
>
> Is there any possibility that Welles's comments about other
> directors which Peter edited out of the original THIS IS ORSON
> WELLES might appear one day? As one of the many people who
encounter
> Orson from THE ORSON WELLES STORY and video copies of his numerous
> TV appearances, I'm sure they must have been hilarious and not at
> all nasty.
>
> Tony Williams

If those comments en masse ever existed, I never saw them. I'm
fairly sure that some passages of the book alluded to in this manner
are mythical--though Peter did say that Welles, who was espescially
riled about Richard Brooks getting to make LORD JIM (a favorite
project), did say off-the-record (and not on tape) that Brooks ought
to be thrown in jail for what he did to Conrad.

Here are two of the best bits about other people that Peter insisted
on cutting, over my objections--as well as I can remember them,
paraphrased (he also wouldn't permit Welles to use the word "Negro"
in 1969 or say anything critical about Israelis):

Close your eyes when you're watching any John Wayne film. What you
hear is a spoiled little boy who always knows that he'll get the
first take printed. That's what annoys me about him, not that he
fact that he's a fascist.

Josef von Sternberg was the king and queen of camp--painting on
velvet.
19921


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:51am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Zach,

I pasted something from your post just to put what I am going to
write in context, I am not arguing against it.

"I would say that I have neglected consideration of narrative as
form, and neglected the realm of acting as a form of expression."

I might have written about this in a_film_by before and some people
won't care about this personal story but here it goes...

I think I had the exact opposite of your experience about three years
ago. Until then, I used to appreciate films that work in abstract
terms and the films that worked as "representings". When I came to
Chicago four years ago, I started seeing more films from some
filmmakers I liked and also avant-garde filmmakers I didn't know much
about. It was a long process but to keep the long story short, my
life changed the day I saw Ford's The Searchers on 35mm.

It was a film I had watched on DVD and liked. When I saw it on the
big screen, in 35, it was an experience I had never had before with
film. I mean, I was used to listening to Bach as an abstract thing,
since we all listen to music that way, and had great experiences. But
The Searchers was my first similar experience with cinema. The
colors, the depth of field, the choreography, etc. were creating a
kind of "music" in front of me that I had never imagined it was
possible in cinema. I had no words to describe what I was feeling
since most of it was coming from its "abstractness" but Ford was
expressing something I felt very close to.

At the same time, I couldn't help notice the fact that the story was
about people searching for meaning, identity, etc. I realized how
amazing an idea it was to make a film about people actually searching
something for the whole running time, and the film was called "The
Searchers", nothing less, a great summary of the human condition.

Then I went back to the DVD, to see whether I was not mature enough
to grasp it the first time I saw it and also whether there was
anything wrong with the DVD. I was obviously enjoying it more than
the first time I watched it on DVD but there was something missing,
and for some reason the whole story and the characters and the whole
idea of people searching did not seem that poetic. It was a proof,
for me, that what affected me was not only what was "represented" but
also the "abstractness" of it that did not survive on DVD.
The next day, I went to see it on 35 again, and it was my greatest
movie experience until then.

Since that day, I separate my film viewing experience as BS and AS:
Before Searchers and After Searchers. Before Searchers, I used to
accept any pleasure that films gave me and was O.K. with it. After
Searchers, I realized the power of the experiences that combined
the "represented" with the "abstract" and thanks to that realization
I started having greater and greater pleasures from cinema.

You said:
"I don't know that it could work for me because, logically, it would
mean that I would have to cherish less those films that are, say,
narratively mediocre or inept and which provide amazing experiences
for whatever reasons."

The same here! If I accept that the films that work only
as "representings" are as good as the films that have abstract
dimensions, it would be against the experiences I had since The
Searchers. It is sad for me that all the critics and everybody else
talk about what is represented and not enough people talk about
anything abstract, even in a_film_by.

Yoel
19922


From: Adrian Martin
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:10am
Subject: re: Garrel
 
Kevin J - Did you see these Garrels on video or film? Some of the videos
that circulate (5th generation dupes, etc) are almost impossible to watch -
hence perhaps the extreme darkness in the scene you describe. INNER SCAR is
certainly not an unfinished film - David in his FILM FRONT LINE volume says
something to the effect that it is a veritable super-production for garrel,
in the headiest private-subsidy days of the 'Zanzibar' period!!

As David has confirmed, quite a few Garrels, all the way up the the mid 80s
in fact, frequently lack end titles and often also head titles too. L'ENFANT
SECRET (1982), his greatest film in my opinion, has neither.

The Garrel-and-DVD situation is a happy one, and getting happier by the
minute. CAHIERS have released two 'double sets' over the past year or so,
covering four of the films 1985-2001. They are terrific (and one of the sets
has English subtitles, which are pretty important in his narrative films
co-scripted by the novelist Marc Cholodenko - who had the pleasure of seeing
himself played by Jean-Pierre Léaud in BIRTH OF LOVE!).

Even better news is that, since the big retrospective at the Cinémathèque
française earlier this year, some of the far rarer films of the 60s and 70s
are reportedly (I have this on good authority) also going to be made
available on DVD soon. I think the only absolute rarities that are likely to
remain rare are the rock-clips and music docos he did in the 60s for French
TV - a Zouzou clip, for instance, is sensational in its image/music fusion.
Also an extremely funny 'portrait' of Marianne Faithful, who occasionally
lapses into a few words of French to drawl profondities like: "life is a ...
jeu, you know?"

Vive Garrel! Anyone know whether he has started shooting his May '68 memoir
- starring his son, poster-boy Louis G as himself?? Sounds like Philippe's
attempt to remake THE DREAMERS - and do it properly this time.

Adrian
19923


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:24am
Subject: Re: Garrel
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:

> Vive Garrel! Anyone know whether he has started shooting his May '68
memoir
> - starring his son, poster-boy Louis G as himself?? Sounds like
Philippe's
> attempt to remake THE DREAMERS - and do it properly this time.

*****
I don't know whether he's working on it currently, but if he is then
that's extremely good news for two, admittedly personal, reasons: I
despised "The Dreamers" and I haven't seen nearly enough Garrel (yes.
I will openly confess to this limitation).

Tom Sutpen
19924


From: Samuel Bréan
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:24am
Subject: RE: re: Garrel
 
>The Garrel-and-DVD situation is a happy one, and getting happier by the
>minute. CAHIERS have released two 'double sets' over the past year or so,
>covering four of the films 1985-2001.

I'm not a big Garrel fan myself, but the film I liked the most so far, LE
REVELATEUR, is now available in DVD (RE-VOIR editions first released it in
VHS): the disc comes with the book "Voyages du spectateur," published by Leo
Scheer. It collects the "Conférences du Collège d’Histoire de l’Art
Cinématographique 2003-2004," presented at the Cinémathèque Française. Noël
Simsolo screened Garrel's film after his intervention called "Images et
nerfs" (a pun on "imaginaire," the theme of these conferences).

http://www.leoscheer.com/livre.php3?id_article=234

Samuel.
19925


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:39am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Jonathan Rosenbaum"
wrote:

> If those comments en masse ever existed, I never saw them. I'm
> fairly sure that some passages of the book alluded to in this manner
> are mythical--though Peter did say that Welles, who was espescially
> riled about Richard Brooks getting to make LORD JIM (a favorite
> project), did say off-the-record (and not on tape) that Brooks ought
> to be thrown in jail for what he did to Conrad.

*****
That's nothing. Brooks should have been put to hard labor in Cinema
Jail long before that; for crimes committed against Dostoevsky,
Sinclair Lewis, Tennessee Williams and F. Scott Fitzwhatsisname. I'm
convinced Brooks was on a one-man crusade back in the fifties to
transform literary works into middlebrow pap (and usually with MGM
driving the getaway car).

> Here are two of the best bits about other people that Peter insisted
> on cutting, over my objections--as well as I can remember them,
> paraphrased (he also wouldn't permit Welles to use the word "Negro"
> in 1969 or say anything critical about Israelis):

*****
Meaning he wouldn't permit us, tender idealistic cinephiles that we
are, to read Welles using the word 'Negro' (which, last I checked, was
still in relatively common parlance then).

Something about these Keepers of the Flame always mystifies me.

Tom "Amberson" Sutpen
19926


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:01am
Subject: Re: re: Garrel
 
Adrian, I saw CICATRICE on film but it was a pretty beat-up print with many
jumps. And often, I couldn't tell if Garrel was overexposing some scenes or
not.

So then what the hell is in the water making those splashes?

And are there any plans to release L'ENFANT SECRET on DVD?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
19927


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:37am
Subject: Re: "Reading, culture, and auteurs"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Yoel Meranda" wrote:

> Following the link on Mizoguchi I found an article by Tag Gallagher
> titled "Reading, culture, and auteurs". It is one of the best things
> I have read about film. I love the mentality behind every single word.
>
> Did everybody else know about it?

*****
I didn't, but I do now.

> Any comments?

*****
As someone already possessing a trunkful of resentments toward
academic theories of cinema, I thought it articulated the case for an
auteurist paradigm as well as any I've read. My own problem with the
practice of auteurism over the years has been the tendency toward
systemization that often obtained; the impulse to make lists,
construct canons, compose books such as Sarris' "The American Cinema"
(in my opinion as profoundly dangerous a work as it is merely profound).

The human animal's instict toward tribalism is already bad enough;
using Cinema as a pretext for it is, to me, bordering on the obscene.
But that's precisely what ranking systems lead to. You can see it in
gory detail during the halcyon days of "Cahiers" and "Positif" where
two perfectly fine publications engaged in a long, somewhat muted, but
no less intense battle with one another over which directors were
auteurs and which weren't; and in the meantime leaving generations of
cinephiles with no particular dog in that fight utterly confused.

Tom Sutpen
19928


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:38am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Yoel Meranda"
wrote:
If I accept that the films that work only
> as "representings" are as good as the films that have abstract
> dimensions, it would be against the experiences I had since The
> Searchers. It is sad for me that all the critics and everybody else
> talk about what is represented and not enough people talk about
> anything abstract, even in a_film_by.
>
> Yoel

I have misplaced the URL Paul posted for "Praxis in the Films of
Robert Bresson" by Robert Skoller, in Cinema Journal 9:1 - if you can
locate it, you'll find it very rewarding on this topic.
19929


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:41am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:
>
> Meaning he wouldn't permit us, tender idealistic cinephiles that we
> are, to read Welles using the word 'Negro' (which, last I checked,
was
> still in relatively common parlance then).

What Peter does and doesn't conceal is whimsical. That goes double
for his own life and work.
19930


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:49am
Subject: Re: "Reading, culture, and auteurs" (An Apology)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:

> The human animal's instict toward tribalism is already bad enough;
> using Cinema as a pretext for it is, to me, bordering on the obscene.
> But that's precisely what ranking systems lead to. You can see it in
> gory detail during the halcyon days of "Cahiers" and "Positif" where
> two perfectly fine publications engaged in a long, somewhat muted, but
> no less intense battle with one another over which directors were
> auteurs and which weren't; and in the meantime leaving generations of
> cinephiles with no particular dog in that fight utterly confused.

*****
My apologies to one and all for seeming to have unearthed a *very* old
thread. I'm sometimes wont to read through the old stuff in the mist
of my insomnia and, when I came across this . . . well, put it this
way: I lost track of what I was doing somewhat.

Tom "Color Me Embarassed" Sutpen
19931


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:01am
Subject: Re: "Reading, culture, and auteurs"
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:
:
>
[an article by Tag Gallagher
> > titled "Reading, culture, and auteurs"]

I thought it articulated the case for an
> auteurist paradigm as well as any I've read. My own problem with the
> practice of auteurism over the years has been the tendency toward
> systemization that often obtained; the impulse to make lists,
> construct canons, compose books such as Sarris' "The American
Cinema"
> (in my opinion as profoundly dangerous a work as it is merely
profound).

Some people like theory. Some don't. De gustibus nil disputandum est.
I certainly don't blame anyone who has had the American university
version of French theory inflicted on him for not enjoying the
experience, or for not finding it inspiring. Tag Gallagher's article
is very much a response to the same milieu, which he was subjected to
for years before leaving. Happily, it is one I have never inhabited -
more by luck, and out of a strong aversion to cant, group-think,
mediocrity, hypocrisy and opportunism, than by conscious choice.

To avoid confusion, however, I should make it clear Tom's post is a
highly personal interpretation of Tag's excellent article, which
includes the following statement:

"If you can walk into a museum and recognize a Van Gogh before
reading the plaque, you are an auteurist. Yet auteurism embarrasses
academe, because it is a question of experience, not of theory, not
of anything that can be put into a textbook-except in its
manifestations. Auteurism is a formidable approach for comprehending
style, technique and expression."

Tag is very much an auteurist, and he is also a nominalist - a
position he likes to adopt in its extreme form for purposes of
discussion, although like all of us, he uses concepts to get through
the day. He also considers himself a disciple of Sarris, and has his
own canon of authors - he finds Lang, for example, a bore, which is
an interesting position.

To anyone who finds the Cahiers/Positif debates puzzling, I suggest
looking at ten best lists published in the Cahiers during the mid-
60s - Positif authors were well represented. Despite all that has
been said against lists, ten best lists can tell you a lot about a
critic or a magazine. Have a look.
19932


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:03am
Subject: Re: "Reading, culture, and auteurs" (An Apology)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:
>
> My apologies to one and all for seeming to have unearthed a *very*
old
> thread. I'm sometimes wont to read through the old stuff in the mist
> of my insomnia and, when I came across this . . . well, put it this
> way: I lost track of what I was doing somewhat.
>
> Tom "Color Me Embarassed" Sutpen

Hey, it's great that you read the old threads! Tell us if you find
anything else interesting.
19933


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:09am
Subject: Re: "Reading, culture, and auteurs" (An Apology)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:

> I'm sometimes wont to read through the old stuff in the mist
> > of my insomnia and, when I came across this . . . well, put it this
> > way: I lost track of what I was doing somewhat.
> >
> > Tom "Color Me Embarassed" Sutpen
>
> Hey, it's great that you read the old threads! Tell us if you find
> anything else interesting.

*****
Okay . . . rub it in.

You try readin', writin' and blasting Archie Shepp recordings through
a set of headphones on 30 hours without sleep and see where it gets ya.

Tom "Man of Many Talents" Sutpen
19934


From: Noel Vera
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:14am
Subject: Re: Les enfants du Paradis (was:Cinema, taste, merit )
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> Prevert also wrote "Le Crime de M. Lange," "Drole de
> Drame," "Quai des Brumes," "Le Jour se Leve,"
> "Remorques," "Les Visiteurs du Soir," "Les Amants de
> Verone" and (my favorite) "Lumiere d'ete"
>
> He was the Charlie Kaufman of his day.
>

Prevert also wrote the script for the animated feature "Le Roi et
L'Oiseau," which was meant to be finished in the 1950s but the
producers ran out of money; it was finally completed in 1979. It's
perhaps not one of Prevert's best scripts, but I'd consider Paul
Grimault a great animator--better than even Carne.
19935


From: Noel Vera
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:16am
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera"
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Kurosawa's had a suprising number of bad moments in his movies,
if
> > not actually bad movies, I think--Sanshiro Sugata 2, anyone?
Also
> > One Wonderful Sunday, wtih the Peter Pan climax, and the
bathetic
> > end to The Bad Sleep Well.
> >
> I walked out of the Scorese re-release of High and Low.

Oh? Why so?
19936


From: cairnsdavid1967
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:01pm
Subject: Brooks & McCarey (was: Re: acting '04)
 
> > I'm still not sure I'd allow him the profession "writer" until
he's
> > written a single film all by himself.
>
> WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR.

Writing credits:
Betzi Manoogian (additional dialogue)
Martin Scorsese

Come on - "additional dialogue" counts as help!

Betzi is presumably a relative of Scorsese's teacher, the redoubtable
Haig P.
19937


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:24am
Subject: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
Some brief thoughts on 2 different threads.
Canons are most useful to give beginners in a subject an orderly
introduction, and clues where to look. Andrew Sarris' "The American Cinema" gave tens of
thousands of cinephiles their first real roadmap for studying Hollywood cinema.
So do standard anthologies of poetry & theater help students, based on canons
in these fields. Probably knowledge of Hollywood film, poetry and theater
would be limited to a handful of specialists without canons in these areas.
Canons are most harmful if they discourage people from experiencing works of
art not included in them. The serious problems of traditional canons with few
women or minority artists in them are a glaring example. In my view, this
means that canons should be expanded to include women & minorities. Also, we
should encourage people to explore works not in canons.
Still, the educational benefits of canons are so vast, they outweigh the
problems, IMHO.
Similar ideas apply to making both the forms of plot, and visual style, more
explicit. I agree that works of art are to be experienced. And that they are
so complex that the full experience is not easily put into any sort of concrete
ideas.
But unless we try, how can we COMMUNICATE what we know about a work of art?
On my web site, I have been trying to discuss visual style explicitly, in
terms of some simple geometric concepts. There is a portal linking one to various
film essays on this subject:
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/zmath.htm

Also, my comic book web site is full of attempts to discuss plot patterns in
comics in formal terms. This includes the discovery that writer Gardner Fox
often built his stories out of "cycles", circular patterns of plot. This is set
forth in detail at the start of an article about spaceman Adam Strange, a
science fiction series Fox wrote (1958-1964):
http://members.aol.com/MG4273/strange.htm

Why do we want to discuss such things explicitly? For one thing, how can we
share our ideas, if we do not discuss them explicitly?
For another, there are today legions of skeptics who say: 1) There is no real
visual style in films, auteurists are imagining it, and the films they like
are junk; and 2) Comic books have no value, they are just empty, pointless
junk.
We can counteract these charges IF we can show in a concrete, easily
discussed way, that there is visual style in films, and there are complex, genuinely
imaginative plots in comics.

Mike Grost
19938


From: Saul Symonds
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:30pm
Subject: Syberberg and Langlois
 
Recent posts mentioning "The Dreamers" made me think of Langlois, and
that together with reading obituaries for Sontag, which got me
thinking about her piece on Syberberg's "Hitler", lead to a desire to
once more watch that greatest of all documentaries, "Hitler - A Film
From Germany", (together with "F for Fake" and "Titicut Follies" one
of the most creative and brilliant doco's ever made). The opening
credits had a card that read, "Dedicated to Henri Langlois and the
Cinémathèque Français for "Film – the Music of the Future", the
aesthetic of this film". Does anyone know what this is? I'm assuming a
piece Langlois wrote but I can't find anything about it anywhere. Does
anyone know where I might find a copy, or if anyone's read it can they
recount Langlois' main argument??

Sticking to the theme of mental associations set off by a_film_by
posts, a recent mention of insomnia reminded me that I wanted to
mention the online film journal I recently established, "Light
Sleeper: Late Night Writings on Cinema". Of course, the Schrader film
was in my mind, but more than that I was referring to my status as an
insomniac and the fact that so many of my film reviews/articles are
written in the wee hours of the morning after days without sleep. The
magazine has only been online for about a week and a half, so not all
links are active, but it's getting there. I wasn't sure how to let
people know about this magazine, and thought that telling the other
163 memebers of this group would be a good enough place to start. It
aims to covers recent cinema and dvd releases, but of greater interest
and importance to me is the section on past, classic, cult and obscure
films and directors which will hopefully fill up more over time. I
imagine everyone here has numerous publications in which to publish
their writings, but if anyone ever had a piece, any length or style,
on any past, classic, cult and obscure film, that they didn't have an
outlet for, I would be more than happy to publish it. Apart from other
things, I was hoping this journal would open a space where films that
wouldn't normally get coverage in a magazine that's updated weekly can
be written and read about. The URL is: http://www.lightsleepercinemag.com/

Anyway, enough rambling from me,
-- Saul.
19939


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:43am
Subject: Re: Night Writing (was: Syberberg and Langlois)
 
Nathaniel Hawthorne did much of his writing in the wee hours of the night.
His essay "Night Sketches" (1837) gives a vivid account of this.
I am not an imsomniac, but frequently wake up at night. Best thing then: to
write for an hour, then go back to sleep.

Mike Grost
19940


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:12pm
Subject: Re: re: Garrel
 
--- Adrian Martin wrote:


>
> The Garrel-and-DVD situation is a happy one, and
> getting happier by the
> minute. CAHIERS have released two 'double sets' over
> the past year or so,
> covering four of the films 1985-2001. They are
> terrific (and one of the sets
> has English subtitles, which are pretty important in
> his narrative films
> co-scripted by the novelist Marc Cholodenko - who
> had the pleasure of seeing
> himself played by Jean-Pierre Léaud in BIRTH OF
> LOVE!).
>
Wow that's great news! Are "La Cicatrice Interieure"
and "Le Lit de la Vierge" included? How about "Marie
Pour Memoire"? I have a dupe of a dupe of "Le Berceau
de Cristal" that I found at Amoeba. I also have a
poster for that film, which David Bombyck gave me
about a month before he died (one of those spontaneous
gestures people dying of AIDS are prone to)

What else is "Cahiers" putting out on DVD?



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19941


From: Zach Campbell
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:24pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Well, Yoel, I understand what you're saying, and have had experiences
similar to your SEARCHERS one (although the only film that hit me
*that* strongly might be A TALE OF THE WIND).

All I know is that form as you and Fred propose it will necessarily
leave out, or fail to recognize or account for much of the greatness
in films I love by Pialat, Rohmer, Techine, Cassavetes, Ferrara,
Eastwood, Burnett, Breillat, some Saura, Satyajit Ray, possibly (at
least partly) even Bunuel and Pasolini. It also can't account for
much of what is being done in the films of Mike Leigh or Gillian
Armstrong or Raul Ruiz or Shohei Imamura or Alan Rudolph. And this
is staying within the auteurist-sanctioned, director-privileging
realm that you and I and most of his here are comfortable with--not
even exploring what stars and actors and crew members and "generic
structures" bring to the films that could be worthwhile.

Glancing at Fred's list of favorite filmmakers for one reference, I
see that practically none of the filmmakers mentioned here make his
list. And for most instances I can't find a way to put their
greatness into terms that Fred might acknowledge; they might work
on "his" level to a certain extent, and I'm sure he admires at least
some films by some of the cited filmmakers, but they aren't
necessarily doing what THE SEARCHERS in 35mm will do. And yet the
masterpieces by the filmmakers above (some of which might work very
well on "Fred's" level) seem to me every bit as rigorous,
challenging, rich, textured, and illuminating as any of the
masterpieces by Fred-approved names like Tourneur, Sokurov,
Mizoguchi, or Boetticher. My experience and conceptualization of the
world is temporarily and, in a smaller way, permanently changed by
*all* of these filmmakers.

CHILDREN OF PARADISE was a film that helped prompt me to ask these
questions, of course, but I soon realized that much of what I
cherished was already ripe for "formal" reconsideration. What is
there left for me to do but expand my understanding of form, to
understand how it works on a broader spectrum? The other option is
to say "form" on your/Fred's level is too important, the most
important, and disregard CLAIRE'S KNEE, SHADOWS, and CRIA CUERVOS.
And I couldn't bear that ...

--Zach
19942


From: George Robinson
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:31pm
Subject: New Anthology Film Archives schedule
 
Several important items:

Seven films by Edward Yang
Eleven films by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Three features, three shorts by Thom Anderson
Ten by Ten -- Kiarostami
New film by Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi
Newly restored print of The Flower Thief
A big Kurt Kren program
and a whole bunch more, but those are the highlights I think.

g

--
The government of my country snubs honest simplicity,
but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might
have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had
remained in the public service a year or two.

- Mark Twain
Roughing It
19943


From: Zach Campbell
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:36pm
Subject: Re: New Anthology Film Archives schedule
 
George wrote:
> Several important items:

That sound you hear is me doing a Homer Simpson gurgling drool. I
knew about the Hou series from the poster on Anthology's wall, the
rest were all news to me. Thanks!

--Zach
19944


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:04pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> Some brief thoughts on 2 different threads.
> Canons are most useful to give beginners in a subject an orderly
> introduction, and clues where to look. Andrew Sarris' "The American
Cinema" gave tens of
> thousands of cinephiles their first real roadmap for studying
Hollywood cinema.

*****
"The American Cinema" is an undeniably seductive book, but it would
have served the cause that inspired it better had Sarris not broken
different groups of filmmakers into categories ("Pantheon Directors",
"Fringe Benefits", "Strained Seriousness", etc). It's the
categorization that's ultimately dangerous here (not to mention
distorting), because regardless of what Sarris' first intentions were,
it's all too tempting for the newly-minted cinephile to invest great
faith in its air of authority; to see it not as a roadmap, but as a
rule book, and follow it accordingly.

By its very structure "The American Cinema" implies a foundation of
objectivity, when 'objective' is the very last thing you could
describe it as. Sarris could easily have avoided setting that trap for
his readers, however unwittingly it was set, had he simply listed
every director under consideration by alphabetical order . . . not an
original or terribly inspired approach, admittedly, but a far less
thorny one.

> So do standard anthologies of poetry & theater help students, based
on canons
> in these fields. Probably knowledge of Hollywood film, poetry and
theater
> would be limited to a handful of specialists without canons in these
areas.

*****
I really disagree with that. You can achieve just as much
understanding of film (or any other form of expression) by studying
its history as you can by studying other people's canons; especially
when their construction is often informed by God-only-knows-what kind
of personal agenda. At the very least, people should approach them
with a large degree of skepticism (a pinch or two of outright cynicism
wouldn't hurt either). Whatever the case, I seriously disagree with
your contention that the status (there's that word again) of motion
pictures as a medium would be languishing in an unending darkness,
lonely and undiscovered, were it not for the efforts of critics and
schoolteachers to systematize its appreciation.

All you do is run a very high risk of insuring that non-canonical
works will indeed remain entombed in the Cinema boneyard.

Tom Sutpen
19945


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Syberberg and Langlois
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Saul Symonds" wrote:

> I
> imagine everyone here has numerous publications in which to publish
> their writings

*****
Oh, absolutely. I've got people practically breaking down my door to
publish my deathless prose.

Tom "Amateur Hour" Sutpen
19946


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:20am
Subject: Re: New Anthology Film Archives schedule
 
In a message dated 04-12-30 09:51:50 EST, George Robinson writes:

<< Newly restored print of The Flower Thief >>
Wow! I saw this Ron Rice film decades ago. It seems to have disappeared from
view, however. It is a film that everybody would love...

Mike Grost
19947


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:25pm
Subject: Re: Re: New Anthology Film Archives schedule
 
--- MG4273@a... wrote:

> In a message dated 04-12-30 09:51:50 EST, George
> Robinson writes:
>
> << Newly restored print of The Flower Thief >>
> Wow! I saw this Ron Rice film decades ago. It seems
> to have disappeared from
> view, however. It is a film that everybody would
> love...


Indeed. Sonice that it's back in light of "Star
Spangled to Death" -- whose shooting began in the same
period. Taylor Mead's appearance in "Coffee and
Cigarettes" (at the c;limax with the Mahler song) is
quite poignant for anyone who has known and loved his
work over the years. He's the closest thing America
has produced to Anna Magnani

__________________________________________________
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19948


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:33am
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
As a group, members of a_film_by are generally skeptical of ANY systematic or
theoretical approach to the arts.
Many do not like canons.
They do not want to think about general trends in cinema: "Realism",
"Minimalism", Genre, violence & non-violence, etc.
Attempts to introduce such concepts usually meet with huge resistance and
skepticism.
They like to describe art as "ineffable" (meaning it cannot be talked about
in words) or as a form of "pure experience".
My whole approach to film (and other art forms) is the complete opposite.
A goal: to get ideas about art expressed in forms that can be communicated to
other people. That can be taught to students and newcomers. That can be
explained to skeptics about auteurism (who are the majority of today's cinephiles,
by the way). So that the ideas can be critiqued and improved.

Mike Grost
19949


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:

> Attempts to introduce such concepts usually meet with huge
resistance and
> skepticism.
> They like to describe art as "ineffable" (meaning it cannot be
talked about
> in words) or as a form of "pure experience".

*****
Well, I can't speak for anyone else here, Mike. But the reason I look
at art that way is purely so I can avoid discussing or writing about
it as much as possible.

> My whole approach to film (and other art forms) is the complete
opposite.
> A goal: to get ideas about art expressed in forms that can be
communicated to
> other people. That can be taught to students and newcomers. That can be
> explained to skeptics about auteurism (who are the majority of
today's cinephiles,
> by the way). So that the ideas can be critiqued and improved.

*****
I don't have any quarrel with a desire to broaden the horizons of
fellow cinephiles. Quite the contrary. I think it's a noble
undertaking. Provided, of course, that this is the putative educator's
motivation; not some self-inflating quest to advance their (dare I
even say it?) status as an authority on the subject, which is one of
the main pifalls of cinephilia.

Tom "Vance Packard Wannabe" Sutpen
19950


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:00pm
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera"
wrote:
>

> > >
> > I walked out of the Scorese re-release of High and Low.
>
> Oh? Why so?

I found the cops' worshipful attitude toward the boss offensive.
19951


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:02pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> Some brief thoughts on 2 different threads.
> We can counteract these charges IF we can show in a concrete,
easily
> discussed way, that there is visual style in films, and there are
complex, genuinely
> imaginative plots in comics.
>
> Mike Grost

Plus, figuring stuff out is fun!
19952


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:45pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:

> *****
> "The American Cinema" is an undeniably seductive book, but it would
> have served the cause that inspired it better had Sarris not broken
> different groups of filmmakers into categories

cf. infra

I seriously disagree with
> your contention that the status (there's that word again) of motion
> pictures as a medium would be languishing in an unending darkness,
> lonely and undiscovered, were it not for the efforts of critics and
> schoolteachers to systematize its appreciation.

I know people who had been finding the good directors on their own
before 1968, but I would have been up a creek without the book,
because I got started in college, and having Sarris helped me go
fast. Ronnie Scheib and I would mark up TV Guide - a true
cinematheque in those days - every week using Sarris as our primary
guide, and what we had found out on our own or heard from other
sources. But he was the primary source.

> All you do is run a very high risk of insuring that non-canonical
> works will indeed remain entombed in the Cinema boneyard.

Did we miss things that weren't in there? Sure, and that's where
people like Greg Ford (Ronnie's SO for lo these many years) and (for
Dan) David Thomson came in. More canons, more lists, one of the best
being J-P Coursodon's American Directors.

Some of these were counter-canons: Greg, being a polemical guy, was
always opposing his discoveries to Sarris or the Cahiers. And being
very much a disciple of Farber, with whom he had studied, he was anti-
Ford, anti-Hitchcock, anti-McCarey (the dreaded "lock frame")...and
prone to promote really marginal auteurs, many of whom (Jack Arnold,
for example) have stayed with me, although I already knew Arnold and
Terence Fisher because I loved their genre, the fantastic. But my
admiration for Fisher had led me to discount Fredie Francis, and Greg
showed me how wrong I was about that one. A Greg fave that I still
need to catch up with, demoted by Sarris: William Wellman.

Please remember: Film school barely existed in those days, and
usually wasn't auteur-oriented, or was so only very narrowly: ie
based on older canons. The one film class offered at my university -
taught by Michael Roemer - was Kracauerian, and based on the premise
that my favorite film, Shoot the Piano Player, wasn't really a film.
This opinion was shared by the critic for the NY Times.

None of this means that people can't now - or couldn't then -
discover the good films on their own: That's how the Sarris canon and
the Cahiers canon, which were close but different in some ways, came
into being. That's what all those lists that people were keeping in
NY and Chicago and Los Angeles and Detroit and Paris and Berlin and
Rome and Hong Kong were for. That's what the early debates were
about. And that's what I did and continue to do to this day, although
I don't see that as my main function as a writer.

As for Sarris's categories, they have been criticized before. Peter
Wollen felt - and I agreed at the time - that the Expressive
Esoterica directors were as good and as important as the Pantheon.
But Expressive Esoterica is a real category, with its own
characteristics, and so is the Pantheon, and so is Far Side. I just
don't consider them rankings any more - more like historical
categories. Other categories - Less Than Meets the Eye or Strained
Seriousness - have very definite historical meanings, and often
served to distinguish Sarris's canon from others: Wyler, for example,
was a favorite of Bazin, and many of the others in those categories
were in the canon of the official culture, and in serious need of
debunking.

I still read Sarris. The individual articles sparkle all the more now
that I have seen so many of the films. As for the choices - who to
see, who not to see - I think the book has the quality of any good
canon: It has stood the test of time. As for canons in general,
wishing them away is like wishing theory away. People who decry both
inevitably turn out to have both (a theory and a canon), but haven't
articulated them.
19953


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:03pm
Subject: Prevert (was: Re: Les enfants du Paradis (was:Cinema, taste, merit )
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
> > Prevert also wrote "Le Crime de M. Lange," "Drole de
> > Drame," "Quai des Brumes," "Le Jour se Leve,"
> > "Remorques," "Les Visiteurs du Soir," "Les Amants de
> > Verone" and (my favorite) "Lumiere d'ete"
> >
> > He was the Charlie Kaufman of his day.
> >
>
> Prevert also wrote the script for the animated feature "Le Roi et
> L'Oiseau," which was meant to be finished in the 1950s but the
> producers ran out of money; it was finally completed in 1979. It's
> perhaps not one of Prevert's best scripts, but I'd consider Paul
> Grimault a great animator--better than even Carne.

The original release title of this wonderful film was "La Bergere
et le Ramoneur" (When the sheperdess and the chimneysweep elope, the
king has a loudspeaker blaring, ordering to catch "Une bergere, et
un petit ramoneur de rien du tout -- je repete, de rien du tout...")

Prevert also wrote three very unusual comedies directed by his
brother Pierre: "L'Affaire est dans le sac" (1932), "Adieu Leonard"
(1943) --a much maligned movie which starred the great songwriter-
singer Charles Trenet; and "Voyage surprise" (1947). Among his
screenplays for Carne which David didn't mention are "Jenny," "La
Marie du port" and another much maligned film, "Les Portes de la
nuit," actually one of the director's best. (the press criticized
Carne for building a costly studio set of Paris streets with the
elevated subway when he could -- they thought -- have just as well
shot in the street).

Prevert was one of the most prolific screenwriters in French
cinema (with Henri Jeanson), but he also had an enormous stage
activity with various leftist groups in the thirties, esp.
the "Groupe Octobre." Shows were written and rehearsed in a few
days, sometimes a few hours, performed for striking workers in
factories, at union meetings, and were invariably incendiary. ("To
die for your country is to die for Renault/ For Renault, for the
pope, for Chiappe/...The street belongs to the cops, the street
belongs to the priests.../ Look toward Russia, comrades...")
(Chiappe was the infamous Paris Prefect of Police, who banned "L'Age
d'or" after a few weeks's screening in December 1930).

JP also wrote an enormous amount of poetry but didn't publish any
of it in book form until around 1946 when "Paroles" became a best-
seller (unheard of for a book of poems since the XIXth century!).
Many of his poems became famous songs with music by Joseph Kosma and
some were written for films ("Les Visiteurs du soir," "Les Portes de
la nuit" -- which has their greatest hit, "Les Feuilles mortes" --
and "La Bergere" among others. ) As for JP's contribution as a
dialogue writer, some lines from his films became famous in France
and are still to this day part of the language, quoted by people who
don't necessarily know who wrote them.
JPC
19954


From: jess_l_amortell
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
> By its very structure "The American Cinema" implies a foundation of
> objectivity, when 'objective' is the very last thing you could
> describe it as. Sarris could easily have avoided setting that trap for
> his readers, however unwittingly it was set, had he simply listed
> every director under consideration by alphabetical order . . .

Later printing(s) of the Dutton paperback slightly modified the concept in that direction by introducing an "Alphabetical List of Directors" after the table of contents -- it's helpful if one hasn't memorized the categories but stands out like a sore thumb.
19955


From: samfilms2003
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:19pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
>
> Well, Yoel, I understand what you're saying, and have had experiences
> similar to your SEARCHERS one (although the only film that hit me
> *that* strongly might be A TALE OF THE WIND).
>

Nonetheless, I'm still not sure how the "transcendental O WOW'
this IS cinema" experience is neccesarily pegged to some specific
system of filmmaking viz THE SEARCHERS.....

I don't think I've had any similar epiphany on quite that level,
*and it's a good thing* as I'd be intimidated re my own filmmaking.

Better to suffer the anxieties of influence ? ;-)

...nonetheless, after seeing THE GOD OF DAY HAD GONE DOWN
UPON HIM @ Anthology last Aug, I did sort of say (and this is from
someone who'se seen - who knows - many many SB films)
"there is this film, and then there are all other films"

No dialog foregrounded narrative barely any figuration,
no mise-en-scene as it were... and yet....

And YET again, my experience with THE THIN RED LINE in the theater
was not *entirely* dissimilar - a film which I can't tell you why I
was so enamored of and affected by yet.

I mean I could begin to theorize if I had to. But, any such theorizing
could not possibly priviledge oner kind of cinema architecture over
another given the above....

(I MIGHT conceed there may be no THE THIN RED LINE possible in a
world where THE SEARCHERS or some evolutyionary equivalent didn't
proceed it................)

-Sam
19956


From: Craig Keller
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:22pm
Subject: Re: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
On Thursday, December 30, 2004, at 11:00 AM, hotlove666 wrote:
>
> I found the cops' worshipful attitude toward the boss offensive.

To each his own, I suppose; 'High and Low' is one of my favorite
Kurosawas. What do you make of 'Stray Dog'?

cmk.
19957


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:22pm
Subject: Re: Canons, Abstraction, Narration, Visuals
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
,> Did we miss things that weren't in there? Sure, and that's where
> people like Greg Ford (Ronnie's SO for lo these many years) and
(for
> Dan) David Thomson came in. More canons, more lists, one of the
best
> being J-P Coursodon's American Directors.
>

But there are no lists in "American Directors", and no Sarris-
like "categories." (of course you could argue that selecting the
names that were retained rather than others constitutes a "list").
And when we published our "Dictionary of Directors" with Boisset and
Tavernier in 1961 (!)we just listed them alphabetically. The same
rule applied to the 1970 "Trente ans de cinema americain" and to the
two editions of "Cinquante ans..." in the early 1990s. By the time
we started working on the 1970 edition (around 1967) we knew that we
definitely didn't want to do "categories."

Re: lists, though, i must say that I was somewhat disingenuous in
my diatribe against them, because afterward it occurred to me that
in our year-by-year chronology in the three French books (20 ans; 30
ans; 50 ans)we gave a list of films for each year with a brief
commentary for each -- the number varied and they were not in order
of preference but they are definitely lists (and the original idea
to do it was mine!) JPC
19958


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:44pm
Subject: Re: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- samfilms2003 wrote:


>
> Nonetheless, I'm still not sure how the
> "transcendental O WOW'
> this IS cinema" experience is neccesarily pegged to
> some specific
> system of filmmaking viz THE SEARCHERS.....
>

I've been thinking about my "O WOW!" moment and it
undoubtedly came with "Bande a Part" which I saw at
the New York Film Festival in 1964. The famous Madison
scene and the ending impressed upon me the notion that
film can do absolutely anything, in a way none
previous had done before. It's not my favorite Godard,
however. And while Godard was a figure of enormous
importance to me in the 1960's (a kind of
father/brother/mentor in some ways, particularly for
his acute sense of the zeitgeist in "Masculine
Feminine") he's begun to recede for me in recent
years, while Fellini (the filmmaker who made the
greatest impression on me prior to Godard) has grown
in stature quite considerably.

"The American Cinema" was a provocation. Sarris was
putting down a kind of "New Canon" not so much to
replace the old as to challenge its orthodoxies. That
it in turn has calcified into an orthodoxy of sorts
couldn't have been expected at the time. I trust
everyon on the list is well aware of Kael's attack on
Sarris -- which he withstood quite handily as it
brought what he actually wrote to the attention of
many who'd never read it.

As for "Positif" vs."Cahiers" I strongly reccomend
finding a copy of "The New Wave" by Peter Graham
(Doubleday, 1968) which contains "In Praise of Andre
Bazin" by Gerard Gozlan - an extended and very precise
attack on "Cahiers" esthetic and political practices.



__________________________________
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Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Get it on your mobile phone.
http://mobile.yahoo.com/maildemo
19959


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:24pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Zach,

"the only film that hit me *that* strongly might be A TALE OF THE
WIND"

In my case, I has similar experiences over and over again after "The
Searchers". I even saw films that had effects by far greater
than "The Searchers" such as Rosselini's "Voyage to Italy",
Bresson's "Au Hasard Balthazar", Breer's "Bang" and Brakhage's "The
Dead".

Cukor's "Holiday", Sirk's "Tarnished Angels" (which got me crying
after I left the theater), Hitchcock's "The Birds", Minelli's "Lust
for Life", Hawks "I Was a Male War Bride" (which I saw on TV),
Mann's "The Fall of the Roman Empire", Sternberg's "Blonde Venus" and
all the other films in my top list have hit me in ways very close
to "The Searchers". I believe things start to happen when you open
yourself up to "that" kind of experience.

What's even better, I realized that films did not have to be as great
as "The Searchers" to make it worth concentrating on the abstract
aspects. My example would be Gitai's "Kadosh" that I saw on DVD a few
weeks after "The Searchers". It was a film I had seen before and
liked but did not realize its full potential until that point. The
deep space that opens up in Jerusalem at the end would simply not
have the same effect if I had not been concentrating on (and feeling)
the lack of depth throughout the film. The ending of "Kadosh" was
about inner redemption and you'll know how good this fits to the
story if you've seen the film.

These are pleasures, fulfillments that "representings" never gave me
before or after "The Searchers".

Yoel
19960


From: Richard Modiano
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:36pm
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:


"I found the cops' worshipful attitude toward the boss offensive."

You should have stayed this one Bill, it's one of Kurosawa's best.
Mifune and the cops are undercut later and the kidnapper gets the
last word.

By the way, I don't understand why Mizo gets hammered and Kurosawa
gets a pass, talk about your oppetrunists.

Richard
19961


From: samfilms2003
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:36pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
> Imagine (to use an obvious test case of a great film in which image,
> sound, and word, not to mention Zach's concept of narrative drama are
> omnipresent) two hypothetical versions of CITIZEN KANE:
>
> 1. Exact sames images. Sound has been digitally modified so that the
> tones, cadence, volumes of voices, etc. is left completel unchanged,
> but the speech itself is somehow rendered unintelligible. Sound
> effects are unaltered. Is it still as great a film?

It's an interesting question maybe. I would be very tempted to say yes, probably, or
"almost"

A friend lent me "Suzhou River" on a Chinese DVD. At first, I could not navigate
the menus to get the English subtitles to work, so - I watched the very intriguing
opening scenes without, but when I saw it was getting "plotty" - I decided to try
again,
my friend swore it was possible - and I finally did it.

Well my reaction was, that I felt I was loosing something to the extent the film went
into
Vertigo-land. Yet, there were things there that were compelling in terms of some
*other-
than-Vertigo-homage" possibilities. So as I often do, I did a second viewing without
English
titles.

And I prefer without: it "de-Vertigoizes" it; along the same lines it is
actually a stronger & more personal work *to me* having - ironically -
the odd advantage of not knowing a word of the language.....



> 2. Same principle, yet instead of unintelligible utterances, all
> characters only say, "Fuck you, Kane!" again in the exact same tones,
> volume, etc. Same question.

I don't think I can take it as the same question, because I see no interesting answer
possible here !

-Sam Wells
19962


From: Gabe Klinger
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
> What else is "Cahiers" putting out on DVD?

Ken Loach (Poor Cow, Family Life), Xavier Beauvois (Nord,
N'oublie pas que to vas mourir), Arnaud Desplechin (La vie des
morts, La Sentinelle), Claude Lanzmann (Sobibor, Une vivant
que passe), Jafar Panahi (Crimson Gold, The White Ballon), and
four Garrels: La naissance de l'amour, Savage Innocence, Le
vent de la nuit, and Elle a passe tant d'heures sous les sunights.
I think that covers it.

Gabe
19963


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:56pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Patrick,

You said: "I have a couple thought experiments."

I don't think I need the thought experiments since, as I tried to
make clear in my posts, I never claimed that the films only work
abstractly. I am only saying that people don't pay enough attention
to the abstract aspects. I totally agree with you that it would
change the film drastically.

However, I should also add that the simple fact that your thought
experiment is not possible, that you cannot separate the "music" of
the words from their meanings, proves a lot about cinema and poetry.

I have seen foreign films without subtitles (I hate subtitles!)
though, and had amazing experiences. Gitai's Berlin-Jerusalem is just
one example.

Yoel
19964


From: Michael E. Kerpan, Jr.
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:00pm
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano"

> By the way, I don't understand why Mizo gets hammered and Kurosawa
> gets a pass, talk about your oppetrunists.


At least in my mind, "opportunistic" is primarily descriptive, it is
not necessarily good or bad (though it might be somewhat more likely
to lead to bad results than not).

I see Kurosawa and Mizoguchi as roughly equivalent on this particular
measurement, with Tadashi Imai probably a bit more so than either.

In a (generally) good sense, Kurosawa and Mizoguchi were far more
aware of the potential benefits of tailoring their work to appeal to
both domestic and foreign audiences than were most of their
colleagues. In a less good sense, they were also more willing to make
propagandistic films for whoever was calling the shots than some of
their colleagues.

MEK
19965


From: Patrick Ciccone
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
I've seen a borrowed copy of Garrel NAISSANCE DE L'AMOUR/SAUVAGE
INNOCENCE discs, which are very well put together. Does one have to
order the Cahiers discs direct from France (e.g. amazon.fr)? Are there
domestic (U.S., sorry) multi-region disc retailers.

Sorry for DVD novice questions here--I am never clear on where to
obtain such discs, even here in New York, despite my possession of
region-free player.

--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Gabe Klinger" wrote:
>
> > What else is "Cahiers" putting out on DVD?
19966


From: Zach Campbell
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:05pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Yoel wrote:
> In my case, I has similar experiences over and over again
after "The
> Searchers".

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I haven't had amazing experiences.
I just can't think of a film which divides my viewing into Before X
and After X, except for possibly A TALE OF THE WIND. What you
detail in your experiences of HOLIDAY, TARNISHED ANGELS, etc. is
something else, and not what I was responding to when I mentioned
the Ivens film. And I know precisely what kinds of reactions you're
talking about; I've had *those* many times.

> These are pleasures, fulfillments that "representings" never gave
> me before or after "The Searchers".

Sure. I've never disagreed on this point and have explicit that I'm
all for this level of appreciation in cinema, a way of looking at
films that is in the larger analysis quite unjustly marginalized.
I'm only suggesting that "representings" (if you want to call them
that) have pleasures and fulfillments that "abstractions" can't
produce, either. And to me it is vital to understand form as
something that encompasses all of these things as they might appear
in a given work. And this approach (doing intelligently for film
narrative and acting what Fred does for "abstractions") is, I think,
even *more* marginalized than the formalism you and Fred are
advocating, and which I'm not necessarily opposing.

Take a look at my list of filmmakers, Yoel, that I mentioned
previously. Would you say that any of them are great? And if so,
would you insist that their greatness is contingent
upon "abstractions"?

--Zach
19967


From: Patrick Ciccone
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:16pm
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:

> But I do want to argue that Patrick Ciccone's thought experiments are
> not real tests of what he apparently thinks they prove

Yoel:
> I don't think I need the thought experiments since, as I tried to
> make clear in my posts, I never claimed that the films only work
> abstractly.

My experiments were not offered as proof, but only as a riposte to the
consideration of a narrative film a particular kind of abstraction,
divorced from what it is represents, either in word or image. The
other thought experiment that is perhaps more relevant is constructing
a movie out of essentially identical takes of every scene, with
identical blocking, motion, even sound expression, yet just different
tics and expressions by the actor. This thought experiment is
certainly possible with films whose outtakes exists.

> I am only saying that people don't pay enough attention
to the abstract aspects.

I agree completely--this I why I find it impossible to explain what I
see in cinema to friends. Yet I think these particular "abstract"
aspects do not a priori hold the key to greatness in cinema. For some
films, yes, but not all great ones, and the "abstract" aspects do not
fully or in some cases even begin to explain the greatness of some
films, a different type of form, a different type of abstraction. This
is the kernel of Zach's query, and I don't think it's been addressed yet.

The larger schism I was trying to point out with the thought
experiments is between two approaches: I think Fred and Yoel are
offering subtractive definitions of cinema, as Yoel outlined in his
account of his viewing experiences with THE SEARCHERS, while Zach's
and probably mine are additive. I think Fred and Yoel's definition of
film form and abstractness is based on this subtractive theory: that
greatness depends on what you can remove from cinema for it still to
remain formally great. For them it is the formal-abstract-visual-style
above all that defines greatness, and though all other elements are
part and parcel of it, this kind of form is the determinant of
greatness. While I cherish these formal-abstract values deeply, and
certainly consider them prime among the determinant of a film's
greatness (whether narrative or avant-garde or other), I think at
least for narrative cinema the subtractive tack might be the
incorrect, or rather, incomplete. In other words, for narrative films
(I am excluding non-narrative, or avant-garde films, for reasons that
will be obvious below), and especially for the works by the list of
directors that Zach lists, or others of this type, this subtractive
definition of cinema simply does not work.

I want to say that Fred and Yoel's definitions of greatness and
abstractness for narrative films are too reliant on comparisons to
poetry, while perhaps narrative cinema is more novel, though somewhere
in between But I think neither of these are good comparisons for
narrative cinema.

Earlier, Maxime brought up the idea of narrative cinema as an aquarium
of human bodies (in reference to Jean-Claude Brisseau), an idea I
rather liked, if slightly unpalatable. But this metaphor is obviously
inadequate to explain narrative cinema, but hints at something at work
in the form: its strange reliance on bodies and parts of bodies
trapped in boxes and frames. For awhile I thought that the diorama was
a metaphor, attracted as I was by the discovery that Daguerre had
built The Diorama in Paris, which later burned to the ground, and was
also a painter of ruins, sort of a perfect description for the role of
photography next to the ruins of time. Nevertheless, the diorama is an
inaccurate metaphor for most post-Griffith narrative cinema, implying
as it does a proscenium view on events, the whole view of
bodies-actors-models in motion, rather than isolated bits, a face, a
hand, perhaps a foot, with a very stagy world behind. (The great
recent cinema-as-diorama film, however, is Wong Kar-Wai's DAYS OF
BEING WILD, though it's a different kind of diorama.)

Thinking about this is past few days, however, I have decided on
another metaphor, one which resolves the issue more fully: narrative
cinema is a series of magician's boxes, the kinds in which the subject
(or victims) are placed in, only to be sawed apart, if only in
illusion. (If these boxes have a technical name, please alert me.) Let
us imagine that such boxes contain both parts of bodies and the world,
whether recreated in studio or chunks of reality from elsewhere, and
are enclosed on all sides except one, being fronted by glass, so we
have something of the two-dimensional nature of the film image.

Narrative cinema, an ordering of these magician's boxes, most often
composed of people, and people often framed from knees or waist up, or
close-ups, is thus not merely abstract in the sense that Yoel has
described (visual-aural) but abstract in a particular morseling out of
bodies, landscape, events, etc. This is an abstraction tied in to
Yoel's definition of abstraction, but not the same abstraction.

I don't hold that one need mistake the people trapped in these boxes
(actors or not) for real people with real psychologies, but certainly
the great formal possibilities of cinema as a formal means of
accounting for time and human events must address characters and what
they do, how they behave, and we the events they participate in. That
in cinema, unlike stage drama or the novel, we receive these
approximations of people in strange, discrete units across time, and
this dramatic-acting-narrative aspect must be addressed to fully
describe the greatness of narrative films. If we returned to the glass
on this magician's box, to address the full power of a narrative film,
we must not only address the qualities and sound (musical-abstract) of
the view through the box's glass, but what occurs within it, at the
story-gesture-psychological-narrative level. Only then can we fully
appreciate cinema's strange power to control time and shadows of
peole, in the series of boxes. (The film strip.)

Maybe this mise en boîte concept makes some sense, as I hold that is
part of the greatness of narrative films, which would include both
films by directors such as the ones in Fred's list and the other list
by Zach, regardless (but most of the times in conjunction with) their
greatness on the formal-abstract level described by Yoel.

Patrick
19968


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:27pm
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Craig Keller
wrote:
What do you make of 'Stray Dog'?
>
> cmk.

Haven't seen it, but plan to soon. Biette wrote an interesting entry
on it in his Cinemauel when he finally saw it on tv, having been a
Mizo-Ozu-Naru snob before.
19969


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:31pm
Subject: Re: Chimes, Zhang, Kurosawa, and lists
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Modiano"
wrote:

> By the way, I don't understand why Mizo gets hammered and Kurosawa
> gets a pass, talk about your oppetrunists.
>
> Richard

It's a mystry to me too.

I'll resee High and Low all the way some time. I had seen it before,
of course. Maybe the class-ism just hit me wrong that day. I rarely
walk out of films.
19970


From: thebradstevens
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:38pm
Subject: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
Le
> vent de la nuit, and Elle a passe tant d'heures sous les sunlights.


Will these two have English subtitles?
19971


From: Craig Keller
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:10pm
Subject: Re: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
>
>
> Le
>> vent de la nuit, and Elle a passe tant d'heures sous les sunlights.
>
>
> Will these two have English subtitles?

Those are the two (the most recent release) that do not, unfortunately.
I hope this doesn't portend a new habit of releasing without the
subtitles; although when I spoke to Jean-Michel Frodon a few months ago
he asserted that including English subs on all the Cahiers releases was
a priority... as long as there's enough money.

craig.
19972


From: Craig Keller
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:20pm
Subject: Re: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
On Thursday, December 30, 2004, at 02:03 PM, Patrick Ciccone wrote:
>
> I've seen a borrowed copy of Garrel NAISSANCE DE L'AMOUR/SAUVAGE
> INNOCENCE discs, which are very well put together. Does one have to
> order the Cahiers discs direct from France (e.g. amazon.fr)? Are there
> domestic (U.S., sorry) multi-region disc retailers.
>
> Sorry for DVD novice questions here--I am never clear on where to
> obtain such discs, even here in New York, despite my possession of
> region-free player.

You could put a special-order in at Kim's St. Mark's for any foreign
disc that's normally available through Amazon.fr or FNAC -- I think
they just order it in turn directly from those websites! The reason
this might be to your advantage is because I've noticed that Kim's's
foreign discs are never really priced at the amount you'd be paying if
you ordered directly; I recently picked up at Kim's the UK Warner
Bros./Studio Canal release of 'Ran' (infinitely superior to the
Wellspring, and which includes Chris Marker's 'AK' -- worth the price
of admission alone) for $29.99, along with Chris Morris's/Armando
Iannucci's 'The Day Today' for a similar price. So although the clerk
said they'd just charge whatever it cost them to order it... maybe
they'll just slap a $29 or $35 tag on it and call it a deal?

It's never a bad idea to do most of your DVD shopping in New York at
Kim's; their prices are usually the same as Amazon's (and no shipping).

I've yet to see any of the Cahiers releases at Kim's, but that doesn't
mean they won't pop up at some point.

If the meantime, I'm waiting for the dollar to rally.

craig.
19973


From: Patrick Ciccone
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:50pm
Subject: Re: Cinema, taste, merit
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick Ciccone"
I apologize for the numerous grammatical and spelling errors in my
long post; the mea culpa (in fact true) is that I was writing
simultaneously about Guantanamo prison abuses here at work, thus
pummelling my brain through "enhanced" tactics.
19974


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:59pm
Subject: Re: Cinema, taste, merit
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick Ciccone" wrote:

I was writing
> simultaneously about Guantanamo prison abuses here at work, thus
> pummelling my brain through "enhanced" tactics.

"Enhanced tactics" - is that something they're doing to the prisoners
at Guantanamo?
19975


From: hotlove666
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:00pm
Subject: OT: Artie Shaw
 
Artie Shaw hopefully completes this week's Dead Pool: Susan Sontag,
Jerry Auerbach and Shaw, who passed away at 94.
19976


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 0:04am
Subject: Re: OT: Artie Shaw
 
http://ehrensteinland.com/htmls/bride/g001/b_evelynkeyes.shtml

--- hotlove666 wrote:

>
> Artie Shaw hopefully completes this week's Dead
> Pool: Susan Sontag,
> Jerry Auerbach and Shaw, who passed away at 94.
>
>
>
>


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19977


From: peckinpah20012000
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 0:34am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
>
Back to Tarkington's AMBERSONS, seriously it is well worth reading
and a revelation in terms of its use as a source for the film as
well as a text needing better attention.

I read it after retrieving it from the university library's storage
system where it was falling apart. Pardoxically, we have the rest of
Tarkington on the shelves, or at least, until the Dean of Library
Affairs institutes his brave new world of internet reading only!

Tony Williams
19978


From: Saul Symonds
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 0:34am
Subject: Re: Night Writing (was: Syberberg and Langlois)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> Nathaniel Hawthorne did much of his writing in the wee hours of the
night.
> His essay "Night Sketches" (1837) gives a vivid account of this.
> I am not an imsomniac, but frequently wake up at night. Best thing
then: to
> write for an hour, then go back to sleep.
>
> Mike Grost


Mike,

Thanks for the Hawthorne suggestion - I downloaded this off the net
and read it last night. I particularly liked a line in the closing
paragraph, "And thus we, night-wanderers through a stormy and dismal
world, if we bear the lamp of Faith, enkindled at a celestial fire, it
will surely lead us home to that Heaven whence its radiance was
borrowed." It seemed an apt, or perhaps evocative is a more accurate
word, metaphor for the job of a film critic. A night-wanderer who
passes through a world of eternal darkness - entering the cinema in
the morning for a day of press screenings or at a festival, and
emerging at the end of the day as gloam takes grip - and then, passing
on to others through our writings that flame which the films have
kindled within us.

- Saul.
19979


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:08am
Subject: Re: Night Writing (was: Syberberg and Langlois)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Saul Symonds" wrote:

It seemed an apt, or perhaps evocative is a more accurate
> word, metaphor for the job of a film critic. A night-wanderer who
> passes through a world of eternal darkness - entering the cinema in
> the morning for a day of press screenings or at a festival, and
> emerging at the end of the day as gloam takes grip - and then,
passing
> on to others through our writings that flame which the films have
> kindled within us.
>
> - Saul.

Sometimes we're more like the guy in "The Bosom Serpent."
19980


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
The only Booth Tarkington read here is his one act play "The Trysting Place"
(1921). This is a gentle farce of romantic misunderstandings. The notes say
that Tarkington's play "Clarence" gave Alfred Lunt his first starring role. Will
definitely try to read more!
Have always found the characters in the film "The Magnificent Ambersons" hard
to understand. Fanny is a complete mystery. This is not a bad thing - but
they seem to have dimensions and hidden depths not at all revealed to us. Maybe a
reading of the novel will add new light.

Mike Grost
19981


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:14am
Subject: Two Requests
 
Please post bios. I haven't checked lately, but very few contributors
have done that. I am eager to know more about the people I'm chatting
with here, and that feature has been drastically under-used so far.

I already asked Peter T. if we can do another online chat this New
Year. Last year's was fast, furious and fun, time-outs and all.
Anyone interested should let Peter know.
19982


From: hotlove666
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:15am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:
> The only Booth Tarkington read here is his one act play "The
Trysting Place"
> (1921).

As a boy, I loved the Penrod books. I'm sure they hold up.
19983


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:19pm
Subject: Re: Night Writing (was: Syberberg and Langlois)
 
It seemed an apt, or perhaps evocative is a more accurate
> word, metaphor for the job of a film critic. A night-wanderer who
> passes through a world of eternal darkness - entering the cinema in
> the morning for a day of press screenings or at a festival, and
> emerging at the end of the day as gloam takes grip - and then,
passing
> on to others through our writings that flame which the films have
> kindled within us.
>
> - Saul.

This is a beautiful metaphor!
My all-time favorite Hawthorne story: "The Artist of the Beautiful". This
tale still has much relevance, in this age of high technology and media
inventions.

Mike Grost
19984


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:43am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Zach,

I have to admit I haven't seen the films of many filmmakers you cited
in the list. I have seen some Bunuels, some Rohmers and some
Eastwoods though and don't like them as much as other filmmakers I
cited in my posts.

I think Rohmer is a good case in point. I went to see three of his
films when there was a retrospective at the Film Center in Chicago.
The first one was "Ma Nuit Chez Maud", a film I enjoyed a lot in many
ways. The dialogue was intriguing, I identified with the characters
and the camera was doing than an average film. I knew then that it
wasn't doing it abstractly for me but I was enjoying the films so
much that I thought I was going to see all the films they were
showing. However, after the third film, it all started to seem
shallow and, honestly, a bit boring.
I am sure there are other Rohmer films that I would enjoy but I
wasn't getting enough fulfillment from them to feel need to "expand"
my views on aesthetics and cinema, actually the exact opposite is
true, they proved that not every kind of pleasure is the same as
aesthetic pleasures and almost none of them is as valuable.

Obviously, what you call as having a more expanded view of cinema, I
have to define it as "missing the point". I hope I am not offending
anyone here, I am just being honest.

I would be happy to hear what you favorite films from the filmmakers
you cited are so that I can check them out when I get a chance. You
can email me off the list if you want to.

As to the difference between poetry and novels and how that relates
to narrative cinema (that both you and Patrick mentioned), I do NOT
think there is any difference between novels and poetry.
I have read many poems that used narrative elements
(Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came") and novels that
have effects exactly like poetry (Joyce's "Ulysses"). "Ulysses" might
be my favorite novel and it is hundred percent poetry in the way it
keeps deconstructing the language and constatly uses the relationship
between the music of the words and their meanings. For me, literature
is literature.
If you've ever tried to write anything to express yourself, I think
you'll know that both poetic stuff and novelistic stuff come from the
exact same source of the human psyche. What's more, what you start to
write as a short story might become poetry, and vice versa. I think
it is exactly the same when you are experiencing other people's works.

Yoel
19985


From:
Date: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:49pm
Subject: Re: Téchiné (was: Cinema, taste, merit)
 
A film like Les Voleurs / Thieves (André Téchiné, 1996) is a good example of
what Zach is talking about.
The characters in this film are VERY complicated. They have all sorts of
personality traits, long family histories, different life styles, an enormous
variety of sexual attitudes & orientations, professions and are in general as
multi-dimensional as possible.
Somehow, the characters, their personality traits, their histories and
interactions always seem to suggest a large geometric diagram. One showing all their
different facets, and how all these things interconnect. It is FORM at the
level of plot and character. And quite interesting formal patterns, too. I have
never tried to make such a diagram - but it might be good to try.
These characters are certainly somertimes expressed visually - the acting is
good throughout. But this is a kind of genuine artistic accomplishment, that
does not seem to be primarily visual, or expressed through what we usually call
mise-en-scene.
Am less sure that Satyajit Ray is a pure example of this. He has both complex
characters and plot, AND elaborate visual mise-en-scene: see "Jalsaghar", for
example.

Mike Grost
19986


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:52am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "peckinpah20012000"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
> wrote:
> >
> Back to Tarkington's AMBERSONS, seriously it is well worth reading
> and a revelation in terms of its use as a source for the film as
> well as a text needing better attention.

*****
Which is a strange status for that novel, since it received a Pulitzer
in 1924.

I'll confess to having read it. As a novel it belongs firmly in the
realist tradition of Dreiser, Norris, et al.; a strain of literature
consumed by social and behavioral currents in American life. More than
Tarkington's other work (with the possible exception of "Alice Adams")
it is extremely class-conscious, without the ideological baggage such
a phrase implies.

Orson Welles' film . . . what remains of it . . . is a very close
adaptation. I daresay it's the closest adaptation of any literary work
he ever executed. The chief difference in the two works is that the
sense of nostalgia and yearning for a vanished time in America is much
more keenly felt in Welles film; so much so that I would conjecture
that this is what drew him to the work in the first place; first on
radio, then in cinema. It's a far more emotional work than the novel;
which at times borders on the clinical in its detail.

Tom Sutpen
19987


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:10am
Subject: Re: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- Tom Sutpen wrote:


>
> Orson Welles' film . . . what remains of it . . . is
> a very close
> adaptation. I daresay it's the closest adaptation of
> any literary work
> he ever executed. The chief difference in the two
> works is that the
> sense of nostalgia and yearning for a vanished time
> in America is much
> more keenly felt in Welles film; so much so that I
> would conjecture
> that this is what drew him to the work in the first
> place; first on
> radio, then in cinema. It's a far more emotional
> work than the novel;
> which at times borders on the clinical in its
> detail.
>
You put your finger right on it! Welles supplies a
sense of romantic longing to a very dry-eyed piece.



__________________________________
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19988


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:15am
Subject: Re: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- Yoel Meranda wrote:


>
> I think Rohmer is a good case in point. I went to
> see three of his
> films when there was a retrospective at the Film
> Center in Chicago.
> The first one was "Ma Nuit Chez Maud", a film I
> enjoyed a lot in many
> ways. The dialogue was intriguing, I identified with
> the characters
> and the camera was doing than an average film. I
> knew then that it
> wasn't doing it abstractly for me but I was enjoying
> the films so
> much that I thought I was going to see all the films
> they were
> showing. However, after the third film, it all
> started to seem
> shallow and, honestly, a bit boring.
> I am sure there are other Rohmer films that I would
> enjoy but I
> wasn't getting enough fulfillment from them to feel
> need to "expand"
> my views on aesthetics and cinema, actually the
> exact opposite is
> true, they proved that not every kind of pleasure is
> the same as
> aesthetic pleasures and almost none of them is as
> valuable.
>

What were the other Rohmers shown? He's a very great
filmmaker, I feel. In "Maud" he does variations on the
kind of cross-cutting between characters that
Hitchcock refined in the motel room office scene in
"Psycho."

Other Rohermrs I love include "Claire's Knee," "Le
Rayon Vert," "Four Adventures of reinette and
Mirabelle" "FullMoon in Paris," and "The Lady and the
Duke."

Michel Mourlet (of all people) has some very
interesting things to say about him in "La mise en
scene comme langage"

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19989


From: Damien Bona
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:20am
Subject: Re: Greed
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Kehr" wrote:
>
> When I talked to King Vidor many years ago, he told me that he was
> one of the half dozen people invited by Thalberg and Stroheim to
the
> marathon screening of Stroheim's first cut. He said that most of
> the running time was devoted to Stroheim's insistence on spelling
> out every single action of the characters, such as leaving one
> apartment, going down the stairs, walking down the street, entering
> another building, climbing the stairs, knocking on the door, going
> in, etc.

It sounds a lot like Benoit Jacquot's La Fille seule.
19990


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:22am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
David,

Unfortunately, they do not have an archive on their website so I
can't find out what was shown but there were lots and lots of them,
at least about twelve I think. The last film I saw was Claire's Knee
and I don't remember the second one.

Yoel
19991


From: Damien Bona
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:27am
Subject: Penrod (was Ambersons)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:

>
> I'm a Penrod man, myself.

Bill have you seen any of the Penrod pictures. When I was a kid I
loved William McGann's Penrod and Sam and Penrod's Twin Brother, and
Lewis Seiler's Penrod's Double Trouble, although I suspect they had
very little to do with Tarkington (which I haven't read). Gaven't
seen William Beudine's earlier (1931) version of Penrod and Sam.
19992


From:
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:36am
Subject: Re: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
>
> Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 16:20:01 -0500
> From: Craig Keller
>Subject: Re: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
>
>You could put a special-order in at Kim's St. Mark's for any foreign
>disc that's normally available through Amazon.fr or FNAC -- I think
>they just order it in turn directly from those websites! The reason
>this might be to your advantage is because I've noticed that Kim's's
>foreign discs are never really priced at the amount you'd be paying if
>you ordered directly; I recently picked up at Kim's the UK Warner
>Bros./Studio Canal release of 'Ran' (infinitely superior to the
>Wellspring, and which includes Chris Marker's 'AK' -- worth the price
>of admission alone) for $29.99, along with Chris Morris's/Armando
>Iannucci's 'The Day Today' for a similar price. So although the clerk
>said they'd just charge whatever it cost them to order it... maybe
>they'll just slap a $29 or $35 tag on it and call it a deal?
>
>craig.
>

Is DAY TODAY any good? I watched the Alan Partridge clips online and
was well impressed, but not sure if I should shell out for the rest.

Sam
19993


From: Craig Keller
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:47am
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Garrel / Cahiers DVDs
 
On Thursday, December 30, 2004, at 09:36 PM, samadams@e...
wrote:
> Is DAY TODAY any good? I watched the Alan Partridge clips online and
> was well impressed, but not sure if I should shell out for the rest.

'The Day Today' is comedy -power-.

If you don't mind a DVD9>5 compressed version, email me offlist.

Ditto for 'Brass Eye.' I don't have 'jam' yet unfortunately. (Or the
'jam' "remix". Or 'My Wrongs..')

craig.
19994


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:45am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Yoel Meranda"
wrote:

> I have seen foreign films without subtitles (I hate subtitles!)
> though, and had amazing experiences. Gitai's Berlin-Jerusalem is just
> one example.

*****
I've been reading through this debate since it started and I hope you
don't mind my offering a word. Actually, Yoel, I don't know if what
you and Zach are engaging in here could be called a debate or even a
discussion, rather than dual statements of separate principles that do
not necessarily conflict, distinct though they are. One of the
beauties of Cinema for me has always been that it embodies so many
different forms of expression that championing the value of one over
that of another; apposing abstract, experiential works against works
which possess more formalized qualities, as in this case, can tend to
limit one's appreciation for both equally. I mean, in a cinephile's
perfect world everyone would approach any film they see in any format
or venue with a mind wide open to its expressive potential.

I'm not trying to downplay the epiphany you had seeing "The Searchers"
in 35mm. Not by any measure. I don't think there's anyone here whose
filmgoing life hasn't yielded at least one similar, just as
overwheming, experience. Such revelations, after all, are what keeps
Cinema alive even . . . one might say especially . . . when it appears
that all hope for the art might well be lost.

I apologize for butting in like that, but I thought it was something
that needed to be said.

Tom Sutpen
19995


From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:49am
Subject: Re: Re: Greed
 
It also sounds like Chantal Ackerman's "Jeanne
Dielmann" and "Les rendez-vous d'Anna."

--- Damien Bona wrote:

>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Kehr"
> wrote:
> >
> > When I talked to King Vidor many years ago, he
> told me that he was
> > one of the half dozen people invited by Thalberg
> and Stroheim to
> the
> > marathon screening of Stroheim's first cut. He
> said that most of
> > the running time was devoted to Stroheim's
> insistence on spelling
> > out every single action of the characters, such as
> leaving one
> > apartment, going down the stairs, walking down the
> street, entering
> > another building, climbing the stairs, knocking on
> the door, going
> > in, etc.
>
> It sounds a lot like Benoit Jacquot's La Fille
> seule.
>
>
>
>


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19996


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:51am
Subject: Ambersons (was Re: Welles and the Canon)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Sutpen" wrote:
>
.
>
> Orson Welles' film . . . what remains of it . . . is a very close
> adaptation. I daresay it's the closest adaptation of any literary
work
> he ever executed. The chief difference in the two works is that the
> sense of nostalgia and yearning for a vanished time in America is
much
> more keenly felt in Welles film; so much so that I would conjecture
> that this is what drew him to the work in the first place; first on
> radio, then in cinema. It's a far more emotional work than the
novel;
> which at times borders on the clinical in its detail.
>
> Tom Sutpen

The twenties were not a nostagia-prone decade, and it is not
surprising that a novel written in the early twenties didn't wax
nostalgic about the by then "historic" period it dealt with
(interestingly this very successful and Nobel Prize winning novel
was not adapted to the screen in the '20s or '30s). Twenty years
later Welles saw the nostalgia potential and exploited it
wonderfully -- but at the wrong time, as apparently no one at the
time wanted to feel nostalgic about turn-of-the-century families
and the advent of the automobile. To us of course the sense of the
past and sorrow and longing about it is what makes Welles' film most
precious. JPC
19997


From: jpcoursodon
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:54am
Subject: Re: Greed
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> It also sounds like Chantal Ackerman's "Jeanne
> Dielmann" and "Les rendez-vous d'Anna."
>
> Yes but neither run for nine hours.
19998


From:   Tom Sutpen
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 2:59am
Subject: Re: Penrod (was Ambersons)
 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Damien Bona" wrote:

> > I'm a Penrod man, myself.
>
> Bill have you seen any of the Penrod pictures. When I was a kid I
> loved William McGann's Penrod and Sam and Penrod's Twin Brother, and
> Lewis Seiler's Penrod's Double Trouble, although I suspect they had
> very little to do with Tarkington (which I haven't read). Gaven't
> seen William Beudine's earlier (1931) version of Penrod and Sam.

*****
Beaudine's 1931 "Penrod and Sam" is much closer to the spirit of
Tarkington than the Seiler and McGann films, where Tarkington's
stories serve as a flimsy pretext for Warner Brothers' doomed effort
to turn them into a series modeled along the lines of their Torchy
Blane and Nancy Drew franchises.

Tom Sutpen
19999


From: Saul Symonds
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:12am
Subject: Dinner for One
 
As New Years Eve approaches I look forward to once again watching the
classic "Dinner For One", which plays on TV here every New Years -
something which has always struck me as rather strange. Though the old
woman is celebrating, it is a 90th birthday and has no discernable
link to New Years. Does anyone know the reason "Dinner for One" is so
inextricably linked with News Years celebrations, and why it plays on
TV every New Years Eve...????

When I watch this film with my grandmother she doubles over in
laughter at Freddie Frinton's antics, and I get a good idea as to what
it might have been like to watch slapstick comedies in an old
Nickelodeon, or early theatre. Her emotional reactions to films are
almost always externalized, (when watching the original 'Star Trek'
series with her, she's likely to yell out something such as "Get him
Mr. Spock" at regular intervals, or whenever the characters are in
danger). There seems to have been a definite historical shift in the
way audiences express their emotional gut reactions to a film. At a
screening of 'Finding Neverland', in the final scene many people in
the theatrette were teary-eyed, yet they all tried to hid this fact as
much as possible, and keep their crying and sniffles as quiet as they
could - I compare this with my grandmother's recollection of watching
Irving Pichel's "Tomorrow is Forever" sometime in the late 40's, and
having a woman a couple rows behind her loudly sobbing and blubbering
the entire length of the film...

I plan on writting an article on the change in viewing practises from
the 1890's till present day - how extensive or long this piece will be
will depend on how much time I have between writing daily reviews -
but I am currently collecting, as in a sort of oral history, stories
and anecdotes about viewing practices/experiences. I was hoping that
some a_film_by members might have stories or anecdotes about a
particular viewing experience, or a particular audience or audience
memeber's reaction, or lack of reaction, at a film - either a
screening they were at personally, or as in the case of my grandmother
a historical case that was related to them. All stories will be
attributed, and possibly quoted verbatim........ Hope some of you can
help............

Happy New Years to all,
-- Saul.
20000


From: Yoel Meranda
Date: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:20am
Subject: Cinema, taste, merit (was Re: varying...)
 
Tom,

I'm sorry I don't have time to start a discussion on whether the
discussion is important or not and why.

If Zach feels the way you do, he should feel free to stop the
discussion at any point. I don't and I don't feel like stopping
either. We might just be starting...

Yoel

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