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25401   From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  scil1973


 
In a message dated 4/9/05 12:44:02 PM, jpcoursodon@... writes:


> FINE! You've just answered my question. Nothing paranoid about
> asking for clarifications though...
>

But JP, the reason I'm hyperventilating (and I admit I'm hyperventilating) is
because when gays and lesbians talk about equal representations or rights or
whatnot, our "agenda" gets translated as a request for SPECIAL rights. It's an
ancient, ancient ploy. I'm positively stunned that someone who has lived as
long as you with such a distinguished career that I greatly admire and am
extremely humbled by doesn't already know this. But that's my fault for assuming
you did and I'm sorry for my defensive tone.

< was "privileged" in the first place?>>

I really don't think this ONE discussion of homosexuality privileges it. And
even if it does, it's only because I am attempting to place it on EQUAL level
with other orientations, tastes, beliefs, etc., ones that enjoy not having the
appearnace of an agenda behind it.

< heterosexual "nature"?  I know the term comes from Blake but you seem to more
or less accept it at face value.....>>

I don't accept it at face value and said so in an earlier post. I only used
that phrase as often as I did in an attempt to understand Blake's post.

<<"Please!"

   I could never get beyond the first episode of that famed show.>>

Ok, that's fine. But that's besides the point. Even if you loathe the show,
you could still answer the questions I posed about applying critical methods to
an understanding of it.

xo,

Kevin


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25402  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:10pm
Subject: Re: La Cicatrice interieure  cellar47


 
--- Gabe Klinger wrote:

>
> David E. -- aren't you a huge fan of this film?
>

That's putting it mildly. A chapter of my book "Film:
The Front Line -- 1984" is devoted to Garrel, with "La
Cicatrice Interieure" considered central. I saw it in
'72 at the New York Film Festival. Other early Garrels
of great import include "Le Lit de la Vierge," "Marie
Pour Memoire," "Les Hautes Solitudes" and "Le Berceau
du Cristal."

I was in Nico's presence (one does not "know" her) on
several occasions in the mid-60's when she was part of
Warhol's "Factory" scene. I last saw her in L.A. about
a year before she died when she performed at the
Whiskey with her band -- who were quite something, as
was she. She had Tim Hardin open for her. None of the
kids at the Whiskey had any idea who Tim was, but he
sang so sweetly -- for the last time. A couple of
months later he was dead from an OD.




__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Read only the mail you want - Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard.
http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
25403  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 2:11pm
Subject: Re: La Cicatrice interieure  scil1973


 
Ok Gabe, then maybe you can answer my question about CICATRICE that I posed a
few months ago. I saw it on film too and could not for the life of me tell
what was splashing around in the water in the film's most terrifying shot. Do
you know the shot I'm talking about? Garrel (I think) is sitting on a rock on
the left side of the frame. Most of the shot is engulfed in darkness and indeed,
you don't know for sure that he's sitting by a body of water. He calls out
and a huge agitation of water responds. Even though the print I saw was
definitely not gorgeous, I don't think we're meant to see anything. But did you see
anything that agitated the water, Gabe?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25404  
From: "Blake Lucas"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:17pm
Subject: Gordon Kay  lukethedealer12


 
Veteran producer Gordon Kay, 88, died March 8 of this year. A brief
obituary turned up March 23 in the L.A. Times, and I have meant to
write this post since then, at least within a month. What with
distractions, I missed that self-imposed deadline by a day but here
it is anyway.

Producers are not unusually of great interest to auteurists, but
they should be of at least passing interest, because the
relationship forged between a producer and director can be vital to
the ease or lack of it with which a director is able to realize his
vision on screen. I'm not talking about great material,
necessarily, or great apparent freedom, just the actual freedom to
be the artist one is, as for example, Allan Dwan enjoyed with
Benedict Bogeaus during one period in the 1950s, a cycle of films in
which most people feel a stronger surge of creativity in Dwan than
in many other films he made after a great silent period, no matter
the intermittent interest or merit, and general command of the
medium, of so many of those films. Of course, this doesn't apply to
directors who become their own producer, and are so good at wearing
both hats they make their best films that way--someone like,
especially, Hitchcock. But it does apply more often than not--and
this gives producers a power which may be benevolent and beneficial
or unhelpful and even destructive. Some of the most famous
producers, David O. Selznick or Irving Thalberg, say, have in my
view hampered their films and the directors involved more than they
have helped (not in all cases--The Selznick-produced LITTLE WOMEN
directed by George Cukor is one of my favorite Cukor films). They
impose themselves too much in the wrong way. By contrast, someone
like John Houseman (who never received the Irving Thalberg award,
interestingly) seems to have been absolutely ideal. Matching
directors to the right projects or encouraging them with their own
projects, he may be credited with some of the masterpieces of Max
Ophuls, Nicholas Ray, Fritz Lang, Vincente Minnelli. The level of
achievement is so high, yet the individual sensibilities of the
directors so pronounced in all these instances, that one may assume
Houseman made a present, intelligent and even creative contribution
without overstepping into the world in which each of them was the
crucial artist, defining the work in mise-en-scene. In that regard,
Val Lewton was recently taken up in a_film_by. One thing someone
said that seemed especially apt (whoever it was I'm sorry I can't
easily find it and quote you) was that Lewton took an interest
in the ideas and scripts, but left the cinematic realization to the
directors. And it's certainly true, because Robson, Wise and
supremely Tourneur all inflect their Lewton projects differently.

In this context, Gordon Kay is a modest figure, but one who I feel
made a real imprint nevertheless, and one I value. So inconspicuous
and low-profile a figure in film history that in the normally
careful BFI COMPANION TO THE WESTERN his last name is spelled Kaye,
he began his career at Republic in 1939, where he was basically tied
to the series Western and specifically to Allan "Rocky" Lane. This
level of Western is not in my area of expertise as it is for some
others, so I barely know these films though have observed Lane
himself holds up pretty well as a series lead--kind of serious,
adult, believable rather than a too wholesome fantasy hero, given
the context anyway. More important, it was in this period that Kay
formed a relationship with Harry Keller, who would be his most
frequent director in the later part of his career which I do know.
Keller had been a film editor, then director (and also, it appears,
producer) of the Allan Lane Westerns after Kay had become an
executive, so the relationship was not the same as it would be later
--simply, they were connected through the Lane films. Nevertheless,
they seem to have left Republic together and come as a team to what
was then Universal-International in 1956.

At this point, I'd better interject something about Keller, because
his name can be a red flag to many auteurists for several reasons.
First, it's he who did the much-reviled retakes on TOUCH OF EVIL.
Second, he made an incredibly cursory, much simplified, pared down,
and unhelpfully conventionalized remake of SHADOW OF A DOUBT called
STEP DOWN TO TERROR (1959)--you'd never know this was based on a
masterpiece. And finally, Burt Kennedy expressed unhappiness with
SIX BLACK HORSES (1962), which in its script recalled in some ways
the Ranown masterpieces Kennedy had written for Budd Boetticher.
Kennedy became that much more determined to make his own directorial
career after that one. Well, I won't defend the first two, except
to say this--these were assignments Keller's contract obligated him
to do. I don't know how he felt about STEP DOWN TO TERROR, just a
little something about the very difficult period for the studio in
which it was made. In the case of TOUCH OF EVIL, his complete
failure to match the style of Welles in any way could be taken
against him, but it might also just show that Welles is inimitable.
That his staging, composition, camera work, use of sound, precisely
inflected acting style are just something that couldn't be captured,
leaving aside what are obviously the hastily-written, awkward
rewrites Keller was handed. In fact, it's also true that Welles'
baroque style is the antithesis of what Keller does make work for
him in his own good films (mostly the ones with he made for Kay)--a
more flat visual style in which a genuine compositional talent,
simple but effective, tends to lay visual interest across the images
rather than in depth, in a way which diffuses and counterpoints
melodrama in the material which he encourages in other ways, with
actors of course, but I would say relationships between movement and
more restive moments somewhat more than in inflections of dialogue.
This more personal and at times interesting quality does attach to
SIX BLACK HORSES, nowhere near a Boetticher movie but also nothing
like one, nor should it be. And of the these three "questionable"
movies involving Keller, this is the only one produced by Gordon Kay.

The two were obviously courted by the studio at least partly for
Westerns (by the way, in my "U-I Sci-Fi..." piece I referred
to ten core producers at the studio in the 50s and twenty core
directors--Kay was the last of the producers with 7 films in that
decade, and Keller, also with 7, almost the last of the directors,
except for Blake Edwards), but as it happened their first movie
there (and the career high of each) was far removed from the genre.
Through the grace of head film critic Dan Sallitt, I was able to
make THE UNGUARDED MOMENT a critic's choice at the L.A. Reader back
in 1984 and to write the following:

"Yes, Douglas Sirk was far and away the best director to work at
Universal-International in the fifties, but it it a pity that
critics routinely use his achievements to bludgeon a studio
responsible for many other excellent films, this 1956 drama about
troubled student John Saxon's assault on attractive teacher Esther
Williams being one of the best. Director Harry Keller (making his
first film for U-I along with producer Gordon Kay) blends an
artificial studio look (stylized compositions, a bold use of color)
with a vivid impression of fifties reality, and the boy's sexual
confusion is intelligently contrasted with the anxieties and
complexities of a relationship between two mature people, the
teacher and a detective (George Nader). A not-so-peripheral virtue
is the wonderful performance of Nader, an uncommonly appealing male
star of the period who is almost completely forgotten today."

I made it to that screening (part of an Esther Williams series) and
also have seen the film again since and really feel it holds up.
And by the way, Andrew Sarris lists it in the American cinema
(though Keller doesn't get his own entry) and in the first version
in Film Culture seemed to find it distinctive based on a few lines
next to the title. So with this one, Kay and Keller claimed a stake
in melodrama (in different ways Keller, Joseph Pevney, and Blake
Edwards all made contributions to the form at the studio--again,
decidedly not on the level of Sirk, but that doesn't mean they
should be dismissed). And the next Kay melodrama, MAN AFRAID (1957)
is also interesting, partly for its long takes of key scenes and use
of black-and-white 'Scope, a format the studio thankfully favored
quite a bit over a period of a couple of years--and I feel it
reached its apogee in Sirk's handling of it in THE TARNISHED ANGELS--
and also for the almost silent performance of Eduard Franz (two
lines of dialogue) as a chain-smoking, tormented man out to avenge
himself on the young son of the minister (Nader) who has killed his
own son when the latter criminally invaded Nader's home, temporarily
blinding his wife (Phyllis Thaxter unfortunately spends most of the
film with a mask over her eyes). And by the way, black-and-
white 'Scope works again for Keller in his other non-Kay '50s movie
at the studio, THE FEMALE ANIMAL (produced by Albert Zugsmith and
interestingly, it opened as co-feature to TOUCH OF EVIL in L.A.), in
which Hedy Lamarr and Jane Powell, in the last movie of each (I'm
pretty certain of this, regardless of the release date of ENCHANTED
ISLAND) effectively play mother and daughter in love with the same
man (Nader). And it also is effective in the Keller-Kay VOICE IN
THE MIRROR (1958), a rather reflective portrait of an alcholic
attempting to reform and help others.

But of the next two Kay productions after THE UNGUARDED MOMENT, the
one I feel comes closer than MAN AFRAID in matching in it in quality
is QUANTEZ, surely the best Western of Kay and Keller both. In this
a group of outlaws spend a night in a ghost town, while Apaches wait
nearby, ready to attack in the morning (though the group doesn't
know this). The characters seem to wander through the artfully lit
interiors as in some metaphysical place, a purgatory of pools of
light and color which illuminate their flaring conflicts and
philosophical ruminations, with Dorothy Malone and Fred MacMurray
especially seeming to bring that understanding of "blindness" from
the Sirk melodramas they had recently made, and then finally an old
minstrel (James Barton) wanders in and sings a song about a famous
gunfighter--MacMurray listens to it with complete impassivity, yet
Keller does register that although we know him under another name,
it's him. And the whole weight of existential, really Beckett-like
questions about himself and his life, deeply internalized, fall
across the film to animate a wonderfully concise, riveting morning
climax in which there is a sudden confrontation in the group and
within minutes all are dead but two. A wonderful movie!--God it
deserves rediscovery in Cinemascope.

Kay's other Fifties Westerns are not this good. DAY OF THE BAD MAN
(Keller, 1958) is kind of HIGH NOON derived but again very well-done
and it does once again have MacMurray. THE SAGA OF HEMP BROWN (also
1958) is a fairly conventional but often interesting revenge
Western, directed by Richard Carlson--it is not nearly as impressive
as FOUR GUNS TO THE BORDER by that director of four years earlier
but intriguingly does recall its eroticism in a few moments with
Beverly Garland and Rory Calhoun traveling in a show wagon together,
and also in a sexually aggressive, unhappy wife, Yvette Vickers, who
in only a very brief time on screen tries to promote an affair with
Calhoun with unusual bluntness. And finally TWILIGHT FOR THE GODS,
a very elaborate sea-going melodrama--disparate characters throwing
together on a leaking boat trying to make it to their destination;
directed by Joseph Pevney, it's well, lightly likable.

A good enough group of movies overall, but where Gordon Kay really
most makes a personal imprint is in the 1960s. The studio had
scaled back production and many of the 1950s directors and producers
were gone (in fact of the producers, only Ross Hunter and Robert
Arthur, along with Kay, remained). Kay held his position in a
series of moderately budgeted Westerns starring Audie Murphy (in all
but two cases--he also tried unsuccessfuly to launch Tony Young near
the end). They are the last good Westerns made on this level within
the old studio system--if you doubt this, see a few and then see
what A.C. Lyles tried to do at Paramount in his own cycle, which
began and finished later, but did overlap Kay's. Indeed, the only
other Western of the 60s which can really be compared is THE GUN
HAWK (1963, Edward Ludwig), mentioned in a_film_by before.
It is clearly Kay who insisted on intelligent, adult scripts and
strong male co-stars to play with Murphy. And he also courted the
best directors he could get for this kind of film. The first one,
HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1960) was directed by George Sherman, an
always solid and often brilliant and individualistic veteran (though
this is one of his lesser movies). It's a tribute to Kay that when
Sherman and Murphy quarreled after doing exteriors on SEVEN WAYS
FROM SUNDOWN (1960) and Keller replaced Sherman, the resulting film
is still seamless--production conditions seemingly relaxed and
careful enough that Keller could easily inflect the whole film with
a less dramatic personality than Sherman and beautifully convey the
character of an outlaw (Barry Sullivan) so charming that everyone in
the film seems ready to forgive him anything, and no one more than
the very moral Texas Ranger hero (Audie Murphy). When a quiet final
nocturnal showdown--the characters are alone together--finally
comes, Keller is able to beautifully seal the very rich, complex
relationship between the two men with a long, slow crane shot away
from the its resolution as other characters crowd into the frame
around the two figures, one now dead, the other still and pensive.
No one ever seem to get any awards or even recogition for something
like this at the time, and if you don't get auteurist rediscovery
you may never get it. But that doesn't mean this is not a memorable
and moving film.

Even better is POSSE FROM HELL (1961), best of the whole Kay-Murphy
series. Intriguingly, this one is directed by Herbert Coleman (the
first of two he did), who had been associate producer on recent
Hitchcock movies (and I've always suspected Hitchcock may have
brokered the deal for Coleman as part of his move to the studio),
and it has some subjective tracking shots right out of Hitchcock in
the final duel between Murphy and Vic Morrow (in which Murphy
basically executes this rapist/killer). The pursuit of four outlaws
who have terrorized a town is partly interesting for the range of
types in the posse, but mostly for Murphy (I guess I haven't yet
said how underrated I believe he is), who plays an untterly bitter
and misanthropic hero. Of course, the film is about his redemption
from these qualities, but it doesn't come easily. Two
relationships, one with John Saxon's surprising Eastern bank clerk,
and the other with the raped girl Zohra Lampert, play a part in it,
but impressively, the movie mainly lets us see something going
inside of him. A full ten minutes, just amazing for a programmer
Western, elapse between the final action--end of the bad guys--and
the end of the film, and it is all given over to this evolving state
of soul. SIX BLACK HORSES (1962), which I mentioned before is also
interesting. Scenarist Kennedy has his group down to only three
people here, and their journey is almost abstract. There's
motivation, but it always seems secondary to the simple fact they
are together, moving to individual resolutions--hero, heroine
(Joan O'Brien) and villain (Dan Duryea). Inevitably, Duryea is the
most appealing and sympathetic of the three, and so simple and
unadorned is the film that it seems to cohere in an unusally direct
way as each of the three gets a moment of self-revelation--they say
what they hoped for and want now and care about. That's the film,
and the final eponymous image, which Duryea had earlier evoked,
is like a philosophical resting point more than the end of a drama.

SHOWDOWN (1963, R. G. Springsteen) is a rather dark little story
(it's even in black-and-white, unusually for that late date), and
BULLET FOR A BADMAN (1964, Springsteen) and GUNPOINT (1966, Earl
Bellamy, and the final Kay-Murphy movie) are also solid enough, but
by the last the studio, now in thrall of MCA/Wasserman and studio
tour soon to come, wouldn't spend an extra penny to make a good film
and insisted on too much stock footage, which, with an appalling
narration, almost ruins GUNPOINT right at the start (though it
recovers). And Kay also produced FLUFFY (1966, Bellamy), a title
which describe this studios 60s comedies just a little too well (by
this point it was plain old Universal again). The forgotten,
impossible to see THE YOUNG WARRIORS (1967, John Peyser), a backlot
war movie, is Kay's final credit. But those seven with Murphy are,
again, something to warm the heart of a Western aficionado who knows
how good the genre had become on every level in its last classic,
late 50s/early 60s years, years of the last Ford and Walsh, the
sublime Boetticher, and the first, classical Peckinpah.

If you have read this and are now saying "So what?" please forgive
and try to understand my affection for some of these movies, which I
have labored to explain and even to relate as best I could to the
theme of a_film_by. And please remember that books have been
written about Thalberg and Selznick and probably more will be. But
I am doubtful that anyone else in the world is ever going to say
even this much for Gordon Kay, not now or ever. And since I care
for and value him more than I do those famous individuals, I feel
I owed him this much.

Blake Lucas
25405  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:21pm
Subject: Re: Trafic 53  thebradstevens


 
I
> did slog through All the Fing Young Cannibals a few months ago on
TCM
> but couldn't find any footage that remarkably stood out from the
rest.
> I may have gone into a coma of boredom, though, my senses deadened
by
> the rest of the film and consequently unable to detect Minnelli's
hand
> anywhere.

If it's any help, Minnelli's scenes both involved Nathalie Wood, but
didn't involve Robert Wagner.

>
> Wasn't Anthony Mann doing a fair amount of uncredited cleanup and
> retake work at MGM during this period as well?

He worked without credit on FOLLOW ME QUIETLY, QUO VADIS (the burning
of Rome sequence) and HE WALKED BY NIGHT. He was fired after starting
NIGHT PASSAGE and SPARTACUS, though his footage remains in the
released films.


>
> (Sorry to interrupt all of these exciting recent sex posts with
such
> mundane matters.)

Too bad Kenneth Anger isn't a member of this group. He could have
shared with us the research he's carried out for HOLLYWOOD BABYLON 3,
which will apparently include a lot of material about Minnelli's
activities in the 1930s, when he was openly gay.
25406  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:25pm
Subject: Re: Trafic 53  thebradstevens


 
>
> CarlReiner's Steve Martin comedy "Dead Men Don't Wear
> Plaid" -- in which Martin is edited into a whole
> series of Hollywood films, some famous others not,
> makes extensive use of "The Bribe."

Including parts of the Minnelli-directed climax.



> I would hazard a guess that it was in his contract to
> do retakes whenever needed, and his role thein was
> simply to "direct traffic."

Few Hollywood directors escaped this kind of donkey work - not even
Nicholas Ray.
25407  
From: "Damien Bona"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:43pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  damienbona


 
Some additional queer directors:

John Schlesinger
Tony Richardson
Lindsay Anderson
Nicolas Hytner
Franco Zeffirelli
Pedro Almodovar
Wolfgang Petersen
Mauritz Stiller
John Waters
Randal Kleiser
Colin Higgins
Russell Mulcahy
Kevin Williamson
Clive Barker
Bill Condon
Rob Marshall
Curtis Harrington
Don Roos
Bryan Singer
Todd Solondz
Paul Bartel
Deepa Mehta
Anthony Asquith
Terence Davies
Rose Troche
Dan Ireland
Tommy O'Haver
Andrew Fleming
Stephen Daldry (Although he got married to a woman.)
Marleen Gorris
François Ozon
Alejandro Amenábar
Kimberly Pierce
Lizzie Borden
Arthur Lubin
Don Mancini
William Desmond Taylor
Emile Ardolino
James Ivory
Ismail Merchant
Gregg Araki
Andrew Niccol
Marcel Carnė
Irving Rapper

There've been rumors about Blake Edwards (and Julie Andrews) for
years, passed on by no less an authority than Rock Hudson.

And didn't Olivier Assayas leave Maggie Cheung for a man?
25408  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:38pm
Subject: Dialogue, Lucas, Dwan (Was: Sirk/Fassbinder)  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Zach Campbell"
wrote:

Making a movie "against the script" has been a key auteurist idea at
least since Rohmer's review of Notorious (although in that case he
mistakenly attributed the script to Hecht alone, when Ah was very
much involved in writing it). Sometimes this is a disservice,
sometimes it's at the heart of what a director does.

I was recently rewatching the 2 new Star Wars movies to write a bit
about the upcoming one and I was again struck by how bad the dialogue
and acting are. I'm told Lucas let Ron Howard direct the actors in
Graffiti; then he clearly decided that flat lines badly delivered
would be the style of the Star Wars film, and he has stuck by it. The
bad dialogue in this case serves the same function title cards do in
silent films, where of course it makes a much smaller impact than in
talkies (and is often bad). Lucas is a purely visual filmmaker, and
his use of lines like "Ah, Mace Windu - how pleasant of you to join
us" is a choice and a polemical one: He wants critics to stop
watching with their ears.

Then last night I watched Chances, an early talky directed by Dwan
which I was given by Maxime on a hard-to-open DVD - Joseph K. finally
got the DVD open for me, and I'm having a wonderful time seeing Dwans
I hadn't seen before. This one has good (by theatre standards)
dialogue well delivered (esp. by Rose Hobart), and that is part of
the pleasure: the delivery and accompanying body language are both
naturalistic and stylized (understated) in a distinctive way. Close-
ups are rare but searing when they come, sometimes shot in profile to
avoid the melodrama of the script (which is surprisingly adult given
the story).

Dwan obviously cared about his scripts - hence his dismissal of the
films we've all seen as "punishment for something we did." And it's
clear from Chances and While Paris Sleeps - both of which he stands
by in the Bogdanovich interview - that he had made the transition to
sound very successfully (as Griffith did, but with less formal
experimentation) and that his early talkies are among the best work
he ever did. Then the Depression, working in England and being
forgotten in H'wd after a few years' absence obliged him to make
mostly lower-budget films after that, often with bad scripts, and
the "Expressive Esoterica" Dwan was born. (It's interesting, however,
that Black Sheep, his comeback film for Sol Wurtzel, has a good
script with great dialogue - which he wrote himself to get back in
the game.) If more films like Chances and While Paris Sleeps become
available, he might turn out to be a Pantheon director. While Paris
Sleeps is wonderful, and again when he talks to PB about it, he
stresses how happy he was with the dialogue.
25409  
From: "K. A. Westphal"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:40pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  chelovek_s_k...


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Damien Bona" wrote:

> Some additional queer directors:
>
> John Schlesinger
> Tony Richardson
> Lindsay Anderson ....

I haven't been following the conversation entirely, but aren't we
forgetting Murnau? I've read that his fatal car accident was the
result of choosing his chauffeurs based on their looks, not their
driving abilities. In any event, Murnau's homosexuality adds an
interesting element to NOSFERATU, particularly the scenes between
Hutter and Nosferatu in the castle...
25410  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:41pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
the most important names (off the top ofmy
> head) would include:
>
> Sergei Eisenstein
> Jean Cocteau
> Norman McLaren
> Kenneth Anger
> Andy Warhol
> James Whale
> George Cukor
> Edmund Goulding
> Mitchell Leisen
> Charles Walters
> Dorothy Arzner
> Luchino Visconti
> Jacques Demy
> Rainer Werner Fassbinder
> Gus Van Sant
> Todd Haynes
> Patrice Chereau

You left out Ozu.
25411  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:49pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Damien Bona" wrote:
>
> And didn't Olivier Assayas leave Maggie Cheung for a man?

He's currently with Mia Hansen-Love, a young girl who writes (well) for
CdC.

Edwards denied the gay rumors to Jean-Marc Lalanne and me when we
interviewed him - he brought them up himself. Jean-Marc, who is gay,
was watching him carefully most of the time while I was asking the
questions, and assures me that he isn't -- just "highly sexed."

You left out Jean-Claude Biette, who finally got around to portraying a
gay hero in Le complexe de Toulon (although his constant use of Howard
Vernon, one of the gayest actors this side of Udo Kier, was not
exactly "keeping the secret"), and Paul Vecchiali - both among the best
French filmmakers of their generation.

Then there is the strange case of Ed Wood....
25412  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:50pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "K. A. Westphal" wrote:
>
Murnau's homosexuality adds an
> interesting element to NOSFERATU, particularly the scenes between
> Hutter and Nosferatu in the castle...

No shit!
25413  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 8:00pm
Subject: Re: All the gayness ...  hotlove666


 
And (un-ethnocentrically) Tsai Ming-liang, Apichatpong Wereasethakul,
Chang Cheh and Youssef Chahine.
25414  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  cellar47


 
--- Damien Bona wrote:

>
> There've been rumors about Blake Edwards (and Julie
> Andrews) for
> years, passed on by no less an authority than Rock
> Hudson.
>

That bitch!


> And didn't Olivier Assayas leave Maggie Cheung for a
> man?


Now THAT would be a shocker. That cine-womanizer? Not
likely.
>
>
>
>
>



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25415  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Re: All the gayness ...  cellar47


 
Glad to see everyne contributing to this list.

Tsai Ming-liang is very popular among cineastes, but
his ganess is rarely discussed -- even though he
worships his leading man more than Godard ever did
Anna Karina.

I'm crazy about "Tropical Malady" and love Chahine's
"Alexandra Again and Forever" -- with it's big musical
numbers paying tribute to his boyfriend.

I LONG to see his "Adieu Bonaparte" starring Patrice
Chereau.

--- hotlove666 wrote:
>
> And (un-ethnocentrically) Tsai Ming-liang,
> Apichatpong Wereasethakul,
> Chang Cheh and Youssef Chahine.
>
>
>
>
>

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25416  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 8:28pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  thebradstevens


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Damien Bona"
wrote:
>
> Some additional queer directors:


Charles Laughton
Mitchell Leisen.

Tom Cruise directed an episode of the series FALLEN ANGELS :-)
25417  
From: "samfilms2003"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:17pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  samfilms2003


 
> > And didn't Olivier Assayas leave Maggie Cheung for a
> > man?

Who cares why. Is Maggie single ??? ;-)

-Sam
25418  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:38pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
> the most important names (off the top ofmy
> > head) would include:
> >
> > Sergei Eisenstein
> > Jean Cocteau
> > Norman McLaren
> > Kenneth Anger
> > Andy Warhol
> > James Whale
> > George Cukor
> > Edmund Goulding
> > Mitchell Leisen
> > Charles Walters
> > Dorothy Arzner
> > Luchino Visconti
> > Jacques Demy
> > Rainer Werner Fassbinder
> > Gus Van Sant
> > Todd Haynes
> > Patrice Chereau
>
> You left out Ozu.

Now what we need is a list of heterosexual directors -- if we can
find any.
25419  
From: Adrian Martin
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:41pm
Subject: re: all the gayness (Bresson)  apmartin90


 
David, aren't you saying that - apart from the sense you get from the
films themselves - we in fact do NOT know from any kind of evidence
(documentary or anecdotal or open-secret) that Bresson was gay?
Therefore, surely there is at the very least room to debate your sense
of the films themselves! I return to my own feeling that Bresson films
(and casts) women in exactly the charged, erotic way he films and casts
men. They may indeed indeed be 'the most beautiful men in the Marais'
(plenty of them married and had kids, too, like Martin Lasalle), but
the women are just as stunning! I can't see a 'preference' there. As
Godard says, 'bring in the evidence'!!!

For what it's worth, Marika Green from PICKPOCKET gives a entirely
'straight' account, all these years later, of the actress-director
relation in Babette Mangolte's splendid doco PICKPOCKET'S MODELS. She
says she was (chastely) in love with him, that all Bresson's actresses
forevermore feel 'possessive' of him - and when talking of how
'solicitous' he was towards his actresses (with a charming still photo
on-set to prove it!) and how relatively cold he was towards the actors,
she concludes with a smile: 'He liked women more than men'. Which I
know 'proves' nothing, just like the fact that he was married - but
what other contrary facts are there ???

PS That is also the first I have heard (from Damien's post) of that
rumour concerning the very straight-seeming Assayas ! - who, like a
string of directors (Godard and Jacquot are in that queue), fell in
love with women from Bresson's films, and I for one don't blame them
!!!!!!

Adrian
25420  
From: programming
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:39pm
Subject: Re: La Cicatrice interieure  cfprogramming


 
Kevin,

I just saw as well (same print as Gabe, different screening).

I seemed to think, while watching it, the the large sprays of water were
natural. I was told after the show that most (or a lot) of it was filmed in
Iceland. Suspecting that the sprays were from hot geysers (or whatever they
have in Iceland - I'm not a geologist) venting just off the coast. The sound
makes me think this as well. But that's just a guess. The scene is dark
and there is nothing to see other than the spray of water.

Patrick Friel


On 4/9/05 1:11 PM, "LiLiPUT1@..." wrote:

> Ok Gabe, then maybe you can answer my question about CICATRICE that I posed a
> few months ago. I saw it on film too and could not for the life of me tell
> what was splashing around in the water in the film's most terrifying shot. Do
> you know the shot I'm talking about? Garrel (I think) is sitting on a rock on
> the left side of the frame. Most of the shot is engulfed in darkness and
> indeed,
> you don't know for sure that he's sitting by a body of water. He calls out
> and a huge agitation of water responds. Even though the print I saw was
> definitely not gorgeous, I don't think we're meant to see anything. But did
> you see
> anything that agitated the water, Gabe?
>
> Kevin John



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25421  
From: "samfilms2003"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:46pm
Subject: Re: All That Gayness Allows (Was:Fassbinder/Sirk)  samfilms2003


 
>I know NOTHING about Anthony Mann,
> for instance - have never even read a real interview with him. Does this stop us
> from appreciating his wonderful films? I hope not!

I don't know much more than nothing, but FWIW. He was a friend of
the father of one of my friends, they were kinda Jewish tough guys on the
streets of Newark, apparently. I knew his real name once, but can't
remember it. (My friend is no longer alive).
My friend's Dad joined the IWW, (!) and later worked for The Teamsters.
In contrast, Went west young Anthony Mann.

I remember Gil Perez told me that growing up in Cuba, Anthony Mann
was pretty well known because he had married a famous Cuban movie
star, Sara Montiel

-Sam
25422  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:48pm
Subject: Re: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> Now what we need is a list of heterosexual directors
> -- if we can
> find any.
>
>
>
>

Sam Peckinpah
John Huston
Robert Altman
Preston Sturges
Raoul Walsh
Cecil B. DeMille
Billy Wilder
Sam Fuller
Orson Welles
Michael Powell
Ken Russell

There -- is that a good start?



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25423  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:55pm
Subject: Re: re: all the gayness (Bresson)  cellar47


 
--- Adrian Martin wrote:
> David, aren't you saying that - apart from the sense
> you get from the
> films themselves - we in fact do NOT know from any
> kind of evidence
> (documentary or anecdotal or open-secret) that
> Bresson was gay?

Adrian he was gigolo --"un petit danseuses" [J-P will
correct me on the spelling I trust]

Shall I quote Cole Porter to you too?


> Therefore, surely there is at the very least room to
> debate your sense
> of the films themselves! I return to my own feeling
> that Bresson films
> (and casts) women in exactly the charged, erotic way
> he films and casts
> men. They may indeed indeed be 'the most beautiful
> men in the Marais'
> (plenty of them married and had kids, too, like
> Martin Lasalle),

Your point?

but
> the women are just as stunning! I can't see a
> 'preference' there. As
> Godard says, 'bring in the evidence'!!!
>
> For what it's worth, Marika Green from PICKPOCKET
> gives a entirely
> 'straight' account, all these years later, of the
> actress-director
> relation in Babette Mangolte's splendid doco
> PICKPOCKET'S MODELS. She
> says she was (chastely) in love with him, that all
> Bresson's actresses
> forevermore feel 'possessive' of him - and when
> talking of how
> 'solicitous' he was towards his actresses (with a
> charming still photo
> on-set to prove it!) and how relatively cold he was
> towards the actors,
> she concludes with a smile: 'He liked women more
> than men'. Which I
> know 'proves' nothing, just like the fact that he
> was married - but
> what other contrary facts are there ???

She's doing more than a bit of "bearding" on her own
part, truth to tell.


>
> PS That is also the first I have heard (from
> Damien's post) of that
> rumour concerning the very straight-seeming Assayas
> ! - who, like a
> string of directors (Godard and Jacquot are in that
> queue), fell in
> love with women from Bresson's films, and I for one
> don't blame them
> !!!!!!
>
Well he was quite the looker -- even in his dotage.
Who couldn't fall for him?

>
>



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25424  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:07pm
Subject: Robert Bresson  cellar47


 
"I should like you all to know,
I'm a famous gigolo.
And of lavender, my nature's got just a dash in it.
As I'm slightly undersexed,
You will always find me next
To some dowager who's wealthy rather than passionate.
Go to one of those night club places
And you'll find me stretching my braces
Pushing ladies with lifted faces 'round the floor.
But I must confess to you
There are moments when I'm blue.
And I ask myself whatever I do it for.

I'm a flower that blooms in the winter,
Sinking deeper and deeper in snow.
I'm a baby who has
No mother but jazz,
I'm a gigolo.
Ev'ry morning, when labor is over,
To my sweet-scented lodgings I go,
Take the glass from the shelf
And look at myself,
I'm a gigolo.
I get stocks and bonds
From faded blondes
Ev'ry twenty-fifth of December.
Still I'm just a pet
That men forget
And only tailors remember.
Yet when I see the way all the ladies
Treat their husbands who put up the dough,
You cannot think me odd
If then I thank God
I'm a gigolo"

-- Cole Porter, from "Wake Up and Dream"

Most perfectly performed by the great (and much
missed) William Hickey in Ben Bagley's "The Decline
and Fall of the Entire World As Seen Through the Eyes
of Cole Porter"




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25425  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:16pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
>
> In a message dated 4/9/05 12:44:02 PM, jpcoursodon@y... writes:
>
>
> > FINE! You've just answered my question. Nothing paranoid about
> > asking for clarifications though...
> >
>
> But JP, the reason I'm hyperventilating (and I admit I'm
hyperventilating) is
> because when gays and lesbians talk about equal representations or
rights or
> whatnot, our "agenda" gets translated as a request for SPECIAL
rights. It's an
> ancient, ancient ploy. I'm positively stunned that someone who has
lived as
> long as you with such a distinguished career that I greatly admire
and am
> extremely humbled by doesn't already know this. But that's my
fault for assuming
> you did and I'm sorry for my defensive tone.
>
Well, actually I do know and I completely sympathize with the
gay position on that issue. I never said or felt that gays are
requesting special rights when they ask for the same rights
heterosexuals have. I fail to see how you could interpret my
remarks as being so bigotted. My point was that you were reacting to
Blake's own remarks as if I had endorsed them.
JPC

>
>
> <<"Please!"
>
>     I could never get beyond the first episode of that famed
show.>>
>
> Ok, that's fine. But that's besides the point. Even if you loathe
the show,
> you could still answer the questions I posed about applying
critical methods to
> an understanding of it.
>
> xo,
>
> Kevin
>
I know I know, that was no time for levity. Your point was well
taken. But the fact that so and so who wrote such and such about
such and such place is actually from that place would not change my
appreciation of the product the slightest bit. And I like Solondz's
film a lot but the fact that he is from New Jersey himself has
little if anything to do with my liking it or with
my "understanding" of it, or of the auteur. It's perfectly
legitimate and quite interesting to mention it but the fact doesn't
make the film better or worse or in any way different. And nothing I
know (now) about Cary Grant's sexuality will affect in any way my
response to his films or increase my "understanding" of them/him.
And I still fail to see the "gayness" in BABY (perhaps you have to
be gay to perceive it). To me, Grant in a "frilly nightgown" is as
much a sign of gayness as Jack Lemmon in a dress in Some Like It.
Hot.
>
JPC
25426  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:19pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  fredcamper


 
David,

Your posts raise more than one question.

Are you saying that all male gigolos (men who have sex with women for
money) are gay? Do have any other evidence besides the ambiguous lyrics
of the great Cole Porter to support this?

If your answer to the first question is "yes," is that your only
evidence, except for his films, that Bresson was gay?

It seems to me that "gay" shouldn't refer to sexual practices but to
having one's primary attraction to people of one's own gender. Thus if
men are treated erotically in Bresson's films, that might be partial
evidence that he wasn't completely "straight." Surely I'm not the first
to notice a certain male masturbation metaphor to the hand-work in
"Pickpocket" and "A Man Escaped," and a sense of interchange of bodies
in both films too. But what of Adrian's point that Bresson treats women
erotically as well? It seems to me just not right to claim that Bresson
was "gay" (rather than, say, "bi") without any more evidence than what
you've offered so far.

Along with some others, I'm not sure where any conclusion to this debate
would take us. I do think it important to notice the "erotics" of any
filmmaker's films. I also agree that knowing information about a
filmmaker's life can help one understand the films, or alter one's
understanding of the films. But it's the great aesthetic experiences of
the films (and anything that might illuminate them) that interest me the
most.

Fred Camper
25427  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:25pm
Subject: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- Adrian Martin wrote:
> > David, aren't you saying that - apart from the sense
> > you get from the
> > films themselves - we in fact do NOT know from any
> > kind of evidence
> > (documentary or anecdotal or open-secret) that
> > Bresson was gay?
>
> Adrian he was gigolo --"un petit danseuses" [J-P will
> correct me on the spelling I trust]

"danseuse" is feminine, David! Freudian slip? Should
be "danseur". Or "une petite danseuse". But isn't a gigolo
heterosexual by profession?

"Just a gigolo
Wherever I go
People know the part I'm playing..."

Oh by the way David you didn't identify my latest song quote: "We
need some frilly skirts to boost our morale." JPC
>

>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Make Yahoo! your home page
> http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
25428  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:30pm
Subject: Re: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

>
> "danseuse" is feminine, David! Freudian slip?

Well I was quoting "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne"


> Should
> be "danseur". Or "une petite danseuse". But isn't a
> gigolo
> heterosexual by profession?
>
> "Just a gigolo
> Wherever I go
> People know the part I'm
> playing..."
>
> Oh by the way David you didn't identify my latest
> song quote: "We
> need some frilly skirts to boost our morale."

Hmmm.I think you've got me on that one.



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25429  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:28pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  cellar47


 
--- Fred Camper wrote:
> David,
>
> Your posts raise more than one question.
>
> Are you saying that all male gigolos (men who have
> sex with women for
> money) are gay?

Yes.

Do have any other evidence besides
> the ambiguous lyrics
> of the great Cole Porter to support this?

I know a lot of guys, Fred. Trust me on this one. It's
the main reason why Schrader's "American Gigiolo" was
so dishonest. There are no gigolos who sleep only with
women.




>
> If your answer to the first question is "yes," is
> that your only
> evidence, except for his films, that Bresson was
> gay?
>

The films are pretty fucking blatant in their
homoeroticism. "A Man Escaped" helped me over a major
crisis in high school. I was beginning to suspect what
I wanted. Bresson showed me the way. And for that I am
eternally grateful.

> It seems to me that "gay" shouldn't refer to sexual
> practices but to
> having one's primary attraction to people of one's
> own gender.

That's how I've always felt. Plus a lot more (see
Chereau)

Thus if
> men are treated erotically in Bresson's films, that
> might be partial
> evidence that he wasn't completely "straight."

To put it mildly.

> Surely I'm not the first
> to notice a certain male masturbation metaphor to
> the hand-work in
> "Pickpocket" and "A Man Escaped," and a sense of
> interchange of bodies
> in both films too.

"Pickpocket" is about groping.

But what of Adrian's point that
> Bresson treats women
> erotically as well? It seems to me just not right to
> claim that Bresson
> was "gay" (rather than, say, "bi") without any more
> evidence than what
> you've offered so far.
>
Oh maybe. He certainly gets full credit for
discovering on the the great goddesses of the cinema
-- Dominque Sanda.

But then gay men love women, you know.

> Along with some others, I'm not sure where any
> conclusion to this debate
> would take us. I do think it important to notice the
> "erotics" of any
> filmmaker's films. I also agree that knowing
> information about a
> filmmaker's life can help one understand the films,
> or alter one's
> understanding of the films. But it's the great
> aesthetic experiences of
> the films (and anything that might illuminate them)
> that interest me the
> most.
>
>

True but erotics are aesthetics.



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25430  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:30pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> David,
>
> Your posts raise more than one question.
>
> Are you saying that all male gigolos (men who have sex with women
for
> money) are gay? Do have any other evidence besides the ambiguous
lyrics
> of the great Cole Porter to support this?

Billy Wilder was a gigolo in his salad days. Not a bit gay though...
25431  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:31pm
Subject: Gilbert's written a new piece on Truffaut  cellar47


 
Annoyed as I am with him personally, it's really quite
good:

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1455258,00.html



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25432  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:35pm
Subject: Re: Re: Robert Bresson  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

>
> Billy Wilder was a gigolo in his salad days. Not
> a bit gay though...
>
>
The exception that proves the rule. Moreover he was a
dancer at fasionable teas. Not exactly a pub-crawler
or night spot adept.

Still he turned this experience into art in three
(count 'em) masterpieces: "Sunset Boulevard," "Some
Like It Hot," and "The Apartment"

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25433  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:37pm
Subject: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> >
> > "danseuse" is feminine, David! Freudian slip?
>
> Well I was quoting "Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne"
>
Haven't seen it in a long time. Can't remember the line.
>
> > Should
> > be "danseur". Or "une petite danseuse". But isn't a
> > gigolo
> > heterosexual by profession?
> >
> > "Just a gigolo
> > Wherever I go
> > People know the part I'm
> > playing..."
> >
> > Oh by the way David you didn't identify my latest
> > song quote: "We
> > need some frilly skirts to boost our morale."
>
> Hmmm.I think you've got me on that one.
>
> Well, here's another one from the same show:

"Once I saw a cottage on Sunshine Lane
A true paradise in disguise;
I don't see it now, it must be rain
That's getting in my eyes.
Where is that rainbow?..."

Maybe I should move this OT?
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25434  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:40pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  scil1973


 
In a message dated 4/9/05 5:20:40 PM, f@... writes:


> Along with some others, I'm not sure where any conclusion to this debate
> would take us....But it's the great aesthetic experiences of
> the films (and anything that might illuminate them) that interest me the
> most.
>
You just answered your own question, Fred, with that rhetorical slip from
"us" to "me." If you're using "us" to stand in for the entire list, then you
cannot substitute "me" for it later on. Because I, for one, do not find that the
great aesthetic experiences of the films are what interest me most IN EVERY
CASE. Sometimes they do but not always.

Kevin John




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25435  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 6:43pm
Subject: Re: La Cicatrice interieure  scil1973


 
Thanx Patrick. At least I know I'm not crazy (in relation to this film only).
In any event, that scene scared the shit out of me.

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25436  
From: "Damien Bona"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:46pm
Subject: Re: All The Gayness That Blake (and a little Mike) Allow  damienbona


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>

> Now what we need is a list of heterosexual directors -- if we can
> find any.


Michael Bay
25437  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  thebradstevens


 
> I know a lot of guys, Fred. Trust me on this one. It's
> the main reason why Schrader's "American Gigiolo" was
> so dishonest. There are no gigolos who sleep only with
> women.
>
>
>
>

Actually, the film makes it clear that Gere's character used to sleep
with men.
25438  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:49pm
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson, Kubrick  nzkpzq


 
Once the discussion switches from the content of Bresson's films to his
sexual history as an individual, numerous traps emerge.
We all know a lot about Bresson's films, and we can learn even more in the
future by careful study and discussion. But it is unclear how or when any sort
of Final Truth is going to emerge about Bresson's personal life.
Furthermore, I tend to view criticism as a Public Service. Its goals are to
help other people understand film better. Studying Bresson's films will
contribute to this goal. But it is unclear that if we had a complete history of
Bresson's personal life that we would be one step closer to helping other people
understand Bresson's films.
This whole issue is especially acute in Kubrick studies, where the opposite
extreme of Total Life Illumination has been reached. It actually tends to
replace any insight into the films themselves.
In "Eyes Wide Shut", it is easy to learn that Kubrick's father was a doctor,
just like the protagonist of the film. And that Kubrick actually modelled the
doctor's office in the film after his own father's real life office.
Well, so what? How does the doctor office episode actually play on the
screen? What is it like as a film experience? This sort of question has nearly
disappeared from Kubrick studies. Studies of the films have been nearly replaced by
studies of Kubrick's life involvement with them.

Mike Grost
25439  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Gordon Kay  nzkpzq


 
This was a very interesting article!
I had hardly heard of any of these films. A lot of 60's films are now rarely
distributed or seen. There might be some real suprises among them.
Harry Keller: have only seen three of his comedies, and a long time ago.
"Tammy Tell Me True" is corny but sweet, "Tammy and the Doctor" fizzles after a
funny bit with a pre-Batman Adam West, and "The Brass Bottle" is nice fun with a
good cast.
Allan Lane made a nice B-movie comedy in "Maid's Night Out" (Ben Holmes). Ben
Holmes was a consistently above average director of low budget films in the
1930's. Good storyteller; don't expect lavish mise-en-scene.

Mike Grost
25440  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 0:13am
Subject: Re: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> >
> > Well, here's another one from the same show:
>
> "Once I saw a cottage on Sunshine
> Lane
> A true paradise in disguise;
> I don't see it now, it must be
> rain
> That's getting in my eyes.
> Where is that rainbow?..."
>
> Maybe I should move this OT?
> >


Troubles really are bubbles they say
And I'm bubbling over today
Spring brings roses to people you see
But it brings hay fever to me
My luck will vary surely
That's purely a curse
My luck has changed,
Yes it's gotten from rotten to worse
Where's that rainbow you hear about
Where's that lining they cheer about
Where's that love nest where love is king ever after
Where's that blue room they sing about
Where's that sunshine they fling about
I know morning will come but pardon my laughter

In each scenario you can depend
On the end where the lovers agree
Where's that Lutherio
Where does he roam with his dome
That's as lean as can be
Oh, it is easy to see alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Be just dandy for everybody but me
In each scenario you can depend
On the end where the lovers agree
Where's that Lutherio
Where does he roam with his dome
That's as lean as can be
Oh, it is easy to see alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Be just dandy for everybody but me
Oh yeah, I see that rainbow
For everybody but me




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25441  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 0:16am
Subject: Re: Re: Robert Bresson  cellar47


 
--- thebradstevens wrote:

> >
>
> Actually, the film makes it clear that Gere's
> character used to sleep
> with men.
>
>
>
Really? I could have sworn otherwise. I guess I'll
have to see it again.

But the point is there aren't enough women with money
to set him up in the style to which he has become
accustomed.

Cause it's a lot more than "Well since the lady is
paying why not take the vicuna?"



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25442  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 0:18am
Subject: Re: Re: Robert Bresson, Kubrick  cellar47


 
--- MG4273@... wrote:
> Once the discussion switches from the content of
> Bresson's films to his
> sexual history as an individual, numerous traps
> emerge.
> We all know a lot about Bresson's films, and we can
> learn even more in the
> future by careful study and discussion. But it is
> unclear how or when any sort
> of Final Truth is going to emerge about Bresson's
> personal life.

I don't see the manifest homoeroticism of Bresson's
films as a "final truth" of any kind.

In fact the truth of Bresson -- if you're looking for
one -- is his move from belief to miltant atheism.



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25443  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:26am
Subject: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- jpcoursodon wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Well, here's another one from the same show:
> >
> > "Once I saw a cottage on Sunshine
> > Lane
> > A true paradise in disguise;
> > I don't see it now, it must be
> > rain
> > That's getting in my eyes.
> > Where is that rainbow?..."
> >
> > Maybe I should move this OT?
> > >
>
>
> Troubles really are bubbles they say
> And I'm bubbling over today
> Spring brings roses to people you see
> But it brings hay fever to me
> My luck will vary surely
> That's purely a curse
> My luck has changed,
> Yes it's gotten from rotten to worse
> Where's that rainbow you hear about
> Where's that lining they cheer about
> Where's that love nest where love is king ever after
> Where's that blue room they sing about
> Where's that sunshine they fling about
> I know morning will come but pardon my laughter
>
> In each scenario you can depend
> On the end where the lovers agree
> Where's that Lutherio
> Where does he roam with his dome
> That's as lean as can be
> Oh, it is easy to see alright
> Everything's gonna be alright
> Be just dandy for everybody but me
> In each scenario you can depend
> On the end where the lovers agree
> Where's that Lutherio
> Where does he roam with his dome
> That's as lean as can be
> Oh, it is easy to see alright
> Everything's gonna be alright
> Be just dandy for everybody but me
> Oh yeah, I see that rainbow
> For everybody but me
>
>
David I just could hug you! Now let's see if anybody else knows
what we're talking about (I saw the show three times in two weeks at
Cafe Cino the first year I was in New York -- 1965-66. It was
heaven. And I'm not even gay!) JPC

But you didn't remember: "With true decision/And steady vision/We
carry on for our land..."

JPC
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25444  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 9:35pm
Subject: Re: Dialogue, Lucas, Dwan (Was: Sirk/Fassbinder)  nzkpzq


 
Just re-watched "Chances" (Dwan 1931). Bill is right. The characters are
wonderfully refined, without being at all prissy or too upper-crust. And they
behave in very interesting, understated ways.
Some other thoughts.
The importance of parties as settings for Dwan. This film opens first with a
social evening in a British pub, then a country weekend, climaxing in a huge
charity ball. The soldier protagonists have three days leave... Lots of Dwan
films put his characters in party like atmosphere. "Black Sheep" has them all on
a trans-Atlantic cruise, "Suez" opens with Parisian fetes and social
encounters, "Abroad With Two Yanks" has the men on shore leave, "Up in Mabel's Room"
mainly takes place at a party, lot of the late Westerns take place in saloons,
dance halls, etc. Such parties are cheerful and festive - yet people get to
have romantic encounters, and thrash out serious life issues. Pople get a chance
to get totally dressed up, too. Dwan even did a musical called "Hollywood
Party". Dwan was a well known host, too. A party he gave in the 1920's was the
real life model of the most famous get together in American Literature, the one
in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novella "The Great Gatsby".
These parties are more refined than Walsh's boisterous saloons. Dwan's
characters do not always have money - but they tend to have a background of middle
class refinement. The parties are also much warmer and friendlier than
Hitchcock's duels over frighteningly stiff upper class restaurant meals (the cocktails
in the Oak Room where Cary Grant is kidnapped at the start of North By
Northwest, the early meal in Vertigo).
Clothes: the parties allow Dwan's characters to be dressed up to the max. The
huge boots worn by his heroes in "Chances" anticipates Tyrone Power's big
boots in "Suez".
Hot locations. The desert where the canal is dug in Suez anticipates the
tropical locales in "Sands of Iwo Jima". Lots of sand, huge equipment everywhere.
Family: there are two brothers in Chances", a father and son in "Black Sheep".
Triangles: both brothers fall in love with the same woman in "Chances"; the
hero is chewed up in the duel between his wife and old girlfriend in "Up In
Mabels' Room".

Mike Grost
25445  
From: Adrian Martin
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:39am
Subject: re: the gay Bresson?  apmartin90


 
David, as sometimes happens on this list, some of us are in an argument
with you that we cannot possibly win, under any circumstances! If
someone says 'Bresson was married', you say 'gay men marry, you know'.
If someone says his films show intense love/eroticisation of women, you
say 'gay men love women, you know'. If someone asks 'isn't being a
gigolo a heterosexual profession?', you answer 'all gigolos are gay,
believe me'. And I do not dispute any of your statements, in the sense
that some (many) gay men marry, love women, and may have been
gigolos!!! But I am still tearing my hair out asking: HOW DO WE
ACTUALLY KNOW THAT BRESSON WAS GAY??? All you offer as evidence is the
gigolo assertion (OK, for you that's absolute proof), the lyrics of a
song, the description of his actors as being good-looking Marais boys,
your own developmental experience watching A MAN ESCAPED, and a
mysterious allusion to Marika Green being a 'beard' !! (You mean Eva
Green's father is ... ???) Plus, of course, an interpretation of the
movies - and I do not disagree with everyone who is pointing out the
gay elements in PICKPOCKET, MAN ESCAPED, etc. But why can't Bresson be
speculatively regarded, just as easily, as bisexual, or straight with
an excellent, all-inclusive erotic imagination? He would not be the
first artist in creation with such an imagination, surely!

Does anyone else in the group have any other evidence in this regard
concerning Bresson's life? Although, as I suggest, I am not sure we
would ever be able to change David's mind on this, even if we could
produce eye-witness or forensic evidence !!

Adrian (sounding a little like the inquisitorial Bishop in TRIAL OF
JOAN OF ARC!)
25446  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:50am
Subject: Re: re: the gay Bresson?  cellar47


 
--- Adrian Martin wrote:
> David, as sometimes happens on this list, some of us
> are in an argument
> with you that we cannot possibly win, under any
> circumstances!

My favorite argument.

If
> someone says 'Bresson was married', you say 'gay men
> marry, you know'.
> If someone says his films show intense
> love/eroticisation of women, you
> say 'gay men love women, you know'. If someone asks
> 'isn't being a
> gigolo a heterosexual profession?', you answer 'all
> gigolos are gay,
> believe me'. And I do not dispute any of your
> statements, in the sense
> that some (many) gay men marry, love women, and may
> have been
> gigolos!!! But I am still tearing my hair out
> asking: HOW DO WE
> ACTUALLY KNOW THAT BRESSON WAS GAY???

What do you want? A blue cum-stained dress from the
GAP?

Why is it that gayness requires "proof" and
straightness doesn't?


All you offer
> as evidence is the
> gigolo assertion (OK, for you that's absolute
> proof), the lyrics of a
> song, the description of his actors as being
> good-looking Marais boys,
> your own developmental experience watching A MAN
> ESCAPED, and a
> mysterious allusion to Marika Green being a 'beard'
> !! (You mean Eva
> Green's father is ... ???)

Marika is Eva's Aunt.

Plus, of course, an
> interpretation of the
> movies - and I do not disagree with everyone who is
> pointing out the
> gay elements in PICKPOCKET, MAN ESCAPED, etc. But
> why can't Bresson be
> speculatively regarded, just as easily, as bisexual,
> or straight with
> an excellent, all-inclusive erotic imagination?

Sounds like you're grasping at straws. What's wrong
with a gay Bresson?

He
> would not be the
> first artist in creation with such an imagination,
> surely!
>

No guts no glory.


> Does anyone else in the group have any other
> evidence in this regard
> concerning Bresson's life? Although, as I suggest, I
> am not sure we
> would ever be able to change David's mind on this,
> even if we could
> produce eye-witness or forensic evidence !!
>
> Adrian (sounding a little like the inquisitorial
> Bishop in TRIAL OF
> JOAN OF ARC!)
>
>



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25447  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sat Apr 9, 2005 10:03pm
Subject: Re: the gay Bresson - an itemized list  nzkpzq


 
In a message dated 05-04-09 21:40:03 EDT, Adrian Martin writes:

<< I do not disagree with everyone who is pointing out the gay elements in
PICKPOCKET, MAN ESCAPED, etc. But why can't Bresson be speculatively regarded,
just as easily, as bisexual, or straight with an excellent, all-inclusive
erotic imagination? He would not be the first artist in creation with such an
imagination, surely! >>

This was perhaps my point: Do we really care about Bresson's personal life,
rather than his movies?
Some putative gay content in Bresson's films:
"Diary of a Country Priest": The motorcycle ride as a happy romantic
encounter.
"A Man Escaped": the close relationship between the two men. A shot near the
end, when the men are climbing down the rope, that mimes an embrace between
the two heroes. The prison as a metaphor for the oppression under which gay
people live.
"Pickpocket": The hero's journey into the all-male underworld of the
pickpockets seems like a metaphor for the entry into the gay underground of 1950's
Paris. The physical coordination between the men seems sexual. (These points have
been made over and over in nearly all reviews of the film. It's a critical
cliche.)
"Trial of Joan of Arc": a heroine who wears men's clothes, and who is deeply
horrified at the thought of sexual contact with men. And a portrait of an evil
society that tries to force such contact, just as it still tries to do on gay
people.
"Au Hasard, Balthazar": the heroine's degrading relationship with a sadistic
motorcyclist can stand for a man's degrading sexual attraction to members of a
gay underground.
All of this goes far beyond any "homo-eroticism" to be found in Bresson,
important as that might be.

Mike Grost
25448  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:20am
Subject: Re: Dialogue, Lucas, Dwan (Was: Sirk/Fassbinder)  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, MG4273@a... wrote:

Thanks, Mike - I didn't know Dwan was such a "party animal"!
25449  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:26am
Subject: Re: Robert Bresson  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
It seems to me just not right to claim that Bresson
> was "gay" (rather than, say, "bi

Or just that the films were. Biette - or "Shmiette," as Fred refers to
him - said that a kind of bisexuality in how a filmmaker looks at
his/her male and female characters was a mark of greatness.
25450  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:22am
Subject: Re: the gay Bresson?  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:

>
> Adrian (sounding a little like the inquisitorial Bishop in TRIAL OF
> JOAN OF ARC!)

No doubt in my mind that David should be burned at the stake!

But then who would sing obscure old ditties with me?

JPC
25451  
From: Adrian Martin
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:38am
Subject: Ben Barka film  apmartin90


 
Just reading in LIBERATION on-line about Serge Le Peron's film,
currently shooting, about the Ben Barka affair of the mid '60s (to
which Godard's MADE IN USA alluded): it stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as
Franju, and Josianne Balasko as Duras !!!! Fun and games. Charles
Berling is also in it (as a gay Bresson - just kidding.)

Adrian
25452  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:53am
Subject: Re: Ben Barka film  cellar47


 
--- Adrian Martin wrote:
> Just reading in LIBERATION on-line about Serge Le
> Peron's film,
> currently shooting, about the Ben Barka affair of
> the mid '60s (to
> which Godard's MADE IN USA alluded): it stars
> Jean-Pierre Léaud as
> Franju, and Josianne Balasko as Duras !!!! Fun and
> games. Charles
> Berling is also in it (as a gay Bresson - just
> kidding.)
>

Wow, that's fascinating! I remember that Franju was
involved in the Ben Barka business but never knew all
of the details.

It was Franju who said to Godard "But surely M. Godard
you'll agree that a film must have a beginning a
middle and an end," inspiring J-L G's immortal reply
"Yes, but not necessairily in that order."

I've always been crazy about "Made in U.S.A." I'll
never forget the press screening at the New York Film
Festival in 68. Coming out of it I got into an
argument with Henry Geldzahler -- who didn't like it.
I almost got him tochange his mind.

Some day it would be nice to project it the way Godard
suggested, alternating reels with the film he made at
the same time: "2 ou 3 choses que Je sais d'elle"

As for Berling he's one of the most interesting young
French actors of his generation. In some ways he's
taken up where Leaud left off.



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25453  
From: "Patrick Ciccone"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:30am
Subject: Re: Ben Barka film  pwciccone


 
This issue has been breached before, but is MADE IN USA available in
said country in forms besides Anthology's reportedly tattered 16mm
print? I've never seen it there, but it seems to be the "lost" Godard,
just as FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER is the semi-lost Bresson. (Does MoMA
own a print of that one?)


Patrick
25454  
From: Craig Keller
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:36am
Subject: Re: Re: Ben Barka film  evillights


 
On Sunday, April 10, 2005, at 12:30 AM, Patrick Ciccone wrote:

> This issue has been breached before, but is MADE IN USA available in
> said country in forms besides Anthology's reportedly tattered 16mm
> print? I've never seen it there, but it seems to be the "lost" Godard,
> just as FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER is the semi-lost Bresson. (Does MoMA
> own a print of that one?)

If you want to see 'Made in U.S.A.' on video, there's a DVD that just
came out from Warner Bros. in the UK, with subtitles, and one out in
France without subtitles from StudioCanal's Série noir collection.
25455  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:36am
Subject: Re: Ben Barka film  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:
> Just reading in LIBERATION on-line about Serge Le Peron's film,
> currently shooting, about the Ben Barka affair of the mid '60s (to
> which Godard's MADE IN USA alluded): it stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as
> Franju, and Josianne Balasko as Duras !!!! Fun and games. Charles
> Berling is also in it (as a gay Bresson - just kidding.)
>
> Adrian

That's great. Serge Le Peron is the guy to do it, too. I hope this
puts him on the map, after years of being overshadowed by Danielle
Dubroux, his talented sig. o. (now ex-, I think). They visited me in
79, when we interviewed the "4 aces" of tv movies together: Graham,
Sargent, Johnson and Mann. It was a very entertaining experience, and
we all bonded, then didn't see each other until he returned in 82,
and very little since. (He came over once more with a script for an
insane scifi movie he wanted to get coproduced.)

Among Serge's best articles were Star Wars and Cocorico, Monsieur
Poulet. Leaud as Franju is a good onscreen double for him. And of
course Serge was a young '68 militant, with strong bonds to the
Palestianian cause and the Arab world in general. I have never seen a
single one of the very small number of films he has made thru the
years, but this one sounds like it should garner some visibility,
hopefully.
25456  
From: "Brian Charles Dauth"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:44am
Subject: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  cinebklyn


 
Adrian writes:


> That is also the first I have heard (from Damien's post) of that
rumour concerning the very straight-seeming Assayas !

He tried to pick up the man I was dating when he had a film
at the NYFF and the bf was working at Lincoln Center. Very
persistent too (some other things as well I best leave to the
imagination).

Brian
25457  
From: "Brian Charles Dauth"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:59am
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  cinebklyn


 
Fred writes:

> I don't accept what I consider this false separation of a film into its
"ingredients."

Okay. I do. We disagree. Great art for me consists of various elements
that an artist assembles to convey his vision.

> A great film, one controlled by a filmmaker's vision, transforms all its
parts.

In my view, a vision, no matter how controlling, cannot turn dross into
gold. It is craftsmanship in service of artistic vision that accomplishes
this.

N.B.: In the remainder of my post when I write about your view, I realize
that I am writing about how I perceive your view. I apologize in advance
for any distortions I inflict.

If I am understanding you, you believe that an auteur has a vision which
he expresses through the creation and manipulation of form. Aspects of
a film that an auteur does not control are transformed by their proximity
to the artist's vision.

For me, an artist has a vision and expresses it through the assembly and
manipulation of the various elements of her chosen medium. In the case
of an auteur, she can chose from light, color, framing, dialogue, sound,
acting, music, graphics, etc. Each of these elements is an implement that
conveys the artist's vision. Much like electrons and protons carry the
charge of an atom, these elements are the vehicles of vision.

Piece by piece --
Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just the vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution:
Putting it together --
That's what counts.

> "Infelicities" of dialogue is a meaningless concept, because against
what standard are they judged?

Noel Coward; Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Ben Hecht; Sam Fuller; Tom
Stoppard; Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett. If we can create standards
for visual talent, why can't we do the same for verbal talent?

Infelicities of dialogue are important since dialogue is one of the
elements through which an artist's vision is conveyed.

> Is not the dialogue of Fuller's "Shock Corridor" incredibly crude,
never mind full of "infelicities"?

Not at all. Fuller crafts his dialogue like verbal headlines, delivered
with the same passion as he delivers his imagery. Fuller crafts his
dialogue to convey his vision.

> The notion that a great filmmaker's vision transforms a film's parts,
and that individual parts can't be judged according to some standard
external to an auteur's oeuvre, is at the core of auteurism.

I would say that notion is at the core of classical auteurism. But
there are other iterations of auteur theory. Classical auteur theory
was formulated at a specific historical moment in response to films made
under a particular set of material circumstances. Films produced under
different material circumstances require an auteur theory appropriate to
those circumstances.

> I know of few lines in cinema more moving than Mitch Wayne's advice
to Marylee at the end of "Written on the Wind" to acknowledge "how
far we've come from the river," or Sarah Jane's whispered "I love you,
mamma" near the end of "Imitation of Life."

Different people are moved by different things. Not all viewers will be
affected the same way by what they experience.

> Yet if these lines are not banal, nothing is.

No argument there.

> I'm not sure that the "depth" of a filmmaker's themes can be judged
apart from the depth of his forms, but the Fassbinder films I've seen
seem "mannered" to me too.

What does it mean to you when you say a film is mannered?

> I don't get a particular sense of space from his work, or a particular
kind of visual pleasure.

Again, your absence of pleasure is another person's cinematic orgy.

> His style seems superficial, and often shifts from film to film.

The style may shift, but Fassbinder's vision is constant. He is just
talented enough to manifest his vision through the use of many
different styles.

Also, what makes a style superficial in your opinion?

> Great film art is not some quantity that is "fungible" with
"felicitous" dialogue. The latter might be nicely crafted and
pleasurable to hear; the former is transformative.

If I am understanding your posts, you experience great art as
transformative, but I am not clear about what is transformed
and how it is transformed.

For me, the artist transforms the elements of his medium through
the application of craft. The purpose of this transformation is to
imbue these elements with her vision. The final transformation is
the unification of all these elements into a whole that both contains
the transformed elements and, at the same time, reinforces and
refracts them.

> This is Auteurism 101, in my opinion.

Well maybe, I am Auterism 102. How does auteurism deal with
filmmakers where the tension is not between a director and his
material, but between a director and the culture/power paradigms
under which he makes his films? To me, for auteurism to be a
useful way of approaching films, it must be adaptable to the
variety of conditions under which films can be produced.

Brian
25458  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:28am
Subject: "Ebolusyon" in latest Film Comment  noelbotevera


 
The 11-hour "Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino" (Evolution of a
Filipino Family) is mentioned by Olaf Moller in the latest issue of
Film Comment:

http://journals.aol.com/noelbotevera/MyJournal/entries/727
25459  
From: "Damien Bona"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:38am
Subject: Re: all the gayness (Bresson)  damienbona


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:

> PS That is also the first I have heard (from Damien's post) of that
> rumour concerning the very straight-seeming Assayas ! - who, like a
> string of directors (Godard and Jacquot are in that queue), fell in
> love with women from Bresson's films, and I for one don't blame them
> !!!!!!


My recollection is that I read this in an item by the New York Post's
V.A. Musetto, whose an anomaly -- a New York Post writer about "art"
films. But I googled today and couldn't find his article -- or any
similar articles -- on the subject . . .
25460  
From: "joe_mcelhaney"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:28pm
Subject: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  joe_mcelhaney


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>
>
> David I just could hug you! Now let's see if anybody else knows
> what we're talking about (I saw the show three times in two weeks at
> Cafe Cino the first year I was in New York -- 1965-66. It was
> heaven. And I'm not even gay!) JPC

The song is "Who's That Rainbow?" by Rodgers and Hart: 1926. Written
for "Peggy-Ann." Introduced by Helen Ford. What's this show you saw in
1965-66? Did they do a revival? Or was it interpolated into something
else?

So don't despair, J-P. If David is ever burned alive you and I can
always duet. If we ever do, though, I insist that we begin
with "Sisters" from "White Christmas."


>
>
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> > http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25461  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  cellar47


 
--- joe_mcelhaney wrote:

>
> The song is "Who's That Rainbow?" by Rodgers and
> Hart: 1926. Written
> for "Peggy-Ann." Introduced by Helen Ford. What's
> this show you saw in
> 1965-66? Did they do a revival? Or was it
> interpolated into something
> else?
>

J-P appears tobe talking about the original production
of "Dames at Sea" -- which started at the Cino before
becomign an off-broadway hit and making Bernadette
Peters a star.

> So don't despair, J-P. If David is ever burned
> alive you and I can
> always duet. If we ever do, though, I insist that we
> begin
> with "Sisters" from "White Christmas."
>
>

I've always though Vera-Ellen underrated. No range at
all, but she's wonderful in the "Mandy" number.



__________________________________
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25462  
From: "joe_mcelhaney"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:22pm
Subject: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  joe_mcelhaney


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>
> --- joe_mcelhaney wrote:
>
> >
> > The song is "Who's That Rainbow?" by Rodgers and
> > Hart: 1926.

Oops. Typo on my part. Of course I meant to write: "Where's That
Rainbow?" Got it right in the subject headline anyway. My
introduction to the song could not have been gayer (or more
bombastic): Barbra Streisand's album, "My Name is Barbra, Two..."


Written
> > for "Peggy-Ann." Introduced by Helen Ford. What's
> > this show you saw in
> > 1965-66? Did they do a revival? Or was it
> > interpolated into something
> > else?
> >
>
> J-P appears tobe talking about the original production
> of "Dames at Sea" -- which started at the Cino before
> becomign an off-broadway hit and making Bernadette
> Peters a star.
>
> > So don't despair, J-P. If David is ever burned
> > alive you and I can
> > always duet. If we ever do, though, I insist that we
> > begin
> > with "Sisters" from "White Christmas."
> >
> >
>
> I've always though Vera-Ellen underrated. No range at
> all, but she's wonderful in the "Mandy" number.

I was obsessed with Vera-Ellen when I was a child. I think it was
the pony tail -- I had a fetish for them. David Newman wrote a Guilty
Pleasures piece for Film Comment once and had an entry on "Three
Little Girls in Blue," an amazing Fox musical she's in with June
Haver and Vivian Blaine. Newman's guilt here had to do with his
adolescent fascination with blonde, gentile women like Vera-Ellen
and "Three Little Girls" was for him the ultimate form of
indulgence. It's playing on the Fox Movie Channel later this month
and I heartily recommend it, especially for Vera's "I Like Mike" song
in her hotel room. It's not an auteurist film, though, so enough of
this kind of talk.


>
>
>
> __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25463  
From: "jesse_paddock"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:44pm
Subject: Vittorio De Seta  jesse_paddock


 
Hello from a newbie!

I caught a gorgeous 35mm screening of De Seta's 1961 B&W feature
Banditi A Orgosolo yesterday. It was my first encounter with the
man's work and I found it pretty incredible: a very simple, almost
Bressonian (I do realize that's a 'loaded' term on the forum right
now) story of a shepherd who's framed for theft and forced to hide out
on top of a mt. with his flock and younger brother.

This is obviously Neo-Realist: the relationship b/w the man and his
brother reminded me of nothing so much as Antonio and lil Bruno in
Bicycle Thief. But there was something in the rough, rocky terrain of
De Seta's Sardinia that gave the film some treacherous suspense: in
some ways it was more like Saura's La Caza or at its most abstract, it
looked ahead to Gerry.

Anyway, I was wondering what others thought of the director.
Specifically, if anyone's seen his acclaimed cycle of short
documentaries from the 50s: Pasqua in Sicilia, Sulfatera or Pastori a
Orgosolo.

Best,
Jesse Paddock
25464  
From: "Brian Charles Dauth"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  cinebklyn


 
Zach writes:

> When you (or, um, when I and many others) watch
something by Sirk, the "vision" of the film--to put it in
Camperian terms, its sweep of imagery and tempo, its
acting styles, and its editing--put forth a mood or
atmosphere which (a) some of us find amazing/brilliant/etc.
in itself

Got it.

> (b) which is intense enough to overtake whatever power
the screenplay or dialogue hold which might be.

Thank you. Now I have a much clearer understanding. What
happens for me is that the atmosphere Sirk creates with his
imagery is poisoned by its lack of coordination with his dialogue,
and by the dialogue's sloppy craftsmanship in comparison with
the care taken with the imagery.

> I can't be precise . . .

You have been very clear. Again, thank you.

> In ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, the dollar-store
transcendentalism acquires a certain 'echo-chamber' or
'found poetry' effect where the words take on an abstracted,
aestheticized feeling amidst a much more powerful,
non-dialogue-located thrust.

Here is where we diverge. For me, "the dollar-store
transcendentalism" remains exactly what it is; in fact, its
inadequacy is highlighted when juxtaposed with Sirk's
imagery.

> And in his cleaner and crisper masterpieces, like JOHNNY
GUITAR or BIGGER THAN LIFE (a film I don't even "like"
simply because I'm too much of a wuss to handle it), there's
not so much bad dialogue because Ray is in synch with his
material and gets to make films more overtly critical of their
subjects.

Exactly. The imagery, acting, dialogue all carry the critique.

> But in WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES or BITTER
VICTORY, the corrosive critique is part and parcel with the
disjointedness of the films:

I wold have to see the films again and think about your thesis.
I would have to see how the disjointness carries Ray's critique.

> seeing a troubled Ray masterpiece gives one an exhilirating
and odd feeling because it seems to push against itself from all
sides.

I get the feeling of an artist who has lost control, and, for me,
there is nothing exhilirating about such a spectacle.

> There may be problems in their dialogue or in their structures,
but the art lies elsewhere, and attacking these films for their
obvious imperfections seems so ... beside the point.

Again, we disagree. I do not take the position that the art lies
elsewhere, since I regard that as a begging of the question.

> If a line or a few lines that look corny, mawkish, or bland on paper
get you in the gut, that's because the actor and/or director "sold it."
(And that's no small thing.)

To use your term, I would say that the director was able to corral
the dialogue into the architecture of his vision.

> If the same line assaults you, dizzies you, makes you experience the
rest of the film with sharper senses, it's because someone (usually
but not necessarily a director) is working at a high level that re-
orients the elements of a film in some meaningful way.

Agreed.

> Some filmmakers can't work on assignment, can't deal with directing
films with scripts they didn't conceive of and write.

Agreed.

> I agree with you, Brian, that if a filmmaker is using sound (or more
precisely, dialogue) he or she is "responsible" for it. But I don't
think we should judge the scripts necessarily based on how they
would sound if we sight-read it from a page

Agreed. I am not speaking of dialogue on the page. I am speaking of
dialogue as it is experienced when watching a film. My complaint is
not that the dialogue doesn't read well. My problem is when the
obvious care a director has taken with his imagery is not extended
to his handling of the dialogue.

> --they're often integrated into something more powerful than
themselves alone.

And my concern is with the times when that integration fails. I
think critics sometime gloss over such failures by maintaining that
unfelicitious dialogue embedded in carefully designed and controlled
visuals is somehow elevated. A rhinestone in the center of a diamond
broach is still a rhinestone. The surrounding diamonds may distract
a person, but cannot transform the baseness of the lesser jewel.

Brian
25465  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 0:57pm
Subject: Welcome Jesse/Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  scil1973


 
Welcome to Jesse!!

<< I am not sure we would ever be able to change David's mind on this, even if
we could
produce eye-witness or forensic evidence !! >>

Adrian, I understand your frustration with David's arguments. I myself find
the "all gigolos are gay" thang a bit much. But read between the lines. Or
rather, on their surfaces. Self-consciously or not, David's playful, frustrating
evasiveness is a critique of such "scientific" endeavors as determining
homosexuality beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's also an acknowledgment that much of
gay history and even identity has to be mobilized through rumour, gossip,
speculation, innuendo, fleeting gestures, coded language, all those things Andrea
Weiss mentioned and not via eye-witness or forensic evidence. And really,
Adrian, what would count as eye-witness or forensic evidence of Bresson's
hetero/bisexuality? A statement along the lines of "I am Robert Bresson and I am
hetero/bisexual?" Footage of Bresson eating pussy? And let's assume we did have
this evidence. Such actions aren't always self-evident. For instance, gay porn is
plagued with straight men who suck dick and take it up the ass. Are they
"really" gay then? Is Bresson "really" straight or bisexual?

I think the more important question is something David asked (with no winks
or nudges necessary): what requires proof and why?

Kevin John



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25466  
From: Dan Sallitt
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:08pm
Subject: Bad scripts (Was: Sirk/Fassbinder)  sallitt1


 
> Thank you. Now I have a much clearer understanding. What
> happens for me is that the atmosphere Sirk creates with his
> imagery is poisoned by its lack of coordination with his dialogue,
> and by the dialogue's sloppy craftsmanship in comparison with
> the care taken with the imagery.
> there is nothing exhilirating about such a spectacle.
>
>> If a line or a few lines that look corny, mawkish, or bland on paper
> get you in the gut, that's because the actor and/or director "sold it."
> (And that's no small thing.)

Maybe it will help this discussion to distinguish among different kinds of
bad scriptwriting.

Perhaps the dialogue is a little ordinary, or thin by itself. This is
generally not a big problem if something else is going on.

Perhaps the dialogue is purple, or draws too much attention to itself
given the little content it offers. This is tricky, but it's the kind of
situation that auteurists often focus on. Directorial attitude can help a
lot here by adjusting the emphases, by creating a vivid context.
Sometimes conviction works, sometimes critique, sometimes even
distraction.

Then there are more difficult cases. Maybe the dialogue is such that
having conviction in it is too distasteful. Or maybe the dialogue is
aggressively dumb, so that nothing but undercutting it will work. Maybe
the script contains inner contradictions. Maybe the structure is screwed.
In many cases, a radical reimagining might be the only hope - and even
then the prognosis is poor.

There are films I love that have bad dialogue (I agree with Zach that
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE leads the parade) that is only partially
assimilated. In REBEL, a vibrant, other-worldly mood helps the overly
theme-laden dialogue find a home, but there are lines that just stick out.
To some extent Ray found the right tone to take the edge off, and to some
extent I just tolerate an untranscended component of clunkiness. I'm more
comfortable than some with flawed art, especially if I'm wowed by aspects
of it.

- Dan
25467  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
>
>
> The song is "Who's That Rainbow?" by Rodgers and Hart: 1926.
Written
> for "Peggy-Ann." Introduced by Helen Ford. What's this show you
saw in
> 1965-66? Did they do a revival? Or was it interpolated into
something
> else?
>
> So don't despair, J-P. If David is ever burned alive you and I
can
> always duet. If we ever do, though, I insist that we begin
> with "Sisters" from "White Christmas."
>
>
Well, It's an awful confusion on my part. I had quoted a song
from "Dames at Sea" -- a wonderful homage to old-fashioned musicals
produced in the village in the mid-sixties (I think it had a young
Bernadette Peters in it!)It later moved from off-off to off to
Broadway. The song is called "Where Is That Rainbow?" At first I
thought David was quoting lyrics that I had forgotten, but I
realized the two sets of lyrics were too different. I sent David a
private e-mail wondering about it. But I should have known the
Rodgers and Hart! My original quotation was also from the same
show: "We need some frilly skirts to boost our moreale/Some dames at
sea!" JPC
> >
> > > __________________________________
> > > Do you Yahoo!?
> > > Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> > > http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25468  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:18pm
Subject: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "joe_mcelhaney"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
> wrote:
> >
> > --- joe_mcelhaney wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > The song is "Who's That Rainbow?" by Rodgers and
> > > Hart: 1926.
>
>
> So the authors of "Dames at Sea" stole the Rodgers/Hart title!
> >
> > I love "Three Little Girls in Blue" too. Maybe Vera-Ellen was
an auteur...
> >
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
> > http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25469  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:37pm
Subject: Re: Re: Where's That Rainbow? (was: all the gayness)  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> > > I love "Three Little Girls in Blue" too. Maybe
> Vera-Ellen was
> an auteur...

Well maybe not an auteur but certainly not negligible.
In the "Films and Filming " interview with Walters he
said he couldn't get much out of her for "The Belle of
New York." It's a wonderful movie, but I sense there
was a world of difference between Walters' easygoing
relationship with Astaire -- both being dancers they
had a language common -- and his relationship with
Vera Ellen. In light of his great use of Joan
McCracken and June Allyson in "Good News" Walters
obviously appreciated lively sexy women, rather than
someone far more prim like Vera-Ellen.



__________________________________
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Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
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25470  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:03pm
Subject: Re: "Ebolusyon" in latest Film Comment  scil1973


 
Noel, any chance this will be released in a gorgeous, deluxe DVD edition with
crisp, clear English subtitles?

Seriously, though, my ignorance of Phillippine cinema has to stop soon. Half
seriously, can't you spearhead some sort of DVD with English subtitles
revolution over there, Noel? :)

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25471  
From: "Maxime Renaudin"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:38pm
Subject: Vera Drake, Mike Leigh  jaloysius56


 
Leigh being pantheonized by a few afb members, I thought I could pay
visit to his last piece.
I heartily hated the movie.
The dishonesty of its representation system is at the very opposite
of my idea of a film. The whole thing stands in the wording of its
subject; then the Leigh machine takes great care to crush
characters, puppets condemned as soon as defined. Motionless
trajectory that refuses the space of desire and the breath of life.
Dull vignettes that demonstrate only the contempt and the arrogance
of the gaze.
Is there anything more sinister than this single shot of the couple
(the daughter and the neighbour) walking in the park? I'm not
referring here to the pathetic of the situation (as valuable as any
other), but to the emotional blackmail of Leigh, who catches in a
trap the actors and the viewer all together, in a moment that
negates the virtuality of any sentiment, of any conscience. The very
distance in the shot is the one of contempt.
A totalitarian cinema all the more astounding as it comes from a so-
called liberal filmmaker. It makes me vomit, but it may be I'm
hyperventilating here.
25472  
From: "Maxime Renaudin"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:41pm
Subject: OT The greatest Frenchman of all time  jaloysius56


 
I guess this silly poll is universal.
5 filmmakers out 100:
#11: Marcel PAGNOL (presumably not here as a cineaste)
#40: Louis LUMIERE (surprising, no?)
#90: Jean COCTEAU (presumably not here as a cineaste)
#91: Luc BESSON
#94: Jean RENOIR (father is #77)
25473  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:49pm
Subject: Re: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  fredcamper


 
Brian,

I'm sorry, but the terms in which you defend Fassbinder, and reply to
Zach and myself, suggest to me too deep a difference of opinion to make
a sustained debate productive. Also, I often find point by point
responses to be not especially helpful, even though I'm using that mode
in my reply. I'm not saying you shouldn't reply to this, just that I may
or may not reply further.

Brian: "Great art for me consists of various elements that an artist
assembles to convey his vision."

If I've learned anything from the past century of art making, it is that
"great art" has no definition. Yours does not seem to me to fit
single-element pieces, such as Duchamp's readymades, that depend a lot
on cultural context. At the same Garrell screening Gabe referred to, a
number of shorter French "experimental" films were shown, including
Maurice Lemaitre's "The Song of Rio Jim," which I quite liked. This film
consists of only one element: the sound track. The screen is black. The
sound track seems to be a collage of western movie sound tracks, but as
a collage it's not a particularly distinguished piece of sound art. What
I liked about it was its commentary on movie watching -- as Lemaitre
says in a note, the audience is invited to imagine the images. It didn't
work by the sum of its elements so much as as a "gesture" or conceptual
statement.

Brian: "In my view, a vision, no matter how controlling, cannot turn
dross into gold. It is craftsmanship in service of artistic vision that
accomplishes this."

I disagree 2,000 per cent. The found footage film offers one
counter-example. "East of Borneo" is dross; Cornell's "Rose Hobart,"
edited from fragments of it, is pure gold.

Also, I loathe the word "craftsmanship" in this context. There is no
such thing as good and bad craftsmanship when it comes to modern art,
because "good" craftsmanship can be counterproductive in one context,
while "bad" can be perfect in another.

Brian: "Each of these elements is an implement that conveys the artist's
vision. Much like electrons and protons carry the charge of an atom,
these elements are the vehicles of vision."

I don't know how familiar you are with modern physics beginning with
quantum mechanics, but your view of the atom makes my point. The truth
is that the atom is hardly a stable accretion of elements, but a cluster
of "clouds" of probabilities that can do all sorts of completely
surprising things at any second. Hell, empty space, the "perfect"
vacuum, is not even empty; particles are constantly coming into
existence out of nothing and then vanishing. Nor does a work of art
equal the sum of its parts in any sort of stable way, as in well crafted
script plus good acting and direction makes a good movie. There are no
objective standards about any of those things, and the
elements-coming-together process in a great film is synergistic and
multiplicative rather than additive.

Me, then Brian:

> "Infelicities" of dialogue is a meaningless concept, because against
> what standard are they judged?

"Noel Coward; Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Ben Hecht; Sam Fuller; Tom Stoppard;
Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett. If we can create standards for visual
talent, why can't we do the same for verbal talent?"

Because we can't create "standards for visual talent." Every attempt to
codify what makes good art has been met by an artist who violates the
previous "standards" and is good because of it. See Lemaitre, Isou.

Brian: "Infelicities of dialogue are important since dialogue is one of
the elements through which an artist's vision is conveyed."

A director's vision can transform "infelicities" into something else, or
use them as infelicities, or be so overwhelming that they don't matter
very much.

Brian: "If I am understanding your posts, you experience great art as
transformative, but I am not clear about what is transformed and how it
is transformed."

The viewer is transformed by a vision that is aesthetically ecstatic,
intellectually stimulating, and emotionally moving. This something I
have never gotten from Fassbinder.

Brian: "For me, the artist transforms the elements of his medium through
the application of craft."

In my view this is just as true of many horrible films, as long as the
artist is controlling the elements to express a vision.

Brian: "I am Auterism 102."

I appreciate that you appreciate Fuller, but what you are advocating
sounds anti-auteurism to me, more along the lines of defending "quality"
that comes from the accrued efforts of many craftspeople.

Brian: "How does auteurism deal with filmmakers where the tension is not
between a director and his material, but between a director and the
culture/power paradigms under which he makes his films?"

The same way: by looking for the filmmaker's vision, and sometimes by
discovering it through the way the filmmaker struggles against the
givens of his conditions of production.

Brian: "What happens for me is that the atmosphere Sirk creates with his
imagery is poisoned by its lack of coordination with his dialogue, and
by the dialogue's sloppy craftsmanship in comparison with the care taken
with the imagery."

I would never describe Sirk's dialogue as showing "sloppy
craftsmanship." Even the nutty Lloyd C. Douglas movie Zach cited,
"Magnificent Obsession," may have its ridiculous moments, which Sirk
uses and transforms (though I might agree a little bit with Zach that he
doesn't transform them as completely as elsewhere), but I wouldn't call
them examples of "sloppy craftsmanship."

Let me also stress that I am talking about Sirk films seen ON FILM, in
reasonably good prints. I have DVDs of a few color ones that I know from
multiple viewings in good 16mm and 35mm prints, and I simply cannot
watch them. To see the script being transformed you have to see the film
in some reasonable facsimile of what the filmmaker intended, and DVDs do
not, in my view, fulfill that requirement.

Hollywood films reflect the conditions under which they were made.
Almost all lack the perfection of, say, Stan Brakhage's "The Text of
Light." The fact that there are imperfections and rough edges do not
necessarily "enhance" them, and might even be said to detract, but if
enough of a genuinely expression vision comes through I find myself not
that bothered by the imperforations. Indeed, often they are interesting,
for revealing the struggle with which the films were made. While my
writing has been attacked for putting too much stress on "unity" in a
film, I don't accept Brian's concept of "integration."

Brian:

"And my concern is with the times when that integration fails. I think
critics sometime gloss over such failures by maintaining that
unfelicitious dialogue embedded in carefully designed and controlled
visuals is somehow elevated. A rhinestone in the center of a diamond
broach is still a rhinestone. The surrounding diamonds may distract a
person, but cannot transform the baseness of the lesser jewel."

A great film is not a consumer object. I totally reject this notion.
This is why I don't like most "entertainment" films. I don't want to be
served up glitter for my viewing pleasure, I want to have an aesthetic
experience in time and space of another's mind. The latter actually
argues with the former. The diamonds in the sublime credit sequence of
"Imitation of Life," may be fake, but that is Sirk's whole point. A life
lived based on the consumer's pleasure with objects is indeed only "a
false creation, an imitation, of life" -- getting in my own song lyrics
quote here.

Fred Camper
25474  
From: Peter Henne
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:30pm
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  peterhenne
Online Now Send IM

 
Fair enough, but we are still left wondering about the RELEVANCE of sexual identity for teasing out the meaning of artworks. Sometimes it is, sure. Let's say Bresson was gay. Flash: what's so different now about your aesthetic and moral responses to the films? For me, next to nothing. I see the two prisoners in "A Man Escaped" working together to bust out, in cramped quarters not of their choosing. They make a plan that has a chance of working. As for Bresson's regard toward male and female performers, he lights all in the same diffused light (which becomes a bit crisper after Burel), at the same distance, casts attractive but not too attractive people. I think Bresson finds human flesh sensual; does that make him "bi," or attending to bodies with a painter's curiosity and fascination? Don't forget he considered himself both a filmmaker and painter. Are we supposed to find Pierre-Paul Prud'hon straight or gay or bi--pick one of the three, please--on the basis of his magnificent
drawings of male and female nudes? That sounds prurient to me, and a lot of idle labeling is going on in these latest posts. This clamoring to label everybody and box them up in categories is somehow indicative of a facile approach, maybe a leftover from the patriarchal will to control sexuality that we all want to overcome.

Now let's say, wait a minute, Robert Bresson the filmmaker wasn't a gigolo, it was some other Robert Bresson, or someone mistaken for the film director Bresson. And it turns out Maureen O'Hara was just having one on us about John Ford smooching a guy in his office, wanted to see how many of us she could rope in with a tidbit of gossip. Are you going to suddenly withdraw your newfound gay "insight" on Ford? Then, wait, O'Hara breaks down and says she lied about making a prank, she was trying to exert damage control after her first remark, and in fact she did see Ford place his lips on a man. DEFINITELY. That's what she really did see. For sure. Maybe.

See where this is going? Philosophers from Collingwood's time have argued about the place of the artist's intentions in assigning meaning and the intentionalist fallacy. You've got to be careful about which parts of an artist's biography shed light on the art. Some parts do, some don't, it's a tricky business and speaking for myself I've never been able to establish hard-and-fast rules. Murnau gay? Yes, but I don't care when I think about the films. Eisenstein gay? Maybe, and it might make a difference about how I see his work. Paradjanov gay? Even if he hadn't been jailed--the only factual evidence here--I would still see a gay sensibility in his films. (I admit that's not a very good counterfactual, because if he hadn't been jailed, I wonder if his last films would have turned out the same.)

Peter

LiLiPUT1@... wrote:
read between the lines. Or
rather, on their surfaces. Self-consciously or not, David's playful, frustrating
evasiveness is a critique of such "scientific" endeavors as determining
homosexuality beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's also an acknowledgment that much of
gay history and even identity has to be mobilized through rumour, gossip,
speculation, innuendo, fleeting gestures, coded language, all those things Andrea
Weiss mentioned and not via eye-witness or forensic evidence.

Kevin John


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25475  
From: "Maxime Renaudin"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:54pm
Subject: Re: Dialogue, Lucas, Dwan (Was: Sirk/Fassbinder)  jaloysius56


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:
> If more films like Chances and While Paris Sleeps become
> available, he might turn out to be a Pantheon director. While Paris
> Sleeps is wonderful, and again when he talks to PB about it, he
> stresses how happy he was with the dialogue.

I'm so glad you finally opened the dvd, Bill!
Wicked ('31) is pretty good too. Is What a widow! ('30) available
somewhere? Should these gems resurface, it could only prove that
Dwan's genius always found its way out, and did not die with the sound
era, nor waited Bogeaus to rise. But we don't need them to put him
right where he belongs, this damned Pantheon.
25476  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:02pm
Subject: Re: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  cellar47


 
--- Fred Camper wrote:

> Brian,
>
> I'm sorry, but the terms in which you defend
> Fassbinder, and reply to
> Zach and myself, suggest to me too deep a difference
> of opinion to make
> a sustained debate productive.

That's rather disappointing, fred. I for one don't see
why. Granted you and Brian stand on opposite ends of a
polarity with Sirk on one side and Fassbinder on the
other. And granted you're not going to convince Brian
that he ought to like Sirk more than he does anymore
than he's likely to convince you to change your mind
about fassbinder. But you're both seriosu critics
capable of an excahnge of views useful to the entire
list.


>
> Brian: "In my view, a vision, no matter how
> controlling, cannot turn
> dross into gold. It is craftsmanship in service of
> artistic vision that
> accomplishes this."
>
> I disagree 2,000 per cent. The found footage film
> offers one
> counter-example. "East of Borneo" is dross;
> Cornell's "Rose Hobart,"
> edited from fragments of it, is pure gold.
>

And I think you sell George Melford's film short. No
it's not great art, but it's a very interesting piece
of commercial film craft -- as is his Spanish language
version of "Dracula" -- shot simultaneously with
Brownings on the same set, but with Spanish-speaking
actors.


>
> Me, then Brian:
>
> > "Infelicities" of dialogue is a meaningless
> concept, because against
> > what standard are they judged?
>
> "Noel Coward; Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Ben Hecht; Sam
> Fuller; Tom Stoppard;
> Billy Wilder & Charles Brackett. If we can create
> standards for visual
> talent, why can't we do the same for verbal talent?"
>
> Because we can't create "standards for visual
> talent." Every attempt to
> codify what makes good art has been met by an artist
> who violates the
> previous "standards" and is good because of it. See
> Lemaitre, Isou.
>

Sure we can create standards for visual talent! You
don't have to be a DP to recognize the difference
between a routinely or indiffeently photographed film
and an imaginative one. James Wong Howe isn't famous
for nothing.





> I appreciate that you appreciate Fuller, but what
> you are advocating
> sounds anti-auteurism to me, more along the lines of
> defending "quality"
> that comes from the accrued efforts of many
> craftspeople.
>

Well that's because dramatic films ARE the accrued
efforts of many craftspeople, synchonized by the
director.


>
> Let me also stress that I am talking about Sirk
> films seen ON FILM, in
> reasonably good prints. I have DVDs of a few color
> ones that I know from
> multiple viewings in good 16mm and 35mm prints, and
> I simply cannot
> watch them. To see the script being transformed you
> have to see the film
> in some reasonable facsimile of what the filmmaker
> intended, and DVDs do
> not, in my view, fulfill that requirement.
>

Well now you're invoking an ideal sense of "purity"
that's quite Quixotic in nature.

Film and video work in tandem today, and there's no
avoiding it.




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25477  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:24pm
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  cellar47


 
--- Peter Henne wrote:
> Fair enough, but we are still left wondering about
> the RELEVANCE of sexual identity for teasing out the
> meaning of artworks.

That's the homework assignment that nobody wants I was
referring to.

Sometimes it is, sure. Let's
> say Bresson was gay. Flash: what's so different now
> about your aesthetic and moral responses to the
> films? For me, next to nothing.

And you've just tossed that homework assignment in the
trash.

Maybe I can make things easier for you. Forget about
Bresson being gay. The films are PROFOUNDLY
homoerotic.

Can you dig?


I see the two
> prisoners in "A Man Escaped" working together to
> bust out, in cramped quarters not of their choosing.
> They make a plan that has a chance of working.

And then ?

AND THEN?


As
> for Bresson's regard toward male and female
> performers, he lights all in the same diffused light
> (which becomes a bit crisper after Burel), at the
> same distance, casts attractive but not too
> attractive people.

Speak for yourself! Claude Laydu, Francois Leterrier,
Charles LeClainche, Martin Lasalle, Francois LaFarge
(talk about "rough trade"!),Antoine Monnier (about
whom Dennis Cooper has composed a love sonnett) and
Christian Patey are absolute knockouts! Babe City!


I think Bresson finds human flesh
> sensual; does that make him "bi," or attending to
> bodies with a painter's curiosity and fascination?

Are yp=ou familiar with Caravaggio? Michelangelo?
Francis Bacon?

> Don't forget he considered himself both a filmmaker
> and painter. Are we supposed to find Pierre-Paul
> Prud'hon straight or gay or bi--pick one of the
> three, please--on the basis of his magnificent
> drawings of male and female nudes? That sounds
> prurient to me, and a lot of idle labeling is going
> on in these latest posts.

Viva Purience!

This clamoring to label
> everybody and box them up in categories is somehow
> indicative of a facile approach, maybe a leftover
> from the patriarchal will to control sexuality that
> we all want to overcome.
>

Ah but the automatic heterosexaulization of everything
ISN'T labelling. Yeah, right.

> Now let's say, wait a minute, Robert Bresson the
> filmmaker wasn't a gigolo, it was some other Robert
> Bresson, or someone mistaken for the film director
> Bresson.

No, he was a gigolo. Then he became a filmmaker. And
his experiences as a gigolo went right into his second
feature (and first masterpeice) "Les Dames du Bois de
Boulogne" -- whose dialogue was written by Jean
Cocteau.

I trust there won't be any arguments about Cocteau's
sexual orientation.


And it turns out Maureen O'Hara was just
> having one on us about John Ford smooching a guy in
> his office, wanted to see how many of us she could
> rope in with a tidbit of gossip. Are you going to
> suddenly withdraw your newfound gay "insight" on
> Ford? Then, wait, O'Hara breaks down and says she
> lied about making a prank, she was trying to exert
> damage control after her first remark, and in fact
> she did see Ford place his lips on a man.
> DEFINITELY. That's what she really did see. For
> sure. Maybe.
>

When did she take it back? News to me.
There's difinitely some degree of homoerotic tension
in certain Ford films. But it's next to nothing
compared to the full-out non-stop homoeroticism of
Bresson.

> See where this is going? Philosophers from
> Collingwood's time have argued about the place of
> the artist's intentions in assigning meaning and the
> intentionalist fallacy. You've got to be careful
> about which parts of an artist's biography shed
> light on the art. Some parts do, some don't, it's a
> tricky business and speaking for myself I've never
> been able to establish hard-and-fast rules.

There are no hard-and-fast rules. We're all JUST
BEGINNING to talk about this stuff.

Murnau
> gay? Yes, but I don't care when I think about the
> films.

Well I care, but as I've said I don't see it playing a
particularly significant role in the VERY FEW Murnau
films that have survived. If more come to light,
revisions will surely be in order.

Eisenstein gay? Maybe, and it might make a
> difference about how I see his work.

If you're not aware that Eisenstein was gay you
haven't read Marie Seton -- to mention one of his many
biographers. And you've paid no attention to the films
themselevs. In a brilliant "Film Comment" essay,
written just prior to his death from AIDS, Nestor
Almendros cites Eisenstein's homoeroticism in
"Battleship Potemkin" alone as superior to that of
Mapplethorpe.

Paradjanov gay?
> Even if he hadn't been jailed--the only factual
> evidence here--I would still see a gay sensibility
> in his films. (I admit that's not a very good
> counterfactual, because if he hadn't been jailed, I
> wonder if his last films would have turned out the
> same.)

They propbably would have. Plus he would have made
more of them. But at least you've started to peek
though the blinders.

And yes, this WILL be on the final!



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25478  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:08pm
Subject: RELEVANCE of sexual identity to artworks' meaning REVEALED!!! (was: the gay Bresson?)  scil1973


 
I think more often than not scholars/critics attempt to freeze the study of
film into a solely formalist enterprise precisely in order to avoid,
self-consciously or not, dealing with these issues of sexual identity, race, class, etc.
So, in . And I really think this quote from Mary Ann Doane


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25479  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:17pm
Subject: RELEVANCE of sexual identity to artworks' meaning REVEALED!!! (was: the gay Bresson?)  scil1973


 
OOPS! Sent that first one too early.

< teasing out the meaning of artworks.>>

I think more often than not scholars/critics attempt to freeze the study of
film into a solely formalist enterprise precisely in order to avoid,
self-consciously or not, dealing with these issues of sexual identity, race, class, etc.
And I'll admit that sexual identity may have no relevance to the meaning of
certain artworks.

But big deal. That's assuming all of us are placing the meaning of artworks
at the center of our criticism/research. Sometimes, we CAN'T place it at the
center. Here's a superb quote from Mary Ann Doane on this matter (which I may
have posted before):

“Feminism cannot be a formalism. The object is cinema only insofar as cinema
is understood not as formal object or as a repository of meanings but as a
particular - and quite specific - mode of representing and inscribing
subjectivities which are sexually inflected.”

Now I imagine many of you are getting apoplexy at this point. "This is a FILM
list not a FEMINISM list!!!!!" Ok fine. But there's really nothing to mourn
in that quote. There is no reason why formalist and, say, feminist or queer
approaches need be incompatible or antagonistic. Given Doane’s own astute close
readings of texts (few if any have written better about GILDA), perhaps she
should have written that feminism cannot only be a formalism or that it cannot
wind up a formalism. Nevertheless, feminism or that “something else” formalist
criticism always seems to shut out can open out from formalism to make the
study of film a richer field.

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25480  
From: Peter Henne
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:35pm
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  peterhenne
Online Now Send IM

 
David,

I thought the hypotheticals I posed about discovering facts were clearly just that--made up stuff to make an underlying point. I started off with the phrase "let's say," and told the one about O'Hara and Ford in a fictional mode. I guess I'll never be as funny as I think.

I'm familiar with all three painters. All three are generally considered to be gay, but regarding Caravaggio see Catherine Puglisi's biography for some cautions.

I mentioned that I hadn't been able to find any hard-and-fast rules for when to apply the artist's biography for interpreting works. I think many would say you don't NEED to do this to see the evident gay sensibility for the three you cite, and in these cases I agree. But not all cases.

I stand by what I said about Bresson. His films aren't particularly homoerotic; there's a dimension of sensuality from how he lights skin, male and female. For that matter, Balthazar's hair too. I can see Caravaggio's early paintings of boys as homoerotic, but Bresson just does not in my view square up with that same class of feeling. I didn't read Seton's biography of Eisenstein, but other critical work, and from what I could gather the case wasn't definitive. Eisenstein can be any sexual identity or unknown, and my interpretation may shift a little but my estimation will remain the same: genius.

Did I say that the "automatic heterosexualization of everything" wasn't a label? Where, David? Instead, I was expressing a dislike for automatically trying to sexually label artists and personalities, trying to find a box for each one to fit in, and I wondered why people do this. "No box" does not mean straight to me.

Peter



David Ehrenstein wrote:




I think Bresson finds human flesh
> sensual; does that make him "bi," or attending to
> bodies with a painter's curiosity and fascination?

Are yp=ou familiar with Caravaggio? Michelangelo?
Francis Bacon?





This clamoring to label
> everybody and box them up in categories is somehow
> indicative of a facile approach, maybe a leftover
> from the patriarchal will to control sexuality that
> we all want to overcome.
>

Ah but the automatic heterosexaulization of everything
ISN'T labelling. Yeah, right.





But at least you've started to peek
though the blinders.

And yes, this WILL be on the final!





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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25481  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:52pm
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  cellar47


 
--- Peter Henne wrote:
> David,
>
> I thought the hypotheticals I posed about
> discovering facts were clearly just that--made up
> stuff to make an underlying point. I started off
> with the phrase "let's say," and told the one about
> O'Hara and Ford in a fictional mode. I guess I'll
> never be as funny as I think.
>

There's no need for hypotheticals.

> I'm familiar with all three painters. All three are
> generally considered to be gay, but regarding
> Caravaggio see Catherine Puglisi's biography for
> some cautions.
>

See Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio" for "throwing caution
to the winds."

> I mentioned that I hadn't been able to find any
> hard-and-fast rules for when to apply the artist's
> biography for interpreting works. I think many would
> say you don't NEED to do this to see the evident gay
> sensibility for the three you cite, and in these
> cases I agree. But not all cases.
>
> I stand by what I said about Bresson. His films
> aren't particularly homoerotic; there's a dimension
> of sensuality from how he lights skin, male and
> female. For that matter, Balthazar's hair too.

Ah but the lure of anthormophization is at the heart
of the film. All the humans in "Balathazar" are either
weak and unable/unwilling to defend themselves (Marie
is in love with the brute Gerard) or evil (the old
famer who takes Marie in for his own nefarious
purposes is played by Pierre Klossowski -- the great
write, ex-boytoy of Andre Gide and brother of the
painter Balthus.

I can
> see Caravaggio's early paintings of boys as
> homoerotic, but Bresson just does not in my view
> square up with that same class of feeling.

Chaque a son goo!

I didn't
> read Seton's biography of Eisenstein, but other
> critical work, and from what I could gather the case
> wasn't definitive.

It's definitive. Why do think Upton Sinclair stopped
financing "Que Viva mexico"? Did you see the drawings?
Did you see"Ivan the Terrible"? Are you aware of
Eisentein's relationship witu Alexandrov and that E''s
marriage was about as 'real" as Rock Hudson's.

Eisenstein can be any sexual
> identity or unknown, and my interpretation may shift
> a little but my estimation will remain the same:
> genius.
>

Well there I'd give you an argument. Brilliant but
sadly compromised by Stalin.

> Did I say that the "automatic heterosexualization of
> everything" wasn't a label? Where, David? Instead, I
> was expressing a dislike for automatically trying to
> sexually label artists and personalities, trying to
> find a box for each one to fit in, and I wondered
> why people do this. "No box" does not mean straight
> to me.
>

So what does it mean?Neuter? Get real. Everything in
this culture"defaults" to straight. Why are having
this discussion at all if this isn't the case? You
find the notion of a gay Bresson untenable and gay
Eisenstein just barely tolerable.





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25482  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  nzkpzq


 
Peter Henne's thought experiments are interesting.
But they do not apply to my posts.
My perception of putative gay elements in Ford and Bresson came from the
films themselves, not from exterior knowledge about the filmmaker's lives.
In fact, so far I have not seen any factual information at all suggesting
anything gay in Bresson's life!
His films suggest something quite different.
For that matter, while I know little about Howard Hawks' life, have never
seen any indication that he ever had an active gay experience. But his films are
crammed to the gills with gay characters, relationships and imagery.

Mike Grost
25483  
From: "Brian Charles Dauth"
Date: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:56pm
Subject: Re: Fassbinder/Sirk  cinebklyn


 
Peter writes:

> You're right that Fassbinder would not agree that the Germans
learned anything from Nazism. But that's just my point: his
position is too neatly cynical, and blind to the obstacles that
actually have been overcome.

I don't see it as neatly cyncial. I see it as rigorously realistic.

> Perhaps Fassbinder made a show (or spectacle?) of his personal
suffering; other artists suffer, not all of them make a fuss about it.

I do not think Fassbinder made a show of his suffering. He implicated
himself in the suffering that is the lot of human life -- as victim and
victimizer. He did not try to separate himself from what he chronicled.
In this way, he is a remarkably radical artist.

> I don't really hear an echo of this curiosity and determination in
Fassbinder's characters, who seem passive and hopeless to me, even
when they ostensibly undertake action.

We just experience his characters them differently.

Brian
25484  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 0:14am
Subject: Re: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  cellar47


 
--- MG4273@... wrote:
But his films are
> crammed to the gills with gay characters,
> relationships and imagery.
>

Dewey Martin in a tea-towel in "Land of the Pharoahs"!



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25485  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 0:18am
Subject: Re: Re: Fassbinder/Sirk  cellar47


 
--- Brian Charles Dauth
wrote:

>
> I do not think Fassbinder made a show of his
> suffering.

Oh I think he did just that in "Germany in Autumn" as
I pointed out in a previous post.

He implicated
> himself in the suffering that is the lot of human
> life -- as victim and
> victimizer. He did not try to separate himself from
> what he chronicled.
> In this way, he is a remarkably radical artist.
>
>

Well I don't think he'd make that claim for himself
quite that way. But he did try to imagine himself into
"other people's shoes" most dramtically in "Fox and
His Friends." Everything in Fassbinder's background
lines him up with Peter Chatel's character, but he
casts himself as Chatel's victim -- a lumpenprole
quite like his lover Armin.
> > I don't really hear an echo of this curiosity and
> determination in
> Fassbinder's characters, who seem passive and
> hopeless to me, even
> when they ostensibly undertake action.
>
> We just experience his characters them differently.
>
> Brian
>
>

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25486  
From: Peter Henne
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 0:27am
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  peterhenne
Online Now Send IM

 
David,

When you say what I can find untenable and barely tolerable, you are blindly guessing. It's just fine by me if Eisenstein was gay. If Bresson turned out to be gay, like I said, it would mean next to nothing to me.

I have seen Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio." It's a fictional film, not biographical research.

What I said about sensuality in Bresson's films has nothing to do with the viewer anthropomorphizing. That's making the response to skin and Balthazar's hair too abstract.

I'm suspicious of any zealous effort to categorize people. Sometimes the sexual identity of the artist sheds light on the work, and sometimes the question drops out altogether. I think that the second happens more often than the first. Is that the crux of our difference?

Peter

David Ehrenstein wrote:



See Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio" for "throwing caution
to the winds."


> Did I say that the "automatic heterosexualization of
> everything" wasn't a label? Where, David? Instead, I
> was expressing a dislike for automatically trying to
> sexually label artists and personalities, trying to
> find a box for each one to fit in, and I wondered
> why people do this. "No box" does not mean straight
> to me.
>

So what does it mean?Neuter? Get real. Everything in
this culture"defaults" to straight. Why are having
this discussion at all if this isn't the case? You
find the notion of a gay Bresson untenable and gay
Eisenstein just barely tolerable.


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25487  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 0:40am
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  cellar47


 
--- Peter Henne wrote:
> David,
>
> When you say what I can find untenable and barely
> tolerable, you are blindly guessing. It's just fine
> by me if Eisenstein was gay.

Well he was. Happy?

If Bresson turned out
> to be gay, like I said, it would mean next to
> nothing to me.

Now that I don't understand. Bresson is one of the
greats of world cinema with a style as original and
utterly his own as that of Ozu (who was also gay, if
you can stand it, but never dealt with the subject
save in passing and didn't exhibit Bresson's wildly
sensual taste in casting.)

>
> I have seen Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio." It's a
> fictional film, not biographical research.
>

A fictional film based on EXTENSIVE biographical
research. It was well over a decade in the making, and
Derek knew his art history COLD.

> What I said about sensuality in Bresson's films has
> nothing to do with the viewer anthropomorphizing.
> That's making the response to skin and Balthazar's
> hair too abstract.
>
Wel bresson is always abstract.He abstracts action,
incident, dialogue, people --even violence. In the
climax of "L'Agent" he eve creates thorough cutting
and very precise aural effect, 3-D!

> I'm suspicious of any zealous effort to categorize
> people.

Tell it to the Marines -- and the Army, and the Navy
and the Air Force.

Sometimes the sexual identity of the artist
> sheds light on the work, and sometimes the question
> drops out altogether.

I agree, as I've indicated re Murnau and Ozu. But one
ignores Visconti's gayness at one's peril.

I think that the second
> happens more often than the first.

Not anymore!

Is that the crux
> of our difference?
>

Somewhat.


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25488  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:18am
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
The diamonds in the sublime credit sequence of
> "Imitation of Life," may be fake, but that is Sirk's whole point.
A life
> lived based on the consumer's pleasure with objects is indeed
only "a
> false creation, an imitation, of life" -- getting in my own song
lyrics
> quote here.
>
> Fred Camper


Well, Fred, after reading (and deleting, as per instructions,
most of it) your wonderful response, I feel compelled to say (as I
have probably said countless times before): Isn't all life an
imitation of life? That is, of an ideal concept of "life" that
hardly anyone achieves (saints, maybe?). And that's the smugness in
Sirk (and his devotees) that has always bugged me. Who the hell is
he, or anybody else, to put down people for just trying to live and
survive? Am I the only person on this Group who fails to understand
what the "real" life, as opposed to its "imitation", is? My own life
is as much an imitation of life as anybody elses's but at least I am
not going to pretend I am above the rest. And if you feel that your
own life is not an imitation but the real thing, I'd love to hear
how and in which ways. There must be something more to it than
rejecting consumers pleasure...

JPC
25489  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:26am
Subject: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
>>
> If Bresson turned out
> > to be gay, like I said, it would mean next to
> > nothing to me.
>
> Now that I don't understand. Bresson is one of the
> greats of world cinema with a style as original and
> utterly his own as that of Ozu (who was also gay, if
> you can stand it, but never dealt with the subject
> save in passing and didn't exhibit Bresson's wildly
> sensual taste in casting.)
>

If we got incontrovertible proof that Shakespeare was gay (and
I'm sure David is convinced, with good reasons,that he was) to what
extent would that change our appreciation of his work?



>
>>
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
25490  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:44am
Subject: Re: Re: Bresson and evidence (was: the gay Bresson?)  cellar47


 
--- jpcoursodon wrote:

> If we got incontrovertible proof that Shakespeare
> was gay (and
> I'm sure David is convinced, with good reasons,that
> he was)


You rang?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088722/


to what
> extent would that change our appreciation of his
> work?
>

That's a good question in light of Franco Zefferelli
on the one hand (egregious) and Orson Welles on the
other (sublime.)



__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new resources site!
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/resources/
25491  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:55am
Subject: Re: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  fredcamper


 
David Ehrenstein wrote:

>
> That's rather disappointing, fred. I for one don't see
> why. Granted you and Brian stand on opposite ends ...

David, I think you're right to critique my statement. It's bad form,
really, to tell someone you won't talk with them. It just seemed to me
that we were using different language and not really communicating, but
perhaps I'm wrong about that.

About the George Melford "East of Borneo," I actually rather like it.
It's kitsch, to be sure, but some of its more synthetic cuts may have
inspired Cornell, and it has its own weird charms. I just don't think
it's "gold."

Even though "film and video work in tandem today," I don't think that
that invalidates my point that you cannot get the full effect of a Sirk
film from seeing it on video.

JPC, I'm going to think about your interesting comments for a day or two
before replying.

Fred Camper
25492  
From: "Gabe Klinger"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:56am
Subject: Re: Vera Drake, Mike Leigh  gcklinger


 
Maxime wrote:

> Is there anything more sinister than this single shot of the couple
> (the daughter and the neighbour) walking in the park?

I guess it depends on how you look at it.

For me this is the single greatest moment in the film, and one of the most transcendental
moments in any of Leigh's films. It's no coincidence, of course, that you pick it out as a
"sinister" shot.. .. It's a very conspicuous shot.

> I'm not
> referring here to the pathetic of the situation (as valuable as any
> other), but to the emotional blackmail of Leigh, who catches in a
> trap the actors and the viewer all together, in a moment that
> negates the virtuality of any sentiment, of any conscience. The very
> distance in the shot is the one of contempt.

I would say it's one of creating something in such detail that even viewing it from afar it
can still look genuine and complex. The only "blackmail" here is convincing us that these
are real people.
If Leigh is contemptuous of these character you would have to consider the depth and
detail in which he has created them in the first place. After all, what kind of person or
artist would take such painstaking measures just to say "i hate this person" or "i hate this
kind of person". And even if that is the case, I still find him interesting, if only for his
seriousness... But I don't find that that's the case with Leigh. I think his way of filmmaking
is one of giving us all the details, plain and simple.

Gabe
25493  
From: "Gabe Klinger"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:04am
Subject: Re: "Ebolusyon" in latest Film Comment  gcklinger


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> Noel, any chance this will be released in a gorgeous, deluxe DVD edition with
> crisp, clear English subtitles?

Kevin, this isn't a sitcom. This is the master LAV DIAZ we're talking about!!!!

I know Diaz prohibited any screeners to be given out when the film was shown in Toronto.
As a result, the Variety reviewer was pretty pissed off to spend 11 hours of his day in the
cinema.

The film is not available in any prints yet. It has only circulated in beta video versions. So
festivals are able to show it, and pretty cheaply I would assume. Kevin, why not write to
your local art film venue and ask them? I might try to find a way to show it here in Chicago
(with BATANG WEST SIDE), but I'm not sure anyone would show up.

Gabe
25494  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:27am
Subject: Re: Re: "Ebolusyon" in latest Film Comment  scil1973


 
In a message dated 4/11/05 1:04:54 AM, gcklinger@... writes:


> Kevin, this isn't a sitcom. This is the master LAV DIAZ we're talking
> about!!!!
>

I was joking, dearest (but I'll certainly lap up any version that comes my
way).

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
25495  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:05am
Subject: Re: "Ebolusyon" in latest Film Comment  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Gabe Klinger"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> > Noel, any chance this will be released in a gorgeous, deluxe DVD
edition with
> > crisp, clear English subtitles?
>
> Kevin, this isn't a sitcom. This is the master LAV DIAZ we're
talking about!!!!

Oh heck, joke away; at least Philippine cinema is getting some
attention.

I wish there would be dvds coming out, Kevin. Mike de Leon is
planning DVDs of LVN pictures of the 50s and 60s, which would be
nice, including his own films, which would be very nice (he's a
great filmmaker), and perhaps one film he produced and did the
cinematography of: Lino Brocka's Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag
(Manila in the Claws of Neon) which would also be very, very nice.

Ebolusyon is a great, flawed film, I think; hell of a lot more
ambitious than any other Asian film I can think of at the moment.
But Batang West Side is, I think, the stronger work, and a fucking
masterpiece.

That said, there is better. Mario O'Hara's Demons, for one.
25496  
From: "r_ram_shankar"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:22am
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  r_ram_shankar


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> The diamonds in the sublime credit sequence of
> > "Imitation of Life," may be fake, but that is Sirk's whole point.
> A life
> > lived based on the consumer's pleasure with objects is indeed
> only "a
> > false creation, an imitation, of life" -- getting in my own song
> lyrics
> > quote here.
> >
> > Fred Camper
>
>
> Well, Fred, after reading (and deleting, as per instructions,
> most of it) your wonderful response, I feel compelled to say (as I
> have probably said countless times before): Isn't all life an
> imitation of life? That is, of an ideal concept of "life" that
> hardly anyone achieves (saints, maybe?). And that's the smugness in
> Sirk (and his devotees) that has always bugged me. Who the hell is
> he, or anybody else, to put down people for just trying to live and
> survive? Am I the only person on this Group who fails to understand
> what the "real" life, as opposed to its "imitation", is? My own life
> is as much an imitation of life as anybody elses's but at least I am
> not going to pretend I am above the rest. And if you feel that your
> own life is not an imitation but the real thing, I'd love to hear
> how and in which ways. There must be something more to it than
> rejecting consumers pleasure...
>

Life within the American dream is the "imitation". That is the jist of
the movie. Suffering is endless for everyone. People lead a blundering
existense within that American dream.

Annie's death was glorified to prove it. Lora decides to marry Steve.
Lora's daughter loves the much more "human" Steve or the only person
seemingly unaffected by this imitation. Later Susie starts her own
"imitation of life".

> JPC
25497  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "r_ram_shankar"
wrote:
>

> >
>
> Life within the American dream is the "imitation". That is the
jist of
> the movie. Suffering is endless for everyone. People lead a
blundering
> existense within that American dream.
>
> Annie's death was glorified to prove it. Lora decides to marry
Steve.
> Lora's daughter loves the much more "human" Steve or the only
person
> seemingly unaffected by this imitation. Later Susie starts her own
> "imitation of life".
>

Well, sure, this is the usual, received reading of Sirk's film, and
one he approved. So does this mean that life that is not "within the
American dream" is the real thing, as opposed to an "imitation"?
Everybody who manages to reject the American dream somehow magically
escapes the hell of "imitation"? This sounds pretty absurd to me.

What does that mean anyway, "imitation of life"? What is it that
is "imitated"? Where is the "real" life to be found in the first
place so that you can "imitate" it? The entire terminology has
always seemed terribly unclear and obfuscating to me.

Sirk sets up characters who are mediocre or superficial or flawed
and invites us to feel smugly superior to them and their choices in
life. He is a great filmmaker and I do admire him but this much
vaunted aspect of his cinema is something I find troubling and
distasteful.

JPC
25498  
From: "joe_mcelhaney"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:21pm
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  joe_mcelhaney


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> The diamonds in the sublime credit sequence of
> > "Imitation of Life," may be fake, but that is Sirk's whole point.
> A life
> > lived based on the consumer's pleasure with objects is indeed
> only "a
> > false creation, an imitation, of life" -- getting in my own song
> lyrics
> > quote here.
> >
> > Fred Camper
>
>
> Well, Fred, after reading (and deleting, as per instructions,
> most of it) your wonderful response, I feel compelled to say (as I
> have probably said countless times before): Isn't all life an
> imitation of life? That is, of an ideal concept of "life" that
> hardly anyone achieves (saints, maybe?). And that's the smugness in
> Sirk (and his devotees) that has always bugged me. Who the hell is
> he, or anybody else, to put down people for just trying to live and
> survive? Am I the only person on this Group who fails to understand
> what the "real" life, as opposed to its "imitation", is? My own
life
> is as much an imitation of life as anybody elses's but at least I
am
> not going to pretend I am above the rest. And if you feel that your
> own life is not an imitation but the real thing, I'd love to hear
> how and in which ways. There must be something more to it than
> rejecting consumers pleasure...

I don't want to steal Fred's thunder since he wants to take some time
to respond to this. But I will just briefly argue two points here.

The first has to do with Fred's original claim that "Imitation of
Life" is a critique on the consumption of consumer goods. I don't
think that this is fundamentally what the film is about. The
various "imitations" which run throughout the course of the film have
little to do with the desire for acquisition and everything to do
with the desire the characters have to create images --either literal
images (Steve's photographs) or images of the self, from Lora's
desire to be an actress to Sara Jane's desire to be white. Lora does
acquire expensive material goods once she is a success. But this is
clearly just an offshoot of that success. It is not her primary
driving force.

Second, I don't see smugness in Sirk's treatment of this material.
If anything, he is as caught up in this world of artifice as his
characters, albeit more ambivalently, more critically than they are.
(Sirk's attraction to -- and criticism of -- images which are
seductive but also potentially false or deceptive is probably the
ongoing influence in Hollywood of his Weimar heritage.) His
filmmaking style is, on the whole, very artificial and I can't recall
strong moments in the film in which "the real" is ever clearly
articulated or dramatized. Even the Arthur Miller-ish play that Lora
acts in looks as artificial as the fluffy comedies that allowed her
to achieve success. The film has some references to other post-war
styles which suggest contemporary notions of realism and "truth,"
from Tennessee Williams to the Italian cinema of "Emerico Fellucci."
But all of it becomes marked by the fundamental artificiality of the
film. Sirk doesn't pit a specific material reality against a clearly
defined artifice so much as dizzyingly multiply the levels of
artifice in the film.
25499  
From: "r_ram_shankar"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  r_ram_shankar


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon" wrote:
>
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "r_ram_shankar"
> wrote:
> >
>
> > >
> >
> > Life within the American dream is the "imitation". That is the
> jist of
> > the movie. Suffering is endless for everyone. People lead a
> blundering
> > existense within that American dream.
> >
> > Annie's death was glorified to prove it. Lora decides to marry
> Steve.
> > Lora's daughter loves the much more "human" Steve or the only
> person
> > seemingly unaffected by this imitation. Later Susie starts her own
> > "imitation of life".
> >
>
> Well, sure, this is the usual, received reading of Sirk's film, and
> one he approved. So does this mean that life that is not "within the
> American dream" is the real thing, as opposed to an "imitation"?
> Everybody who manages to reject the American dream somehow magically
> escapes the hell of "imitation"? This sounds pretty absurd to me.
>
>
> What does that mean anyway, "imitation of life"? What is it that
> is "imitated"? Where is the "real" life to be found in the first
> place so that you can "imitate" it? The entire terminology has
> always seemed terribly unclear and obfuscating to me.
>

real life is present in imitation of life. the characters in the movie
live just that. their sufferings are due to the american dream.
25500  
From: "jess_l_amortell"
Date: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Sirk/Fassbinder  jess_l_amortell


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "cjsuttree" wrote:
>
> Fassbinder was no video store
> clerk. He was an established figure in theater, and had
> a larger-than-life appeptite for books, operas, and so on.
>
> Trying to
> reduce his aethestics to a sum of movie directors that came before
> him, or (especially) pigeonholing him as an imitator of Sirk
> simply makes no sense.

I'm afraid I inadvertently started all this (much of which I haven't read yet) when I noted that Fassbinder placed higher than Sirk in the top 25 poll. That wouldn't have been unusual in a world cinema poll, but seemed mildly surprising in the framework of a forum that was at least initially based on the particular appreciation of Hollywood auteurs like Sirk (even though I realize the voters weren't even all a_f_b-ers).

I suppose I assumed, if anything, that my little opposition could be accepted in that context. But Sirk/Fassbinder is probably not the most helpful dichotomy, and my penalty for proposing it (even in passing) came with Brian's "Some might say that the more talented filmmaker was ranked above the less talented one." I was tempted to reply something along the lines of "And others might point out that *both* were ranked above your man Mankiewicz, for example ... aren't polls absurd?" or some such, but I felt I'd done enough damage.


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, BklynMagus wrote:
> Often the dialogue
> is wooden and banal.
>
> The reason I rate Sirk lower than Fassbinder is that
> his dialogue doesn't exhibit the same craftmanship as
> his visuals.

For what it's worth, I've often felt that dialogue in Sirk is handled, judged, placed with an uncanny precision. (Admittedly, this wouldn't necessarily apply to the costume films, or to actors like Keenan Wynn "unconvincingly" impersonating German officers, for example, in a late film that's nevertheless one of Sirk's greatest.) But Sirk dialogue can have a curious quality -- not exactly conventional, certainly not natural. It can have a kind of hollowed-out sound and seems meant to. Accordingly, these "hollow" characters -- they aren't Mankiewicz quipsters -- can posture mechanically and seem to lack any autonomy over their positioning in the frame. But at the same time, to take my own favorite example, when Jane Wyman, in the Christmas tree scene in All that Heaven Allows, looks shyly up at Rock and says "A silver tipped spruce?" (Rock: "You remembered"), I wonder if there's a more infinitely touching "line reading" in cinema -- her dawning facial expression and the simple sound of the phrase capture such a trusting, almost childlike goodness -- to try to describe it is to betray it -- it amazes me every time.

I have to admit, though, that I don't really see movies for the scripts, but for the movies. Da Ponte's three Mozart librettos, which you mentioned, are certainly great (although for some reason we never hear anything about his many librettos for Salieri and other composers, although they might well be equally great -- while on the other hand we do hear the great operas Mozart wrote without da Ponte). Wagner espoused a total "Gesamtkunstwerk" (talk about song lyrics!), a concept you perhaps echo. But Verdi sometimes just has his lovers singing "M'ami!" "T'amo!" -- singing their hearts out -- and in Verdi, that can be great, too.

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