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27401   From: "hotlove666"
Date: Fri May 20, 2005 4:39pm
Subject: Re: Impossible Musicals (was: Resnais's "Pas sur la bouche")  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@a... wrote:
> Mike et al -
>
> Allow me to rephrase. The INTEGRATED musical is what is impossible.
And when
> it becomes possible, it's usually shite. I've heard
> both ELLA ENCHANTED and BRIDE AND PREJUDICED were shite too but
I'll make up my
> own mind, natch. But both films come from traditions that have done
the most
> to keep the intergrated musical alive anyway - the kid's movie and
Bollywood.

Thanks for mentioning kidflix: The Disney animations of the 90s
continued what Walt started, successfully translating B'way to cels,
before the same thing happened to the runaway genre in its
kidcarnation that has happened to the B'way musical: turned to shite
by overkill and, in the case of the animations, computers. Beauty and
the Beast and Little Mermaid are good musicals, with real musical
performers in many roles (Orbach, Lansbury in B&B). Then
DisneyDreamworks started casting another kind of voice talent, with
disastrous results.
27402  
From: "Kristian Andersen"
Date: Fri May 20, 2005 4:47pm
Subject: John Cassavetes & Bo Harwood songs from Love Streams  monkchild2004


 
Hello.


Does anyone know if they are available anywhere? They are fucking great.
Its basically all the songs in Love Streams.


Thanks.


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27403  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Fri May 20, 2005 4:55pm
Subject: Re: John Cassavetes & Bo Harwood songs from Love Streams  cellar47


 
No I don't, and I've been looking for them myself.
When I saw the subject heading I thought "EUREKA!"

Alas.

As there's no ASCAP or BMI lisitng for them they
haven't ever been published. I always thought "I'm
Almost in Love with You" should be a "standard."

Guess it's time to try and track Bo Harwood down.

--- Kristian Andersen wrote:
> Hello.
>
>
> Does anyone know if they are available anywhere?
> They are fucking great.
> Its basically all the songs in Love Streams.
>
>
> Thanks.
>
>
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27404  
From: BklynMagus
Date: Fri May 20, 2005 7:05pm
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  cinebklyn


 
hl666 writes:

> They are visual filmmaking: The dumb dialogue,
badly acted, is like title cards in silent cinema.
And it is very much an esthetic, polemical
choice - these aren't films you can watch with
your ears (except for the sound design).

I have often thought that many contemporary
films would be better off if they went back to title
cards and abandoned spoken dialogue. Many
directors seem at a loss to create competent
dialogue. So just give up the effort and stick with
the visual which is all they know. It seems
sometimes as if including dialogue throws them off
their game.

Brian
27405  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Fri May 20, 2005 11:58pm
Subject: Re: John Cassavetes & Bo Harwood songs from Love Streams  thebradstevens


 
I have a German-dubbed version of THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE
which contains a Bo Harwood song with the lyric "Evening, and I'm
completely in your power" during the scene in which Cosmo auditions a
dancer. The short version of BOOKIE uses a different Harwood
song, 'Late Afternoon', during this scene. But the Criterion DVD of
the film uses 'Late Afternoon' on both the long and the short
versions.
27406  
From: "joe_mcelhaney"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 1:07am
Subject: Re: Resnais's "Pas sur la bouche"  joe_mcelhaney


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "jpcoursodon"
wrote:
> But isn't the eye-rolling a cop-out? One character winking and
> telling us: "What a lot of crap this guy is saying!" (in the spirit
> of a film in which characters are constantly addressing the
> audience, which was a convention of the genre on stage and has been
> systematized by Resnais in the film). I doubt that the actress who
> played the part on stage in 1925 rolled her eyes. This is just for
> us more enlightened people. Not that I want to make a big deal out
> of it, but isn't Resnais trying to have his cake and eat it too?

I wouldn't call it a cop-out. The option would have been to let the
song stand and have Nanty's character not respond in the way that she
does now -- and that might have uncomfortably suggested a collusion of
sorts between the ideology of the song and the film. This is the kind
of problem one has in reviving material in which you are faced with
something ideologically "hot" to a contemporary audience. How do you
treat it? Do you cut it entirely? Or do you stage it in such a manner
that you wink at the audience letting them know that you don't really
believe in the text at this particular moment. The latter is probably
what Resnais is doing, as you say. But maybe the women who played the
part onstage in the '20s did roll their eyes. I don't know. If they
did, it would not have been wildly out of step for Nanty's character.
Arditi's character is not completely sympathetic and is set up as being
excessively rigid from the very beginning of the film and his racism
and right-wing politics become part of this rigdity. You could argue
that Nanty is still rolling her eyes AS the woman she is playing,
disgusted with the way that this rigid, boring character is always up
on some kind of soapbox, lecturing about the proper and improper way to
do things.
27407  
From: "Brian Charles Dauth"
Date: Thu May 19, 2005 1:34am
Subject: Re: Revenge of George Lucas  cinebklyn


 
Spoilers contained herein (and also strong
opinion. Beware).












Well, I left work early to see "Revenge of the
Sith." Being a completist and all that. Had to
see what the hubbub was about. And I was
shocked. RotS is a good movie, in fact a very
good movie. And this is coming from me, who,
as y'all know, is not very amenable to sci-fi,
male adventure movies.

In terms of visuals, it is abstract, formal and
fascinating. A_f_b'ers who are formalists
will have a field day.

It is also a terse political polemic -- one which I
was surprised to encounter. The rabid right is
correct to be upset -- Lucas lands quite a few
blows. My audience (twenties and on up -- very
diverse) cheered when Yoda blasted the
Chancellor (soon to be Emperor) and I just wanted
to say to them: "Guys that's Bush you are
pulling against."

For those who are not into deep characterization: no
worries. And for those who like some characterization:
enough to keep you happy.

RotS also has a sense of movieness I never felt in
Lucas before. Now I will admit that I am a long-term
hater. He had never done anything that really grabbed
me. But this one did. I even wanted to stay and see
it a second time.

The integration of CGI effects was very good. The
changing patterns and the relationships Lucas created
were mesmerizing: not to the point of being seized by
Lucas' vision (sorry -- there is only so much changing
I can do in one movie, no matter how good it is), but I
will admit to feeling the pull of seduction.

Also, I felt a true sense of loss/mourning as the Jedi
were slaughtered. And despite the fact that I knew it
had to happen!

Which brings me to my last point. I wonder how much
my pleasure dervied from the fact that I knew the other
5 films and knew exactly where this one had to go. Instead
of reducing tension, it allowed me to luxuriate in what
Lucas created. As the Jedi were killed and the Republic
becomes an Empire, a palpable sense of loss felt I (oops,
a little Yoda-speak slipped in there). Somehow, the fact
the ending was already known seemed to allow Lucas a
freedom that resulted in his most accomplished film

All in all, a most satisfactory experience and one I did not
at all expect.

Brian
27408  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 1:47am
Subject: Re: Resnais's "Pas sur la bouche"  jpcoursodon


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

Well, I think that would have been the decent thing to do, but I
don't want to make a "tracking-shot-in-KAPO" kind of discussion out of
it. Because it's really not all that significant. And it really has
nothing to do with why I don't particularly care for the film.

JPC
27409  
From: ptonguette@...
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 0:17am
Subject: An a_film_by Announcement  peter_tonguette


 
Finding no applicants, I invited Aaron Graham to share moderating duties with
us with Fred's consent, and Aaron has accepted. We're both very glad to have
Aaron on board and we're hoping that the group will run that much more
efficiently with the addition of a third moderator.

Peter Tonguette


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27410  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 5:39am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:
> In keeping w. what Rick said, I'm a bit surprised that a group
> founded on equal respect for narrative and abstract cinema would
be
> so incurious about the work of the only practitioner of the latter
> who has successfully made the transfer.

I'm not incurious; I did see the movie.

The Star Wars films are
> experimental cinema made with increasingly huge budgets and aimed
at
> an audience of 12-year-olds (until this last one, apparently).
They
> are visual filmmaking: The dumb dialogue, badly acted, is like
title
> cards in silent cinema.

I've seen title cards that were better written--Marion Davies silent
comedies, for one.

And I suppose they're experimental--y'know, no characterization, no
acting, like Lucas wasn't doing a fantasy at all, but a documentary
on some past history

(Speaking of which, here's an innnerseting little something I wrote
on "Attack of the Clones" when that came out):

http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/noelmoviereviews/message/309

Like I said, it could have experimental virtues, etc., etc....but
it's hard to appreciate them when you've got clunkers like "Hold me
like you did by the lake on Naboo."

Say that three times very fast and it starts to sound like something
Gene Kelly would chant back at his dialogue coach.

Also, (SPOILERS) Vader rising off the table in a Frankenstein lurch,
screaming "NOOOOO!" like he was Andrew in one of Buffy the Vampire
Slayer's campier episodes. I suppose Lucas was daringly
acknowledging what a cliche this scene is, but I was just laughing
my head off.

> By all accounts, Revenge of the Sith is also a balls-out attack on
> Bush's war dictatorship by the one filmmaker who has the power to
do
> that for a large audience (with Rupert Murdoch distributing!), own
up
> to it in interviews (unlike Spielberg, who backed down on Minority
> Report) and get away with it.

I'm willing to give Michael Moore a pass on his flaws as a filmmaker
and as a person because he makes the right enemies. Maybe when the
Republican Party starts attacking Lucas in earnest the way it's
caused a mini industry to sprout round Moore, then I'll say he's
actually fighting the good fight.

> It's people preaching
> to each other and believing what they hear.

Maybe. This being a_film_by there'll be supporters for every film
and I can't say I'm 100% right, of course. All I can say is I went
in, I saw, and I reacted thusly. Haven't read any of the reviews yet-
-though I do hear Michael Wilmington, Michael Sragow and AO Scott
like it very much, and it's getting high overall ratings in--oh, the
Tomatometer and metacritic, looking at a few surveys. So my take
isn't exactly the majority one, or conventional one.
27411  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 5:40am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Blake Lucas"
wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera"
> wrote:
> > Thought I'd try something a little different from the usual pan:
> >
> > http://journals.aol.com/noelbotevera/MyJournal/entries/765
>
> The movie couldn't possibly be this good, and certainly not the
> other reviews which will be coming along.
>
> Now I know at least one reason I'm on this list, to experience the
> release of Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith in this kind of way,
> for I have never planned to see it. I'm guessing a_f_b members
split
> in all directions on this series, which I abandoned after a really
> awful viewing of the very first Star Wars, and that's confirmed by
> Saul post written soon after this, which expresses an interesting
> ambivalence between his personal reactions to the films and how he
> rates George Lucas in spite of that.
>

Thank you, Mr. Lucas (not George)!
27412  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 6:14am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera" wrote:

I wasn't dissing you, Noel - I loved your review. And I didn't know
that that line about Lake Naboo was from the film. As someone who
actually started a committee over a year ago to stamp out Nooooooo as
the most expendable cliche in film, I'm kind of tickled to hear sfrom
Saul that it's actually in there - I assume that it's given to Anakin,
because as a rule the line is given to people who can't act when they
have to react to someone dying. But I'll stick by my guns that Lucas
(so far) is Far Side (the Sarris kind) material. And I still haven't
seen the damn thing!
27413  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 6:24am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:

> I wasn't dissing you, Noel - I loved your review.

Thanks. No, didn't feel your comments were personal, didn't mind, know
we basically disagree. If there was any heat to my reply, blame it on
the movie.

> I didn't know
> that that line about Lake Naboo was from the film.

Google it--it's a fave, a real choice selection.

Googling also reveals that rightist blogs do single out this latest
Star Wars. Tho if the hate becomes as intense as for, say, Farenheit
9/11, that remains to be seen. Moore is funnier--intentionally, I mean.

>As someone who
> actually started a committee over a year ago to stamp out Nooooooo
as
> the most expendable cliche in film

The waving hands, the camera rising away...ya haven't been doing yer
job!
27414  
From: "Matt Armstrong"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:04am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  matt_c_armst...


 
Saw this after work today and my feelings are mixed. It's certainly
better than the previous two installments, but it has some of the
drawbacks that have plagued the later films.

As much as I admire Lucas' visionary imagery and formal rigor,
there's still something too clean and too plastic about the world he
puts onscreen. The first three "Star Wars" films had a dirtier,
funkier and less glossy look. I miss the miniatures that were used in
the earlier film's effects. And I suspect that the "plastic" look of
the movie is of a piece with the all-digital approach. It actually
worked for me whenever I imagined I was watching a really vivid (and
badly dubbed)anime scifi.

Writing and performances are just as negligible as before, but the
real missing element is a Han Solo- someone charismatic, sexy, earthy
or funny. Where is the humor in this film? Even the gay robots are
pushed to the background! We're left to focus on aristocrats, wise old
sages, politicians and superhero dynasties. I miss the bounty
hunters, mercenaries, smugglers (hello, Han Solo) and cantina bar
grotesques. It's as if Lucas remade "American Grafitti" and followed
the cops around all night.

I was frankly astonished by the film's political content. Anakin's
first lapse into the dark side is when he kills (beheads, actually)
another character and expresses remorse by saying essentially "It's
wrong to kill an unarmed prisoner." Later we hear Samuel Jackson's
character declare that the baddie must be stopped because he
"controls the Senate and the Courts." And of course, there's the
overarching message about building an empire through brute force.

The film's final hour is really solid and at times, moving. There's
some really good cutting between the scenes of Padme giving birth and
Vader being "born." When Padme's breathing in the delivery room cuts
to Vader's first breath (and who can't be affected by that sound, at
this point?)I was blown away. On the other hand, I didn't know
whether to laugh or cry at the "Frankenstein" moment. Lucas has been
leading us to it for 28 years, and it seems appropriately operatic.

I've been surprised by the reviews too. Sragow calls it a "pop
masterpiece" but I'll have to let that sit awhile. Some of the
critics who dismiss it have an eltist tone. Though he makes
some good points, Anthony Lane's pan in the New Yorker is
insufferably snide.
27415  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:13am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera" wrote:

> >As someone who
> > actually started a committee over a year ago to stamp out Nooooooo
> as
> > the most expendable cliche in film
>
> The waving hands, the camera rising away...ya haven't been doing yer
> job!

I actually tried to persuade Joe Dante to spoof it in Looney Toons:
Daffy seems to die, and Bugs howls Nooooooooooooo! as the "camera moves
in" for a close-up of vibrating tonsils. I wonder if real-life people
are actually going Nooooooooooo! now when someone dies. It would have
to be life imitating art, because art sure isn't imitating life on this
one. A less long-lived horror, first heard in Poltergeist, was the
camera dollying in fast on someone screaming "What's happening!!!" That
one only lasted about 5 years.
27416  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:29am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Armstrong"
wrote:

Anthony Lane's pan in the New Yorker is
> insufferably snide.

I agree - and yet I've stooped to using his definition of "Sith" as
the sound you make when you're trying to clear a nostril in
conversation. He actually made your "where's the dirt" objection, but
I don't buy it. And I insist: The first two of the second trilogy are
leading up to this one, and need to be re-seen in the light of it.
NB: I don't consider them failures by any means, although Empire
still didn't have its sea-legs with the digital stuff. Watching all
six, you see the technology evolving before your eyes.

Unlike the crap about the Force in the first three, there actually
are some interesting ideas in this trilogy, all of a political-
ethical nature. Also, although there's a lot of really deadly Popular
Mechanics chit-chat, Lucas's comments on the Clones DVD make a few
interesting points: That politicians START wars to stay in office -
which is what Palpatine uses Dukoo for, although I know you left
Berkeley to get away from that kind of thinking - and the interesting
remark that "The Dark Side is stronger than the Light." In Empire, we
learn that the Force is material. Maybe that's why the midnight show
at the Arclight was being picketed by guys with signs saying "The
Force Is Satan."

The plots are complicated. You actually may not get them the first
time - I had to have Empire explained to me by a teenager, and I
suspect my stepsons can follow and appreciate the action sequences
better than I can, because of all the time they've put in on video
games. An example of subtlety: When you see Yoda leading the Clone
cavalry to the rescue at the end of Clones, you're seeing the set-up
for killing all the Jedi in Sith. Yoda doesn't know he's falling into
the trap by using the Clone Army since "the Dark Side clouds
everything," but he is. Attack of the Clones is quite beautiful, too,
IMHO.
27417  
From: Samuel Bran
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 9:34am
Subject: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  quimby_the_m...


 
>From: "hotlove666"
>--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Noel Vera" wrote:
>
> > >As someone who
> > > actually started a committee over a year ago to stamp out Nooooooo
> > as
> > > the most expendable cliche in film
> >
> > The waving hands, the camera rising away...ya haven't been doing yer
> > job!
>
>I actually tried to persuade Joe Dante to spoof it in Looney Toons:
>Daffy seems to die, and Bugs howls Nooooooooooooo! as the "camera moves
>in" for a close-up of vibrating tonsils. I wonder if real-life people
>are actually going Nooooooooooo! now when someone dies. It would have
>to be life imitating art, because art sure isn't imitating life on this
>one. A less long-lived horror, first heard in Poltergeist, was the
>camera dollying in fast on someone screaming "What's happening!!!" That
>one only lasted about 5 years.


I found this link on a forum:
http://filmsound.studienet.org/cliche/wilhelmscream.htm

Plus, linked at the bottom of the page is a link to an article on... Looney
Toons.
http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1132879,00.html

Amazing!

Samuel
27418  
From: "Kristian Andersen"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 9:29am
Subject: Re: John Cassavetes & Bo Harwood songs from Love Streams  monkchild2004


 
Is the song dubbed too ? ;)



> From: "thebradstevens"

>

>I have a German-dubbed version of THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE

>which contains a Bo Harwood song with the lyric "Evening, and I'm

>completely in your power" during the scene in which Cosmo auditions a

>dancer. The short version of BOOKIE uses a different Harwood

>song, 'Late Afternoon', during this scene. But the Criterion DVD of

>the film uses 'Late Afternoon' on both the long and the short

>versions.




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27419  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 10:24am
Subject: Re: John Cassavetes & Bo Harwood songs from Love Streams  thebradstevens


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Kristian Andersen"
wrote:
> Is the song dubbed too ? ;)

No, it's in English.
27420  
From: "Henrik Sylow"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 10:56am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  henrik_sylow


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Armstrong"
wrote:

It's as if Lucas remade "American Grafitti" and followed the cops
around all night.

I'll buy you a beer for that great comment :)

Henrik
27421  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  cellar47


 
--- hotlove666 wrote:

>
> I actually tried to persuade Joe Dante to spoof it
> in Looney Toons:
> Daffy seems to die, and Bugs howls Nooooooooooooo!
> as the "camera moves
> in" for a close-up of vibrating tonsils. I wonder if
> real-life people
> are actually going Nooooooooooo! now when someone
> dies. It would have
> to be life imitating art, because art sure isn't
> imitating life on this
> one. A less long-lived horror, first heard in
> Poltergeist, was the
> camera dollying in fast on someone screaming "What's
> happening!!!" That
> one only lasted about 5 years.
>
>
Stricting speaking this is all derived from (clears
throat)

KHAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!

in "Star Trek: The Wrath of --"

Jon Stewart does it at least once a week on the "Daily
Show" -- complete with overhead shot.

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27422  
From: "Jack Angstreich"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 5:02pm
Subject: OT: Questia  jackangstreich
Online Now Send IM

 
Does anyone here use Questia or is anyone able to put me in touch with someone who
does? I am trying to acquire an e-book that they have without having to subscribe. Thank
you.

Jack Angstreich

angstreich@...
27423  
From: "Matt Armstrong"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 6:49pm
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  matt_c_armst...


 
> Mechanics chit-chat, Lucas's comments on the Clones DVD make a few
> interesting points: That politicians START wars to stay in office -
> which is what Palpatine uses Dukoo for, although I know you left
> Berkeley to get away from that kind of thinking

I've got no problem with that kind of thinking. We have our proof of
Bush's intentions in the Downing Street memo.

As I recall, I had a problem with the proposal that the Bush
government planned or knew about the attacks on 9/11. I do consider
that kind of rhetoric paranoid and politically-paralyzing, though one
doesn't have to go to Berkeley to encounter it.
27424  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  cellar47


 
--- Matt Armstrong wrote:

>
> I've got no problem with that kind of thinking. We
> have our proof of
> Bush's intentions in the Downing Street memo.
>
> As I recall, I had a problem with the proposal that
> the Bush
> government planned or knew about the attacks on
> 9/11. I do consider
> that kind of rhetoric paranoid and
> politically-paralyzing, though one
> doesn't have to go to Berkeley to encounter it.
>

And it's because of that memo, coupled with what at
best be called "extreme carelessness" in allowing
terroists WHOSE IDENTITIES WE KNEW to get on those
planes (the transcripts of the conversations between
the doomed crews and ground personnel including FBI
and CIA officials make this abundantly clear) that
"paranoia" is in no way unrealistic or unjustified.

Just got ahold of the DVD of "I Heart Huckabees," and
on the commentary track David O. Russell (who's
nobody's fool, eg. "Three kings") traces our problems
back to the sacking of Jimmy Carter --who believed in
energy conservation -- in favor of Ronald Reagan.

It was Reagan and his clique, let us never forget WHO
PUT SADDAM HUSSEIN IN POWER!

It was Reagan and his clique who hearalded the SUV
era, doing deals and stabbing in the back those who
would stand in our way for the control and
dissemination of oil.

And thus 9/11.

In that "I Heart Huckabees" -- principally though the
character played by Jude Law -- is a far more
subversive film than "Fahrenheit 9/11"



Yahoo! Mail
Stay connected, organized, and protected. Take the tour:
http://tour.mail.yahoo.com/mailtour.html
27425  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:22pm
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Armstrong"
wrote:

>
> As I recall, I had a problem with the proposal that the Bush
> government planned or knew about the attacks on 9/11. I do consider
> that kind of rhetoric paranoid and politically-paralyzing, though one
> doesn't have to go to Berkeley to encounter it.

That's actually what I meant. The Separatists' War with the Republic is
started by Palpatine, using Dukoo as his catspaw, in order to acquire
war powers and unleash the Clone Army. While this is being set up in
Clones, Lucas's v.o. commentary is: "He wouldn't be the first
politician to start a war in hopes of staying in office." The nice
thing about Lucas's position is that he did actually do some reading
before penning the new trilogy, and these things are, as he says,
repeated throughout history. So any parallels to today are fortuitous,
but not necessarily.

There seems to be a historical allegory starting up in Empire, with its
extraordinary panoply of figuration that people who go to the movies to
hear Tracy-Hepburn dialogue don't notice. Nathalie P's amazing makeup
is Queen Elizabeth, making her planet England; Jar-Jar and his nation
are Africa; Tatooine appears to be the Middle East, with that flying
elephant-nosed all-purpose caricature of an Arab (or Jewish) merchant
and Jabba, who has Leila in a harem girl outfit already in Jedi;
Anakin's vengeful massacre of the Sand Raiders in Clones could
represent the invasion of Afghanistan ("I killed all of them - even the
women and children"); the fish-headed Trade Federation guys are
Japan...

But a systematic historical allegory, if there is one, doesn't rule
out "local" allegory, like the fact that the two head Federation
villains are named (in Empire, anyway) Trout Lott and Newt Raygun.
That's quite in keeping w. Renaissance rules for allegory, a messy and
free-swinging genre that is as poorly understood in our day as satire.
The Trade Federation is also The Corporations, and in the round-table
meeting we see where the Separatists planning to launch their war in
Clones, the hulking robot is The Unions.
27426  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:28pm
Subject: Russell (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:

>
> In that "I Heart Huckabees" -- principally though the
> character played by Jude Law -- is a far more
> subversive film than "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Made by an offshoot of Newscorp. But it was Peter Rice who greenlit
Huckabees and Lorenzo de Bonaventura who greenlit Three Kings. There's
still a bit of "play" in the corporate media structure for people who
can navigate it. Let me reiterate the suggestion that interested
parties rent the 2004 DVD edition of Uncovered for its bonus, Soldiers
Pay, a 30-minute documentary about the current invasion of Iraq by
Russell and two collaborators, made for the DVD of Three Kings and
omitted by Time-Warner Home Video because it was "too political for an
election year" [sic].
27427  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 8:32pm
Subject: Cannes Awards  hotlove666


 
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/cannes/news/apc/20050521/111670908000.html
27428  
From: "Matt Armstrong"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 9:12pm
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  matt_c_armst...


 
> > As I recall, I had a problem with the proposal that
> > the Bush
> > government planned or knew about the attacks on
> > 9/11. I do consider
> > that kind of rhetoric paranoid and
> > politically-paralyzing, though one
> > doesn't have to go to Berkeley to encounter it.
> >
>
> And it's because of that memo, coupled with what at
> best be called "extreme carelessness" in allowing
> terroists WHOSE IDENTITIES WE KNEW to get on those
> planes (the transcripts of the conversations between
> the doomed crews and ground personnel including FBI
> and CIA officials make this abundantly clear) that
> "paranoia" is in no way unrealistic or unjustified.

I'm afraid this all pretty OT, but..."Extreme carelessness" is one
explanation. So too is "Imperial Hubris" as the Anonymous CIA agent
titled his book. In either case, it's a stretch from carelessness or
hubris to top-level conspiracy.

For what it's worth, I worked for Peace Action (Sane/Freeze) for four
years, and used to use "Star Wars" analogies to help explain the
workings of US militarism. I don't see a problem with any of the
parallels being drawn, but again I find the theories of a Bush
conspiracy on 9/11 both unfounded and disempowering.
27429  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 5:13pm
Subject: Re: Cannes Awards  nzkpzq


 
In a message dated 05-05-21 16:33:56 EDT, you write:

<< http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/cannes/news/apc/20050521/111670908000.html >>
My public library here in Southfield, Michigan has a big display this week of
films that won the Palm d'or at Cannes (all on video or DVD). I borrowed "The
Leopard" (Visconti) on DVD from it. Hot ziggety! What libraies have in terms
of movies today is amazing.
Billboard just seen (for AMC TV channel): "Friends don't let friends watch
bad movies".

Mike Grost
27430  
From: "Matt Armstrong"
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 9:14pm
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  matt_c_armst...


 
> That's actually what I meant. The Separatists' War with the Republic
is
> started by Palpatine, using Dukoo as his catspaw, in order to acquire
> war powers and unleash the Clone Army. While this is being set up in
> Clones, Lucas's v.o. commentary is: "He wouldn't be the first
> politician to start a war in hopes of staying in office."

Planning a war to stay in office, and planning a mass murder of your
own citizens are two different things though. Do you see any evidence
that Lucas believes Bush *planned* or knew about the events of 9/11?
27431  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sat May 21, 2005 6:21pm
Subject: Homoerotic scenes axed from 'Alex' DVD  scil1973


 
http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds21252.html


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27432  
From: "Richard Modiano"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 2:40am
Subject: Re: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith  tharpa2002


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Armstrong"
wrote:

"Planning a war to stay in office, and planning a mass murder of your
own citizens are two different things though. Do you see any evidence
that Lucas believes Bush *planned* or knew about the events of 9/11?"

I listened to the Lucas voice over too and there's no evidence there
that Lucas believes in a conspiracy.

By the way, even if there was a conspiracy it seems unlikely that
Bush was part of it; he's a front, and the people who he's fronting
for have to maintain plausible deniability. As for murdering your
own citizens, these are people for whom the ends justify the means.
Anyway, one dosen't need a conspiracy theory to explain the attacks
of 9/11. See, for example, "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson.

Concerning paranoia, as William Burroughs said, "Paranoia is having
all the facts."

Richard
27433  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 5:25am
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Samuel Bran wrote:

Reply from Joe Dante:

It's featured prominently in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

The Wilhelm Will Never Die!
27434  
From: Samuel Bran
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 6:31am
Subject: RE: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  quimby_the_m...


 
>From: "hotlove666"
>Reply from Joe Dante:
>
>It's featured prominently in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
>
>The Wilhelm Will Never Die!

Found even more on this topic... This site claims that "it was Dante himself
who cut the Scream in" in LOONEY TUNES.

http://www.nerf-herders-anonymous.net/WilhelmScream.html

I'm looking forward to trying and spot it in REVENGE OF THE SITH!

Samuel
27435  
From: "Saul"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 9:34am
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  asitdid
Online Now Send IM

 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Samuel Bran wrote:
>
> Reply from Joe Dante:
>
> It's featured prominently in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
>

Who do they think they're kidding. Jews and Christians and Muslims all
working together to protect the Holy Land??? I thought it humorous how
they all cheered when O.Bloom suggested that. Wishful thinking, or
does America really feel it has such a pacifying influence? RS's films
seems more commerical the past decade, and less personal, the aspect
which gave them an edge. When Thelma and Louise went off that cliff,
RS's career went with them. Did anyone else cry in that scene?

> The Wilhelm Will Never Die!
27436  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 9:41am
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Saul" wrote:
When Thelma and Louise went off that cliff,
> RS's career went with them.

Hey, I liked Black Hawk Down.
27437  
From: "Saul"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 9:56am
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  asitdid
Online Now Send IM

 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:
> --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Saul" wrote:
> When Thelma and Louise went off that cliff,
> > RS's career went with them.
>
> Hey, I liked Black Hawk Down.

And I liked the camp histrionics of "Hannibal" but it didn't seem a
personal film in the way something like "The Duellists" or "Blade
Runner" or (my favourite) "Black Rain" did, and RS seems to be playing
with the surfaces of the later films, perfecting his form. But unlike
his brother, in a film like "Man on Fire" (TS's masterpiece), in which
the frenetic fragmented form was perfectly suited to the rel'ship
between Pita and Creasy, to the psychological states he created, to
almost every aspect of that film I could think of, there seems (in a
films like "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Matchstick Men") a divide between
the lame scripts, acting, etc; and their formal properties.
27438  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 1:10pm
Subject: Group business: all members please read  fredcamper


 
To All:

In light of several posts yesterday of urls without any commentary, we
would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the following
"firm prohibition" from our Statement of Purpose:

"If you find an online article that you think will be of interest to the
group, do not paste it into a post; send us the url together with
comments on why you find it of interest."

We ask for everyone to please abide by this rule. Additionally, Matt
Armstrong wrote, in post 27428:

> I'm afraid this all pretty OT....

Then PLEASE take it to the OT board, linked to from our main page, but
here's the url: http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by_OT/

It's had two posts in the last week.

You can post a one-line message on a_film_by saying you're taking the
discussion to the OT board.

If people appreciate Fred's archiving our our posts, SHOW IT by not
asking him to archive endless political discussions, song lyrics, et
cetera.

While political interpretations of the plots of the "Star Wars" films
(or any films) can be interesting, we would also urge you to take such
discussions to the OT board if the posts are about only that specific
dimension of said films. This is not just a generic movie discussion
group meant to accommodate anything anyone wants to say about a movie,
but one dedicated to auteurism and film style in relationship to
meaning. Obviously, this goes double if a discussion of the political
dimensions of a movie evolves into a discussion of politics!

Peter Tonguette, Aaron Graham, and Fred Camper
Your co-moderators
27439  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 1:26pm
Subject: Re: Group Business  jpcoursodon


 
I agree wholeheartedly with the moderators (Post # 27438). Many or
most of the posts of the past few days could (should?) have been on
the OT line -- which has been sorely under-used recently. I'm planning
to post all the lyrics of "Pas sur la bouche" there (just kidding).
JPC
27440  
From: "samfilms2003"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 4:13pm
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  samfilms2003


 
> When Thelma and Louise went off that cliff,
> RS's career went with them. Did anyone else cry in that scene?

No because that was no more suicide-in-twisted metal than the DeLorean going off
Back To The Future. At that moment it was not Thelma and Lousies but Susan
Sarandon and Gena Davis. You know they didn't die, they didn't even muss their hair.

-Sam
27443  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 6:24pm
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Samuel Bran wrote:

> I'm looking forward to trying and spot it in REVENGE OF THE SITH!

It's hard to miss. Sticks out like a third leg, a tail, an etra-large
excrescence on a pockmarked surface.

Thought I'd throw in these thoughts on the Star Wars films as a whole:

http://journals.aol.com/noelbotevera/MyJournal/entries/766
27444  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 9:30pm
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:

>
> While political interpretations of the plots of the "Star Wars" films
> (or any films) can be interesting, we would also urge you to take
such
> discussions to the OT board if the posts are about only that specific
> dimension of said films. This is not just a generic movie discussion
> group meant to accommodate anything anyone wants to say about a
movie,
> but one dedicated to auteurism and film style in relationship to
> meaning. Obviously, this goes double if a discussion of the political
> dimensions of a movie evolves into a discussion of politics!
>
> Peter Tonguette, Aaron Graham, and Fred Camper
> Your co-moderators

This is a horrible idea. Are there any other kinds of interpretation
that are being shunted to OT? Religious? Freudian? I could not possibly
disagree more with this new rule, and I'm afraid I can't abide by it. I
do everything I can to make Fred's job easier, but I can't go along
with this, which is plain and simple political censorship. If that
means I have to unsubscribe from a_film_by, unsubscribe me right now.
27445  
From: "Richard Modiano"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 10:25pm
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  tharpa2002


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666"
wrote:

"This is a horrible idea. Are there any other kinds of interpretation
that are being shunted to OT? Religious? Freudian? I could not
possibly disagree more with this new rule, and I'm afraid I can't
abide by it. I do everything I can to make Fred's job easier, but I
can't go along with this, which is plain and simple political
censorship. If that means I have to unsubscribe from a_film_by,
unsubscribe me right now."

Don't leave yet, Bill. This rule requires clarification. The phrase
used was "no political interpertations of the plot." Then are
politcal interpertations of the mise-en-scene allowed? Or am I being
Jesuetical? More seriously, I don't think it means no political
interpertaions as such are disallowed, but rather no exclusively
political discussions that are tangential to the film in question are
allowed, and if they lead to that, then they should be persued on the
OT list. I hope that's what it means. I await word from our
moderators.

Richard
27446  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 10:52pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  fredcamper


 
Bill and Richard,

It might take us until tomorrow morning to come up with a reply, since
there are now three of us, but it would be absurd to think we were
banning any type of interpretation, in my opinion.

The larger statement was

"....political interpretations ....can be interesting, we would also
urge you to take such discussions to the OT board if the posts are about
only that specific dimension of said films. This is not just a generic
movie discussion group meant to accommodate anything anyone wants to say
about a movie, but one dedicated to auteurism and film style in
relationship to meaning. "

"Meaning," obviously, could be political, religious, Freudian, whatever.

Im other words, I think Richard has it close to right.

From my point of view, and I think from Peter's too, it's also a
question of VOLUME. Some members find our board so overwhelmed with
posts about trivia, one-liners, posts unrelated to cinema, that they
can't read as much of it as they'd otherwise like to. Ten readings of a
"Star Wars" film that make no mention of style and work out in great
detail how plot incidents relate to the Bush Administration, along with
another ten mostly about the Bush Administration and only tangentially
or not at all about the film, is what I was hoping to, well, prevent. We
might have been close to that already.

Discussions that are solely political (Bush and 9/11, what does it all
mean) really do belong on the OT board. That doesn't mean one quip in a
film post or one short OT post is going to cause us to react. But we've
been over this more than once earlier. As I wrote once before, and I
believe Gabe seconded, there are many better-informed and more
authoritative places to read about such matters than reading a bunch of
posts here. On the other hand, there are few better ways to research the
areas that you, or JPC, or David, have specific knowledge and that are
not widely written about than to make a post here.

We've not heard from Aaron yet, but Peter did write us that he thought
you were overreacting, and Peter went on: "We're not 'censoring' any
view point, but rather simply keeping the discussions within the
framework everyone has agreed upon. I mean, it's not like this is a
'new rule.'" I agree with that.

Fred Camper
27447  
From: "samfilms2003"
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 11:27pm
Subject: Re: Wilhem Scream (Was: Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith)  samfilms2003


 
I reread my Thelma and Louise post, maybe it was a little harsh. But I don't think an
emotional response to that was earned by R. Scott.

To me he's very skilled but its the skill of design not vision somehow...

-Sam
27448  
From: ptonguette@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 7:27pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  peter_tonguette


 
Richard Modiano wrote:

"I hope that's what it means."

Richard, you have it pretty much right. (I speak here for myself, not my
fellow co-moderators, though I suspect they will agree with me.) There is
absolutely nothing wrong with political interpretations of a film, or religious
interpretations, or Freudian interpretations. I often find such lines of thought
fascinating. When such interpretations begin relating more to plot than film
style, they begin to drift a bit from our purpose as a group, but I don't have
a big problem with a certain number of those posts, either. As Fred says,
volume is the issue here. The only discussions our post was trying to
definitively move to the OT board, in this regard, were discussions which literally
became about politics and have nothing to do with film, let alone film style.

I hope this clarifies things a bit. Finally, I hope I don't need to tell
Bill that his participation here is very much valued and we'd be impoverished in
his absence.

Peter Tonguette


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27449  
From: Mathieu Ricordi
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 11:35pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  mathieu_ricordi


 
Quoting ptonguette@...:

Finally, I hope I don't need to tell
>
> Bill that his participation here is very much valued and we'd be impoverished
> in
>
> his absence.


I'm not a moderator, and I'm relatively new to the group, so this won't be
very impactful; but I agree whole heartedly with the above statement;
Bill is indispensable.

Mathieu Ricordi
27450  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:01am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> Bill and Richard,

> The larger statement was
"....political interpretations ....can be interesting, we would also
> urge you to take such discussions to the OT board if the posts are
about
> only that specific dimension of said films. This is not just a
generic
> movie discussion group meant to accommodate anything anyone wants
to say
> about a movie, but one dedicated to auteurism and film style in
> relationship to meaning. "
>
> "Meaning," obviously, could be political, religious, Freudian,
whatever.

I really fail to see the distinction. I have no problem with taking
discussions of 9/11 to the OT list, but discussions of the political
meaning of a film are not, in my opinion, OT. If you want to rule
that, fine, but I can't abide by it.

Ten readings of a
> "Star Wars" film that make no mention of style and work out in
great
> detail how plot incidents relate to the Bush Administration, along
with
> another ten mostly about the Bush Administration and only
tangentially
> or not at all about the film, is what I was hoping to, well,
prevent.

If you want to prevent the former, that's your privilege, but I won't
go along with it. And there were two posts dealing with the 9/11
issue separate from the film, one by Matt and one answer by David.
Not ten.

I mean, it's not like this is a
> 'new rule.'"

Yes it is. But it's not a new problem for auteurism. There has always
been a strain in auteurism that sought to separate film from
political interpretations of any kind, but it has never been the rule
here before. Frankly, I would have thought that ship had sailed, but
apparently I was mistaken.

The fig-leaf is "if that is the only dimension discussed." How the
hell do you make that distinction? George Lucas is an auteur if
there ever was one, and he has been widely reviled by knee-jerk
characterizations of his work as conservative, just because some
Reagan speechwriter decided to appropriate the title of his biggest
hit to peddle a DOD boondoggle that is now being expanded into a
program for the weaponization of space, according to the NY Times.
(Oops!) One can't defend George Lucas as an artist without talking
about that slander. My God, even AOL is discussing it. A major
Hollywood film has suddenly offered teenage boys something to think
about beside the joy of killing - perhaps even a reason to not kill,
or cheer when someone gets iced on-screen - and you want to muzzle
discussion of that??? Or is it just the film's criticim of Bush that
is suddenly "OT"?

Taking the fig-leaf seriously for a moment: If there is anyone here
who believes that political and formal issues go hand in hand, it's
me - I was trained up on a very sophisticated form of political-
formal criticism from France. That's why I've been dumping on the
dumbing-down of that tradition by American film critics in the form
of what I call "gotchas." And I have also stated many times that what
matters is not what a film means, but how it means it. However, that
doesn't mean I don't want to look at content too, from time to time.
And I don't want to have to come up with some half-baked formalist
hook every time I want to do that. Because as important as those
connections are, they aren't THAT easy to discern, any more than any
other form-meaning nexus.

On the contrary, I would have hoped that this group would be a place
where more sensitive, subtle formal-political analyses could be
experimented with, since most contributors are well-versed in at
least some aspects of form. Example: Ozu and Hiroshima - it sounded
silly at first, but it turned out to be kind of interesting to think
about, even if we came to no real conclusions. Maybe someone will
write a paper on it someday. But you can't experiment with that kind
of thought if you rule out political interpretation of film per se,
in and of itself and for itself - and ONLY political
interpretation, "comme par hasard." The list will go back to talking
about aspect ratios all the time. But I won't be hear to see it.

And no, Peter, I'm not overreacting. But I am furious!
27451  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:10am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:
> Richard Modiano wrote:
>
The only discussions our post was trying to
> definitively move to the OT board, in this regard, were discussions
which literally
> became about politics and have nothing to do with film, let alone
film style.

So please rewrite the rule to say that and we'll have no beef.

By the way, how exactly do we distinguish plot from style, while
we're at it? I thought good movies were well-woven so that everything
either speaks with one voice or engages in interesting counterpoint.
And what is plot? Truffaut constantly moved scenes, bits of dialoguue
etc. when writing, filming, editing. That is part of his way of
filmmaking, which curiously enough turns out to be montage-driven at
heart. And that affects plot. Or see my Cruising article in Rouge.
Where do I stop talking about style and start talking about plot?
Hypostasizing a few visual-formal cues as "style" is simply bad film
criticism by any standard, IMHO. And again, it's rolling back over
three decades of thought!

I'm all for trying to find ways to talk about narrative and non-
narative filmmaking together, but I don't buy the idea that only what
they have in common constitutes "style" - or "cinema."
27452  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:14am
Subject: Time's 100 Best  hotlove666


 
Here's another ghastly piece of news. Apparently it includes Finding
Nemo:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/film_time_s100
27453  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:36am
Subject: Re: Time's 100 Best  cellar47


 
Omissions: Feuillade, Franju, Melville,
Powell/Pressburger, Pasolini, Demy, Derek Jarman, Todd
Haynes, Gus, Chereau.

--- hotlove666 wrote:
> Here's another ghastly piece of news. Apparently it
> includes Finding
> Nemo:
>
> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/film_time_s100
>
>
>

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com
27454  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 8:56pm
Subject: Scaramouche (Rex Ingram)  nzkpzq


 
Cable TV Channel TCM is showing Scaramouche (Rex Ingram, 1923) tonight at
midnight, as part of their regular Sunday night silent movie series. They seem to
show this rarity around once per year.
This film has several successful facets. It shows good composition
throughout. The shots are arranged in visually pleasing geometric patterns.
The film is liberal in politics, but perhaps not radical. It sympathises with
exploited masses, but opposes violence and mob rule. I suspect that Lang used
it as a model for the mob scenes at the end of "Metropolis" - and that he
used the Four Horsemen interlude in Ingram's earlier film as a template for the
"Seven Deadly Sins" in "Metropolis".
The storytelling is good throughout.
If this were not a silent film, it would be popular today. It is up against
the fact that many of today's viewers just don't enjoy silents.
This is the best of the four Rex Ingram films I've seen. Sarris included
Ingram in "Subjects for Future Research". As a_film_by-er (whose name escapes me -
sorry!) remarked, will such people ALWAYS be subjects for future research?
Here is a good place to get caught up with one of them.

Mike Grost
27455  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:59am
Subject: Re: Time's 100 Best  fredcamper


 
hotlove666 wrote:

> Here's another ghastly piece of news.

Well, I don't see it that way.

I hardly expect to find myself in agreement with TIME magazine on the
100 best films of all time. What's surprising is how many genuinely
great films are on their list. Does anyone think that there was even the
remotest chance that a TIME list in 1970 would have included "Psycho,"
"His Girl Friday," "In a Lonely Place," "The Searchers," or "White
Heat," let alone "Detour"? Kudos to them for including "Detour," even if
their blurb on it is all plot. That in each case my favorite film by the
respective filmmaker ("Vertigo," "Red River" or "Rio Bravo," "Bigger
Than Life," "Seven Women," "A Distant Trumpet," "The Cavern") is not
there isn't so important. One hardly expects others to agree with all
one's tastes. My point is that their list shows the huge effect
auteurism, that "faith" that got some of us laughed at in the 60s and
early 70s, has had on the tastes of even "mainstream" movie critics.

And they do have at least one best, "Pyaasa," by Guru Dutt. I'm not the
biggest Dutt fan but his work is certainly worth seeing, and of the
half-dozen I've seen this is the best. Then there's "Sunrise," "Ugetsu,"
and "Moucheette," all sublime masterpieces.

I mean, I can remember when most of the films on a typical greest movie
list were not even, by my lights, very good.

Fred Camper
27456  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:45am
Subject: Re: Group Business  jpcoursodon


 
Maybe what we need is another Group, not Off Topic but On Topic yet
one that would not clutter a_film_by (which is a major concern of the
moderators, remember). And then Bill wouldn't be furious anymore and
wouldn't threaten to drop out -- which I'm sure he has no intention of
doing anyway, but theatrical gestures have their use. Anyway, this has
been a fun exchange. Kept me awake from my usual nap. JPC
27457  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Group Business  nzkpzq


 
I thought that the discussion of the politics of the Star Wars (Lucas) films
was on topic, and within the traditions of auteurism. It DID concentrate on
the vision of the films' director. But that the discussion that branched off
about Bush and 9/11 was OT.

Mike Grost
27458  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 2:27am
Subject: Re: Time's 100 Best  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein
wrote:
> Omissions: Feuillade, Franju, Melville,
> Powell/Pressburger, Pasolini, Demy, Derek Jarman, Todd
> Haynes, Gus, Chereau.
>
> --- hotlove666 wrote:
> > Here's another ghastly piece of news. Apparently it
> > includes Finding
> > Nemo:
> >


Is a TIME List news, ghastly or otherwise?

This does look like something that would be more appropriate on
the OT List!

Fred is right, though. Let's look at the bright side. TIME
marches on...

JPC
>
> >
> >
> >
>
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com
27459  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 10:39pm
Subject: Re: Re: Time's 100 Best  scil1973


 
How DARE they forget SOME CALL IT LOVING?!?!?!? HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that
film NOT canonical? Is it NOT right under THAT CRIME THAT MISTER LANGE DID and
MISS CITIZEN KANE in all polls? What the freak??? And HELLO - where's the
Canadian avant-garde? Where's THE HART OF LONDON, a film at least as widely
worshipped as, oh, THE RAGING BULL?!??!?!?! Fred Camper, you should be ashamed of
yourself for supporting such a list!!! Where's your avant-garde brotherhood,
mister??????

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27460  
From: ptonguette@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  peter_tonguette


 
Bill,

Respectfully, I believe there has been a misunderstanding here and I'd like
to take this opportunity to try and make things clearer.

I'll take partial responsibility in that the wording of our original post
perhaps wasn't as precise as it could have been. That said, I don't believe
you're correct in referring to our comments about political interpretations as a
"rule." The stuff about not posting a url without commentary, or with minimal
commentary of why you find it to be of interest, is indeed a "rule," or as
close to one as we have on this group.

Bill, what you didn't quote from Fred's post is the continuation that it's
also a question of volume, which implies that political discussions of films
with no reference to style are permitted, just as some OT posts are permitted in
our Statement.

So to again repeat what both Fred and I have reiterated several times this
evening, we have no problem with the interpretation of political dimensions in a
film. Note that we only took action when we noticed several posts which took
politics alone as their subject. We're simply trying to keep this group as
useful as possible to as many people as possible. To that end, JPC wrote
earlier today that he agreed wholeheartedly with our original post.

We have no interest in getting involved in a big battle here. For one thing,
it takes up too much time and space. Your remarks about style as it relates
to plot are, as usual, very interesting and worthy of discussion - let's move
on from this and have that discussion instead.

Peter and Fred
(We haven't heard from Aaron yet, so that's why we're the only ones signing.)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27461  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 2:54am
Subject: Re: Re: Time's 100 Best + Group Business  fredcamper


 
LiLiPUT1@... wrote:

> How DARE they forget SOME CALL IT LOVING?!?!?!? HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that
> film NOT canonical? Is it NOT right under THAT CRIME THAT MISTER LANGE DID and
> MISS CITIZEN KANE in all polls? What the freak??? And HELLO - where's the
> Canadian avant-garde? Where's THE HART OF LONDON, a film at least as widely
> worshipped as, oh, THE RAGING BULL?!??!?!?! Fred Camper, you should be ashamed of
> yourself for supporting such a list!!! Where's your avant-garde brotherhood,
> mister??????

First, I agree with JPC about posting a simple link to a list with a
single comment. This is not what we had in mind here. That doesn't mean
that every time someone does it we're going to come down on them. There
were a number of different things that caused us to post as we did, and
people shouldn't read us too narrowly. There's no prohibition on
political interpretations of films in the Statement of Purpose and we're
not changing it to include one.

I thought I'd try to make something of the posting of the TIME list by
commenting on it, so obviously I don't think of this posting as a big
issue -- but we are still asking that people not just post urls without
comment or with little comment.

Kevin, of course I think the list is horrible. I didn't "support" it. I
won't say anything about that film of yours that I've not seen, but the
absence of avant-garde is obviously a big lapse. My only point was, this
list is so much better than the lists of 30 and 40 years ago from
similar sources; things do seem to be getting better in recent decades
with regard to film tastes (even as the world seems to be getting worse
-- ooops, OT). It's hard to like films like "Detour" and "In a Lonely
Place" and "Out of the Past" without some appreciate for the visual
aspects of cinema. The AFI's registry does include many avant-garde
films, for example.

Movies have this dual existence that most of the "fine" arts don't.
Almost never does a review of a painting show call it "more fun than a
barrel of monkeys," and it usually isn't in that sense, but films are
called that all the time. The audience for "more fun than a barrel of
monkeys" is, understandably, larger than the audience for a strangely
perverse (but not sexually so) plotless meditation on image-making,
civilization, and nature, which is how I see Jack Chambers's great "The
Hart of London."

Fred Camper
27462  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:03am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:
> Bill,
>
> Respectfully, I believe there has been a misunderstanding here and
I'd like
> to take this opportunity to try and make things clearer.
>
> I'll take partial responsibility in that the wording of our
original post
> perhaps wasn't as precise as it could have been

Writing is rewriting. (Old writer's proverb)

> Bill, what you didn't quote from Fred's post is the continuation
that it's
> also a question of volume

But why is there now supposed to be a quota on this form of
interpretation and not on any other? Ten posts on the Freudian
meaning of Vertigo would be ok, but 10 on the political meaning of
Star Wars 3 are too many? It makes no sense. There's something that
isn't being said here.
27463  
From: "Rick Curnutte"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:06am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  racurnutte1


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:

> And no, Peter, I'm not overreacting. But I am furious!

I must say that I'm with Bill on this one. I nearly fell out of my
chair when I read the new rule, a concept so anti-intellectual I had
to remind myself of the source of it to prevent a complete mind melt.

To completely and utterly remove political discourse from the
discussions of a director like Lucas is inane. In fact, Peter, Bill,
Saul (maybe, this is your notification, Saul, I hadn't contacted you
yet) and I were going to engage in an email, roundtable-type
discussion of Lucas...how could we do so without mentioning the
political?

Since such discussion has now been barred, I won't go into any further
detail on this stuff. I guess I'll hang around to see if this is
reversed, but I, too, will be unsubscribing if this truly is an
official policy.

Rick
27464  
From: ptonguette@...
Date: Sun May 22, 2005 11:07pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  peter_tonguette


 
Bill Krohn wrote:

"Ten posts on the Freudian meaning of Vertigo would be ok, but 10 on the
political meaning of Star Wars 3 are too many?"

Bill, nuh-uh. There is nothing we object to specifically about political
interpretation! Fred and I even said this to each other privately during our
communications this evening. If a Freudian analysis of "Vertigo" suddenly
evolved into a discussion of Freud, we'd say the same thing. Trust me on this one!

Peter Tonguette


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27465  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:21am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, ptonguette@a... wrote:
> Bill Krohn wrote:
>
> "Ten posts on the Freudian meaning of Vertigo would be ok, but 10
on the
> political meaning of Star Wars 3 are too many?"
>
> Bill, nuh-uh. There is nothing we object to specifically about
political
> interpretation! Fred and I even said this to each other privately
during our
> communications this evening. If a Freudian analysis of "Vertigo"
suddenly
> evolved into a discussion of Freud, we'd say the same thing.
Trust me on this one!
>
> Peter Tonguette
>
What about a Freudian analysis of STAR WARS 3 and a political
analysis of VERTIGO?

I know, I know, this is no time for levity...

JPC
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27466  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:04am
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  fredcamper


 
Rick Curnutte wrote:

>
>
> To completely and utterly remove political discourse from the
> discussions of a director like Lucas
>
> Since such discussion has now been barred

Please reread our posts. We have done no such thing. Nor are we counting
the number of political interpretation of film posts. There is no
"quota." I find it really disturbing that your response to our posts is
that we have "banned" political discussions of films, when we have
actually said the opposite, more than once.

On reflection, if it weren't for the off-topic posts, PLUS two url-only
posts, I doubt we would have intervened. And in a quick look I found
four, not two, posts that are just about all politics (and none of them
are Bill's):

http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27423
http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27428
http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27430
http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27432

plus at least one more that was almost entirely politics.

Some off-topic posts and discussions, including the occasional post just
about politics, are NOT banned. It says so in our Statement of Purpose.
We're asking that they -- posts just about politics, not posts that
offer political interpretations of films -- be kept to a minimum. If the
person who posted that his post was OT had put it on the OT board and
continued the discussion there, I don't think we would have posted about
anything except the two url-only-posts. But since we were posting, it
seemed like a good idea to remind people of the group's "stylistic"
focus. I agree at least somewhat with Bill that it can be hard to draw
lines between "style" and other things, and between different ways a
film can manifest itself. Maybe someone can come up with a symbolic
interpretation of a film that says nothing about camera movement and
composition but is still making an aesthetic argument based on, I don't
know, color coded costumes or something. Fine.

I think we were trying to nip something that could have grown huge
before it did. Unfortunately it grew "huge" in another (and even less
interesting!) direction.

It seems to me there are no outstanding issues here except for Rick's
misstatement and that there isn't much need for further discussion.

Fred Camper
27467  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:38am
Subject: Easter Parade  noelbotevera


 
Hearing David Ehrenstein and the others rave over Charles Walters
made me rent this one. It's a surprisingly heartfelt little joy, a
romantic comedy full of passion, betrayal, disillusionment,
heartbreak that still manages to be a first-rate musical (or maybe I
have that upside-down--it's because it's a musical that it manages
to cram all that passion, betrayal, etc., etc. in there).

A few notes: When Ann Miller dances with Astaire to "It Only Happens
When I Dance With You," the song is sensual, eloquent in heat and
body language. When Judy Garland reprises it later to Astaire on the
piano she sings with plenty of passion as well, but it's a different
kind of passion--soulful, trembling, vulnerable. Walters has the
camera approach the two lovers slowly, discreetly, as if he knows
he's moving in on a very private moment and doesn't want to disturb
them; the shot stops in time for Garland, who finishes the song, to
throw Astaire a look of total emotional nakedness, as if to
say "This is me; this is what I am. So what do you think?"

I can't think of anyone else who can act with his back as well as
Astaire does in this scene (he's facing away from the camera the
whole time): the arch of his back, the tilt of his head, the
slightly lifted chin suggests ever increasing levels of adoration--
he even manages to show us a bit of his brow, wrinkling. His
response to Garland's look is just about perfect.

That's about it, except "Steppin Out With My Baby" has (aside from
the otherwise tremendous dance numbers, sometimes featuring only
Astaire and a walking cane--Astair at his best, in my opinion) an
eerie moment where Astaire spins and leaps and bounces his cane off
the floor, catching it on the crook of his arm, all in slow motion
while the rest of the dancers are stepping in normal time, yet both
dancers and Astaire move in time to the beat--a feat I'm sure was a
bitch to achieve, in the days of primitive sound recording, special
effects, and no computers.
27468  
From: "hotlove666"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:55am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  hotlove666


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> Rick Curnutte wrote:
> >
> > Since such discussion has now been barred
>
> Please reread our posts. We have done no such thing.

I'm going to button my lip and take a digital vow of chastity till I
cool off. Let me just add that I don't think you guys realize how
seriously many members take your diktats, particularly younger
members or even older ones who are still a bit timid. Peter's slip of
the pen, or whatever it was, will cause some people to unsubscribe,
or stop posting, or be very inhibited about what they do post. For
one thing, I would guess that discussion of SW3, certainly from a
political or even an ethical standpoint, has been effectively
squashed. And I think that's a real shame, because this is the place
where it should be discussed - we have the brain-power and the
expertise.

That's why, IMO, instead of rewriting history, it might just be
better to just rewrite the post.

PS to Peter, Saul and Rick - I look forward to our digital roundtable
on Star Wars 3.
27469  
From: "Noel Vera"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 5:01am
Subject: Re: Time's 100 Best  noelbotevera


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:
> Here's another ghastly piece of news. Apparently it includes Finding
> Nemo:
>
> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/film_time_s100

"Pyaasa" is there but no "Kaagaz ke Phool," no "Mother India,"
no "Awaara," no Ritwik Ghatak.

"Citizen Kane" is there but no "Magnificent Ambersons" or "Chimes of
Midnight." "Tokyo Story" but not "Late Spring." "Persona" but
not "Shame."

No Naruse that I can see. No Bunuel ("City of God" over "Los
Olvidados?!"). No Larry Cohen. No Charles Burnett. No Chang Cheh or
Liu Chia Liang or Hou Hsiao Hsien or Abbas Kiarostami.

Feh. Of course I don't expect them to know anything about Lino Brocka,
Mario O'Hara, Mike and Gerry de Leon--hats off if they've even heard
of these filmmakers. But the rest--feh.

I like the hubris of that statement: "Ever since TIME began." The
magazine of record when it comes to factoids and cosmetic journalism.
27470  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:29am
Subject: Scorsese summarized for all-time  scil1973


 
Ok y'all. About a week ago, I completed a grad seminar on Scorsese as well as
a nifty paper called "Riding My Own Hobby Horse: THE KING OF COMEDY As A
Syntactically Gay Text." So I'd just like to share some conclusions with y'all now
that I've seen all of his films.

THE KING OF COMEDY is far and away his best film and really, his only
masterpiece.

Worst film: BOXCAR BERTHA

I just don't get it: NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Waaaaay overrated: MEAN STREETS

Twice is more than enough: GANGS OF NEW YORK

I prefer CASINO to GOODFELLAS. I know it came after and is almost a remake. I
know I tend to embrace underdog films in need of friends. I know I have an
attraction/repulsion to gambling/Vegas. But with all the objectivity I can
muster, I find CASINO airs out GOODFELLAS a bit more. That amazing last scene in
the latter has tractors clearing out ever more spaces for the American dream to
go and die (or at least attenuate). But it comes too late to truly energize
the film as a whole. Not so with CASINO. For one, we have another crucial locale
in Kansas City. Two, we have Rothstein's inability to remain out of the
spotlight. And overall, the film beautifully bears out the following paraphrase
from my man Dave Hickey: America is a terrible lens through which to view Vegas
but Vegas is an excellent lens through which to view America.

Whereas most folks will truck with TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS, I
advocate KING OF COMEDY, CASINO, AFTER HOURS, even BRINGING OUT THE DEAD. I dig
those former three, increasingly so with TAXI DRIVER. Couldn't stand it on
first viewing. Now I see it's trying to say something about work and go-go-go
efficiency. But TAXI and RAGING share with THE AVIATOR this bullshit modernist
escape clause. Anything objectionable in the films is only happening in the
heads of Travis, Jake, and Howie. Scorsese seems to be saying: "I just want my
bulls to rage. I don't want to bother exploring the ramifications of Hughes'
infamous crash. So I'll place the entire film in his head and let the audience
know this is happening by using two-strip Technicolor." Yeah, I smell it too. One
of the many great things about THE KING OF COMEDY is that it matters not at
all if any or all of the film takes place in Rupert Pupkin's head since the
film is asking what our social responsibility is to the Rupert Pupkins of the
world. Pupkin's nerd doesn't thrill Scorsese as much as his raging bulls which
allows him a modicum of distance. It makes for a multi-faceted glimpse around
the character, as if Scorsese were seizing him up like a scuplture, rather than
a glimpse of the allergy-prone Scorsese rolling around in the macho brain shit
of more physically fit horrors like Jake and Travis.

I did some research into the Hughes plane crash. As far as anyone knows, no
one besides Hughes was hurt (serves him right, the jerk). A military official
whose house Hughes hit was apparently at the Nurermberg trials at the time.

Biggest surprise: ITALIANAMERICAN, esp. Mrs. Scorsese's moving story about
the ghost that appeared to her mother. Where's her best-supporting actress
Oscar?

Paper topic: To what extent, if any, do Scorsese's aggressive camera
movements and showy set pieces in ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE masculinize the
woman's film?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27471  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:35am
Subject: Re: Re: Time's 100 Best + Group Business  scil1973


 
In a message dated 5/22/05 9:55:14 PM, f@... writes:


> I didn't "support" it.
>

I know, Fred. I hope you got that my post was tongue in cheek. I would've
dropped a colon if SOME CALL IT LOVING or THE HART OF LONDON made it on there.

These lists are so silly. Who cares if LOS OLVIDADOS isn't on there?

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27472  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 5:59am
Subject: Re: Re: Time's 100 Best + Group Business  fredcamper


 
LiLiPUT1@... wrote:


> ...I hope you got that my post was tongue in cheek.

Of course, but I guess I wasn't sure if you parodying something
specific, so I replied seriously. Now it occurs to me that you were
using outraged hysteria to parody the "why isn't my favorite film
included" response, which is sort of the generic reply to such lists. I
don't know why I didn't see this earlier. Anyway, if that's right, we agree.

With someone who I share some sort of deep aesthetic compatibility, I
might debate a film that one of us didn't like and the other thought was
great. With the TIME guys, I remain pleased that so many great and
formerly obscure films made it onto their list.

Fred Camper
27473  
From: "Matt Armstrong"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 6:25am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  matt_c_armst...


 
First of all, my apologies to Bill. If it weren't for him, I
wouldn't be in this group. He's been very supportive of my joining
and posting on this list.

The offending exchange was precipitated by a knee-jerk remark I made
about conspiracy theories and Berkeley a couple weeks back. It was
an OT response to Bill's OT post. I should have kept my mouth shut.
I'd like to point out in my defense that my initial post on "Star
Wars 3" was almost exclusively focused on visual style, but we found
our way to politics eventually.

But frankly after having read everything from showtune lyrics to
personal attacks on Henry Jaglom, I felt a general loosening of the
strictures on OT posts, and wasn't expecting a backlash.

That being said I take issue with the posts the moderators have
singled out for attention.


> http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27428

This one's political but not entirely OT. My background is mostly in
politics, so this is one of the ways I make meaning from movies. I
honestly thought list members would be interested in the fact that
the US' largest peace organization uses "Star Wars" analogies in its
training of young activists. It certainly lends weight to the
discussion of Lucas' political relevance.

> http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27430

Frankly, I don't get why this one is OT. I'm asking if there is
anything in Lucas' films which confirms a particular belief that's
been attributed to him.

> http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/a_film_by/message/27432

In this post, Richard is *answering* my question about whether Lucas
alludes to the contested theory.

While each of these posts is mostly political, each of them refers
to discussion of a particular film.

I'm willing to admit that these posts veer away from the group's
stated focus, but why are they being singled out? Look back over the
last month of posts. How many of them directly relate to visual
style? Not that many, really. And yet it feels like discussions of a
political nature are more likely to produce anxiety here than other
kinds of "OT" posts.

The last time I remember a conflict was after a lengthy thread on
class politics in "Million Dollar Baby." In my recollection, that
thread never devolved into a purely political debate, but it still
resulted in a censorious warning. So, what is it about politics in
particular that seems to be *more* potentially-OT than any other
topic?

Whatever the reason, I'll follow Bill's lead and hold off for a bit.
I don't have nearly the background that most folks on this list do.
I learn a tremendous amount from reading your discussions. I'm not
ready to quit, but obviously I don't feel entirely free to speak
either.
27474  
From: "Blake Lucas"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 7:46am
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  lukethedealer12


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "hotlove666" wrote:
>
> I'm all for trying to find ways to talk about narrative and non-
> narative filmmaking together, but I don't buy the idea that only
what
> they have in common constitutes "style" - or "cinema."

Buried in this thread was the above line, which I for one found
wonderfully provocative and stimulating and which I hope will not be
forgotten.

I have not been a member long enough to know if what is said by Bill
above has actually been taken up and discussed, but it should be. And
it seems like if there is any place where it could be done so very
fruitfully it is here. I for one am very interested in exploring
the relationship between narrative/non-narrative, or
narrative/experimental, because I believe it will help us more deeply
understand the nature of both.

I have seen posts by Fred and others in which, for example, Sirk and
Brakhage are linked--linked as artists with gifts for visual
expressiveness, or "visual architecture" as Fred said at one point.
While this has some validity, it seems a little narrow to my taste.
I worry that too much of Sirk (and maybe of Brakhage as well) might
be lost, and I don't say that to deny the thoughtfulness of any
specific observations about any individual works and certainly not of
anyone's taste in cinematic style or individual filmmakers.

But if I read Bill correctly, what is not held in common may be as
important as what is held in common. I have a few ideas about this and
I am guessing most members do.

One of the strengths of this group is that there is this interest in
both narrative and more abstract/experimental or "pure" forms of
cinema. (And yes, I'm implying you cannot make Sirk or Hawks or even
Mizoguchi or Rossellini "pure" in the same way, but that they are not
necessarily lesser for that reason). Not everyone has the same kind
of interest, or necessarily an equal interest in each sphere, but I
haven't seen any member express no interest in one or the other.

Speaking for myself, as you get older, your interests may lean more in
one direction and you tend to move toward those interests. I saw a
lot more experimental/non-narrative works when I was younger--and
never rejected them as "some other cinema" that couldn't offer me
anything. But I know I have more critical strengths with narrative
cinema, and seem to respond more deeply to it, even though the formal
level is always the one concern most constant for me in any movie.

When there are heated exchanges about the rules, like this thread,
I've noticed that something positive like this line of Bill's above
always tends to come up. So let's notice it when it does.

And Bill, I was going to write you a note separately about my next
remarks, but after you posted on how some new or even older members
might become timid in the face of rules enforcement, I have decided to
put these following thoughts out in the group.

Because that's me, older in age though not old in the group, and
definitely timid because of my relative new status. But I read the
Statement of Purpose before I came in and feel it was composed to
express a certain interest in the notions of visual style and
style/meaning in the works of filmmakers but also implied a wide
latitude IF members can justify their thoughts and musings on any film-
related subject in such a way that seems to become a natural and
integral part of the discussion.

You know, it's in the nature of a group like this one, I'm guessing,
that moderators will have to sometimes enforce the "rules" when they
are faced with what may seem like a bunch of "unruly" children. And
it's equally natural that someone will chafe at the enforcement. I
can be as unruly as anyone I'm sure, and have been known to be
rebellious in a lot of situations. But I'm trying to take the
attitude here that the challenge is on us to discuss the things we
want to discuss in such a way that we can justify them within the wide
latitude I see being allowed. And that goes for a lot of things and
not just politics.

For example, hasn't it occurred to anyone beside me that there may be
deep affinities between song lyrics and mise-en-scene? The same
concern with rhythm, imagery, changes of mood. If we can learn
something relevant about cinema from some of these lyrics, or from the
general strengths of lyrics, and be articulate about it, then it's
hard to imagine how they could be outlawed from the group.

It's just a thought.

Blake Lucas
27475  
From: ptonguette@...
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:21am
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  peter_tonguette


 
Bill Krohn wrote:

"Peter's slip of the pen, or whatever it was, will cause some people to
unsubscribe, or stop posting, or be very inhibited about what they do post."

I promise this will be my last post on the matter, as I'm not at all happy
that my most voluminous posting of late has been in this thread! Fred and I
always talk about "groups which discuss themselves" as something to avoid.

I did want to emphasize that all three of the co-moderators agreed upon the
original post, and two of us actually wrote it, so it's not as though it's
something one of us impetuously posted late one night. When we post jointly, we
do try to put some thought into it. I would say, however, that in retrospect
the post evidently wasn't effective in communicating what we wanted to
communicate. For that, I am sorry. I would agree with Fred's characterization that
the number one concern was the posting of urls, followed by blatant OT posting.
We then offered what I thought of as a reminder about "the group's stylistic
focus," as Fred's puts it, which was taken by some to be a new "rule"
prohibiting certain discussions which have ALWAYS been allowed - and will continue to
be allowed, as has been reiterated numerous times by both of us. In
particular, there was never any thought or discussion that somehow political analysis
of film was any "worse" than Freudian analysis or Lacanian analysis or
Tonguettian analysis. (Humor... but it's true.)

Since this group was indeed founded with a certain shared perspective by the
two co-moderators, you can understand why we might feel compelled to encourage
members to be mindful of this perspective. There are absolutely members who
have unsubscribed or stopped posting because they feel the group has lost its
main purpose as a place to discuss film primarily from a visual standpoint.
But Fred and I have also always consistently said that we don't want to force
the group to become something it isn't or has evolved away from. So we are
very mindful, or try to be, of this balance.

Now, I hope all is clear.

If I may close with a note of self-promotion, of sorts, we - Rick Curnutte,
Saul Symonds, Bill, and I - are indeed going to be examining "Star Wars" and
Lucas from an auteurist viewpoint at The Film Journal, and I'm proud to be part
of this examination and to be doing it with the gents named above.

Peter Tonguette


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27476  
From: Adrian Martin
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 8:55am
Subject: re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  apmartin90


 
Peter wrote:

"... the group has lost its
main purpose as a place to discuss film primarily from a visual
standpoint"

Hey, now I can get mad too! VISUAL AND AURAL, please, cinema is IMAGE
AND SOUND. Surely such a sophisticated forum as this can remember a
little more often that (much) cinema comes with a SOUNDTRACK! And the
aesthetics of film sound are discussed too little. Let's open our ears
as well as our eyes!

Adrian
27477  
From: MG4273@...
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 5:15am
Subject: Re: Time's 100 Best  nzkpzq


 
In general, I agree with Fred about this list. It seems like a pretty good
list of films.
It would especially benefit people who know little about film history. Just
think what would happen to film culture, if everybody in the world saw "The
Last Command" and "Ugetsu" and "Mon Oncle d'Amerique".
The list seems especially targeted to film "newbies" (of all ages), people
just starting to learn about the world of film. Many of the film choices seem
like gentle introductions their directors, films that would introduce the viewer
to the director's world in the most audience-friendly way possible.
This list is of least value to film historians (such as most of the people on
a_film_by). I suspect that most of us already know most of these films -
although there are quite a few films on this list I've still never manged to see,
unfortunately (:
Today, the dreadful AFI top 100 is posted in half the video stores and
libraries in the United States (and maybe it afflicts other countries, too!) Film
culture could improve overnight if the Time list were posted instead.
In conclusion, a comparison with Jonathan Rosenbaum's "1000 Essential Films"
might be in order. Most of the Time films are fairly easily available on video
and/or DVD. They could easily be stocked by public libraries and video stores
- and it would be great if the whole Time list were available to borrow
everywhere!
By contrast, over half the Rosenbaum list consists of rarities that are
unavailable anywhere at all. It is a huge wake up call, aimed at both film
historians and DVD manufacturers, trying to get them to take a much broader and in
depth look at film history. It is certainly a major challenge and educational
tool for me - I am trying to see far more of the films on it than I have ever
managed in the past. It is a visionary list, trying to get people to explore much
more deeply.
There is a place for both kinds of lists.

Mike Grost
27478  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:47pm
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Blake Lucas"
wrote:

> For example, hasn't it occurred to anyone beside me that there may
be
> deep affinities between song lyrics and mise-en-scene? The same
> concern with rhythm, imagery, changes of mood. If we can learn
> something relevant about cinema from some of these lyrics, or from
the
> general strengths of lyrics, and be articulate about it, then it's
> hard to imagine how they could be outlawed from the group.
>
> It's just a thought.
>
> Blake Lucas

Good point, Blake. Actually, some time ago I posted a discussion
of Walters' camera moves in relation to the song "Friendly Star"
in "Summer Stock."

Your entire post was interesting. Sorry I had to delete most of
it!

JPC
27479  
From: "jpcoursodon"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 0:57pm
Subject: Re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  jpcoursodon


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:
> Peter wrote:
>
> "... the group has lost its
> main purpose as a place to discuss film primarily from a visual
> standpoint"
>

Well, Adrian, this is a case where too much snipping leads to
confusion. Peter did NOT write the above. he wrote that some people
had unsubscribed or stopped posting because they felt that the group
has lost its main purpose etc... That's quite different!

JPC


> Hey, now I can get mad too! VISUAL AND AURAL, please, cinema is
IMAGE
> AND SOUND. Surely such a sophisticated forum as this can remember a
> little more often that (much) cinema comes with a SOUNDTRACK! And
the
> aesthetics of film sound are discussed too little. Let's open our
ears
> as well as our eyes!
>
> Adrian

This was my reaction too, but it was probably just another slip of
the Tonguettian pen.

JPC
27480  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:15pm
Subject: Re: Scorsese summarized for all-time  cellar47


 
--- LiLiPUT1@... wrote:
> Ok y'all. About a week ago, I completed a grad
> seminar on Scorsese as well as
> a nifty paper called "Riding My Own Hobby Horse: THE
> KING OF COMEDY As A
> Syntactically Gay Text."

HUNH?

>
> THE KING OF COMEDY is far and away his best film and
> really, his only
> masterpiece.
>

Until "Casino" it was my favorite.

> Worst film: BOXCAR BERTHA
>

Worst film: "Bringing Out the dead."

> I just don't get it: NEW YORK, NEW YORK
>

Take another look at it.


> Waaaaay overrated: MEAN STREETS
>
> Twice is more than enough: GANGS OF NEW YORK
>

Agreed.

> I prefer CASINO to GOODFELLAS. I know it came after
> and is almost a remake.

Not really. "Goodfellas" is iddle-class. "Casino" is
nouveau riche. Very different in that.


Now I see it's trying to say
> something about work and go-go-go
> efficiency. But TAXI and RAGING share with THE
> AVIATOR this bullshit modernist
> escape clause. Anything objectionable in the films
> is only happening in the
> heads of Travis, Jake, and Howie. Scorsese seems to
> be saying: "I just want my
> bulls to rage. I don't want to bother exploring the
> ramifications of Hughes'
> infamous crash. So I'll place the entire film in his
> head and let the audience
> know this is happening by using two-strip
> Technicolor." Yeah, I smell it too.

Not at all. Ramifications are ALWAYS explored.
Just not in the expected fashion.


>
> Biggest surprise: ITALIANAMERICAN, esp. Mrs.
> Scorsese's moving story about
> the ghost that appeared to her mother. Where's her
> best-supporting actress
> Oscar?
>

She was such a lovely woman. Hilarious with a heart as
big as a mountain.

> Paper topic: To what extent, if any, do Scorsese's
> aggressive camera
> movements and showy set pieces in ALICE DOESN'T LIVE
> HERE ANYMORE masculinize the
> woman's film?
>

Hmmm. Interesting notion.
Actuallythe most masculine thing in "Alice" is Jodie
Foster.




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27481  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:21pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  cellar47


 
--- Blake Lucas wrote:


>
> For example, hasn't it occurred to anyone beside me
> that there may be
> deep affinities between song lyrics and
> mise-en-scene?

Yep.Me.

It's what the greatest film ever made is all about.



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27482  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:23pm
Subject: Re: re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  cellar47


 
--- Adrian Martin wrote:

>
> Hey, now I can get mad too! VISUAL AND AURAL,
> please, cinema is IMAGE
> AND SOUND. Surely such a sophisticated forum as this
> can remember a
> little more often that (much) cinema comes with a
> SOUNDTRACK! And the
> aesthetics of film sound are discussed too little.
> Let's open our ears
> as well as our eyes!
>


Indeed!

The worst piece of critical cant going is that
dialogue isn't "cinematic."
>
>



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27483  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  fredcamper


 
I'm sure Peter agrees about sound. I certainly do. Not all films use
sound in an interesting way, of course, but many great ones do. Refer
also to the earlier discussion between Zach and myself about acting. I
agreed that acting could be a formal element. Anything can be a formal
element, even plot I suppose, or the colors of costumes as I indicated
in an earlier post. And Matt, you yourself posted that your post
belonged on the OT board. Again, this is not a question of rules, but
emphasis and focus. Film can involve anything. This is why some OT posts
are allowed. We were trying to avoid a big discussion about Bush and
9/11 that might have been occasioned by films but was no longer really
discussing them. Films can engage many subjects, and can be the occasion
for long chains of posts on various topics. I can imagine a debate about
the history of pedophilia and U.S. attitudes toward it emerging from a
discussion of "Capturing the Friedmans." That would make sense, because
everything relates to everything else. But if I wanted to learn the
history of anything I'd spend my time reading authoritative sources.
We're trying to keep this board focused on the things that its members
are so expert in. That's why we encourage people to use the OT board --
with a note that the thread has been moved. I agree with Peter that we
should have worded our initial post differently so that it couldn't be
misunderstood as excluding politics. But look at its wording. The "firm
prohibition" against urls-only was followed with words such as "PLEASE"
and "we would urge." The different wording is important.

Fred Camper
27484  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:33pm
Subject: Re: re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  fredcamper


 
David Ehrenstein wrote:


> The worst piece of critical cant going is that
> dialogue isn't "cinematic."

David, I'll admit to my biaes, but I agree with you that dialogue -- or
song lyrics -- can be "cinematic" -- and in many or most poorly-made
films the imagery can be "uncinematic."

The way to argue for the cinematic qualities of song lyrics or scripts
is to make the case for it, just as others might try to make a case for
the imagery of a particular film.

Fred Camper
27485  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:36pm
Subject: Re: re: Group Business (cinematic deafness)  cellar47


 
--- Fred Camper wrote:

>
> The way to argue for the cinematic qualities of song
> lyrics or scripts
> is to make the case for it, just as others might try
> to make a case for
> the imagery of a particular film.
>

Well I think we've all been making quite a good case
for Mankiewicz. I hope to add more to discussions of
Sturges in the future.

Rohmer is another obvious example of what I'm talking
about.

Song lyrics re Chereau relates to as well to Duras
concept of the cinema in which the soundtrack is more
important than the image.



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27486  
From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:46pm
Subject: TIME and DVD products  eanmdphd


 
The TIME, and similar lists, serve as viewing, and especially today,
DVD purchasing guides for novices.
I am curious to know if most of the films on the lists are now
available on DVD, and if there were any disclosure of the DVD
production rights for the films on the list?

Could this list be a form of self promotion for the Time-Warner /
Turner / AOL congromerate? {If I got the various media arms wrong,
forgiveness requested.}
27487  
From: Elizabeth Nolan
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 1:51pm
Subject: a_film_by vs OT  eanmdphd


 
When I have good access, I read / scan almost all postings. As the
film novice in this group, posts from which I 'learn about film' are
best for me; posts about a person's beliefs / interest / special
knowledge (ala my own in medicine / psychology), though interesting, do
not increase my understanding of film.
Perhaps a quick review before posting: IS this post about cinema / a
particular film, or about me / my special insight. I'm suspect brief
comments of the latter nature would be tolerated, and easily responded
to personally or on the OT area
27488  
From: David Ehrenstein
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 2:06pm
Subject: Re: TIME and DVD products  cellar47


 
--- Elizabeth Nolan wrote:

>
> Could this list be a form of self promotion for the
> Time-Warner /
> Turner / AOL congromerate? {

Of course!

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27489  
From: BklynMagus
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 2:07pm
Subject: Re: What is "Cinematic?" (was: Group Business)  cinebklyn


 
David E writes:

> The worst piece of critical cant going is
that dialogue isn't "cinematic."

I agree. Sometimes I think people can be
biased in favor of imagery and beleive that
to be the core of a cinematic experience.

For me, whatever carries the film forward
can be considered cinematic. It can be imagery,
sound, dialogue, music, lyrics, etc. in combination
or solo. I always try to assess what is carrying me
along as I watch the film -- what is engaging and
impelling me.

As an example: I saw "Dominion" this weekend.
What I found was that while the story moved me along,
the images did not. I think I am becoming less and
less of a fan of the continuously moving camera.
Schrader obviously has the technique down, but
the relentless motion seems to negate the concept of
framing. It is not like Preminger who moved and
reframed. I found that, for me, this technique kept
me away from full engagement with the film.

Brian
27490  
From: "Rick Curnutte"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Group business: all members please read  racurnutte1


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Fred Camper wrote:
> Rick Curnutte wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > To completely and utterly remove political discourse from the
> > discussions of a director like Lucas
> >
> > Since such discussion has now been barred
>
> Please reread our posts. We have done no such thing. Nor are we
counting
> the number of political interpretation of film posts. There is no
> "quota."


Please reread MY post. I never said anything about quotas.


>I find it really disturbing that your response to our posts is
> that we have "banned" political discussions of films, when we have
> actually said the opposite, more than once.


Actually, my response was essentially to the initial post, not to
the various responses from the moderators, which I didn't really get
to read until later.


> It seems to me there are no outstanding issues here except for
Rick's
> misstatement and that there isn't much need for further discussion.


And with this dismissal, I slink back into the shadows from whence I
came. You know, this kind of freakish control over posting content
and varying degrees of enforcing of such is remniscent of another
group that some of us are familiar with.

See you later.

Rick
27491  
From: Adrian Martin
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:09pm
Subject: re: what is cinematic?  apmartin90


 
Brian wrote:

"I think I am becoming less and
less of a fan of the continuously moving camera."

I haven't seen DOMINION (I actually thought the other version of the
film wasn't so bad!), but the general point raised by Brian is a
fascinating one. In one of his best articles, David Bordwell in FILM
QUARTERLY a year or two back commented on the tendency in contemporary
cinema to indulge the 'meaningless glide': this incessantly moving
camera which might as well start anywhere and end anywhere in its
motion - because it's only the motion that matters, in some utterly
imprecise attempt at injecting 'energy' or 'visual interest' or
suspense or something or other into the scene at hand (and then it gets
'laid on', in the worst cases, just about every scene in the film,
indifferently). Brian is absolutely right: it's the dead opposite of
the careful reframing practiced by Preminger, Lang, etc. You can almost
hear the director yelling off-screen: "Just keep the camera moving!"
When did this sort of 'gliding' begin in mainstream cinema? Even
directors who are in other ways much more interesting, like Scorsese
and Campion, sometimes rely on this facile device. On the other hand, I
am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to who
indeed has done this?

Adrian

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27492  
From: "Saul"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:19pm
Subject: Re: what is cinematic?  asitdid
Online Now Send IM

 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:
> Brian wrote:
Even
> directors who are in other ways much more interesting, like Scorsese
> and Campion, sometimes rely on this facile device. On the other hand, I
> am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to who
> indeed has done this?
>

Adrian, THE roving camera movie is Kubrick's "The Shining". No
reframing as such. On the simplest level, the generation of a
predatory presence, which SK creates from the opening shots, (whose
power, of course, comes as much from that synthesized MUSIC on the
SOUNTRACK with those inhuman voices). In the tracking shots of Danny
on his tricycle, the on/off on/off of the wheels on carpet/wood
greatly intensify the 'edginess' of the sequence, the unsettling
feeling that all is not right. I can not think of a film more meshed
together with a roving camera, which also, on a slightly more subtle
level, is used to generate/elucidate the changing 'power plays' and
character relationships.
27493  
From: "Sascha Westphal"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:41pm
Subject: Re: re: what is cinematic?  sascharw1971


 
Adrian wrote:
> On the other hand, I
> am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to who
> indeed has done this?

Two very interesting films in this regard are "Tony Takitani" by Jun Ichikawa (2004) and "Light of My Eyes" by Giuseppe Piccioni (2001).

The compositions of "Tony Takitani" are deliberately flat, evoking the two-dimensional style of certain schools of Japanese drawings and paintings. The nearly constantly moving camera creates an astonishing impression in the viewer. It's almost like looking at a picture book. The gliding camera re-imagines the movement of one's eyes. It glides along as our eyes would glide along a drawing or a painting.

The two protagonists of "Light of My Eyes" have no significant roots in our world. They are strangers in their own lives, constantly moving because of their fear about what would happen if they stood still for a moment. Piccioni's travelling camera and his excessive pans reflect their inner uprootedness. And at the same time they create an atmosphere of an eligiac piece of music. While visually expressing the inner chaos of his doomed lovers Piccioni discovers a fleeting beauty that is part of the world and of all our lives.

Sascha

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27494  
From: "thebradstevens"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:02pm
Subject: Re: what is cinematic?  thebradstevens


 
--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin this
incessantly moving
> camera which might as well start anywhere and end anywhere...it's
the dead opposite of
> the careful reframing practiced by Preminger, Lang, etc. You can
almost
> hear the director yelling off-screen: "Just keep the camera
moving!"
> When did this sort of 'gliding' begin in mainstream cinema? Even
> directors who are in other ways much more interesting, like
Scorsese
> and Campion, sometimes rely on this facile device. On the other
hand, I
> am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to
who
> indeed has done this?
>

I tend to associate this with Robert Altman. Indeed, I understand
that Altman frequently tells his camera operator to "just keep the
camera moving", without worrying about precisely what is (or isn't)
in frame. This is one of the reasons I enjoy watching unmasked full-
screen television versions of Altman's Super 35 films (SHORT CUTS,
DOCTOR T AND THE WOMEN, GOSFORD PARK), which include additional
visual information at the top and bottom of the image. Anyway, it's
an entirely valid aesthetic, implying as it does a world in constant
(moral/emotional/narrative) flux.
27495  
From: Fred Camper
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:22pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  fredcamper


 
Rick Curnutte wrote:

>
> Please reread MY post. I never said anything about quotas.

Sorry, I was mixing in a reply to other posts with a reply to yours.

> Actually, my response was essentially to the initial post, not to
> the various responses from the moderators, which I didn't really get
> to read until later.

I had assumed you had read them, and that's why I found your post
baffling, and why I thought "misstatement" was a fair characterization.
I assume you agree that in all our posts taken together we didn't "ban"
political discussions. It's a good idea to at least look at all the
posts in a thread before replying.

I wasn't trying to "dismiss" you, just suggest, as Peter did, that an
endless continuation of this thread is not something we are hoping for.

I fail to see how "encourage" and "urge" constitute "freakish control
over content." If people tried to stay reasonably close to the Statement
of Purpose we would never have to post anything as moderators. If you
look at that Statement (for example, "The primary focus of this group is
on film as art" or ", please keep the more trivial personal interchanges
to a minimum") and read a few days' posts you can see that many diverge
from it without us ever intervening.

Peter and I have talked with each other about how the group has changed
from its early days. We've also talked about how we don't want to force
our views of what the group should be on an overwhelming majority of its
members, so we'll be talking about ways of sampling members' opinions
among us moderators, and later with the group.

And now, echoing Peter, this will be my last post in this thread --
unless someone posts something that *must* be replied to, which I hope
doesn't happen.

Fred Camper
27496  
From: "Henrik Sylow"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:32pm
Subject: Re: what is cinematic?  henrik_sylow


 
For years I've had two favorite scenes noting upon the moving camera.

The first is from "Get Shorty" (a deleted scene), where the assistent
director is about to set up a shot, and gives the CO detailed
instructions about a complex craneshot, then to come in from a low
angle view and finally end up with a CU. Hackman objects to this and
tells him to do the shot with a static CU, as there is nothing as
powerful as a single frame shot of a human face.

The other is from Minellis "The Bad and the Beautiful" and is imo the
best craneshot ever made. It is when Douglas puts Turner down at the
swimming pool, the crane moves in from the right and centers, and the
scenes basically screams for a cut, but instead Minelli uses the
momentum of the moving camera to line up the dialogue shot, which one
normally would have made a medium shot cut to.

I am neither pro or against the moving camera, but I do feel that,
especially the last 15 years, pans, tilts, tracks and cranes have been
used without any other purpose than to impress the audience. Michael
Bay for instance has this thing about doing a 180 degree upward pan
(while the protagonists are moving from crouching to standing
position) and uses tracking pans almost whenever its possible to
strech the scope compositions (especially in Pearl Harbor). But there
is no narrative function in this, no thought about composition, only
to impress the audience.

Very few modern directors use the moving camera to keep lines (one who
does is Michael Mann, just notice the subtle use of almost invisible
tracks to establish lines for the next scene), very few use it to
support the scene and composition, and thus it becomes technology
dictating the shot, as in "Hell, we have a crane, why not use it."

Henrik


--- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Martin wrote:
> Brian wrote:
>
> "I think I am becoming less and
> less of a fan of the continuously moving camera."
>
> I haven't seen DOMINION (I actually thought the other version of the
> film wasn't so bad!), but the general point raised by Brian is a
> fascinating one. In one of his best articles, David Bordwell in FILM
> QUARTERLY a year or two back commented on the tendency in contemporary
> cinema to indulge the 'meaningless glide': this incessantly moving
> camera which might as well start anywhere and end anywhere in its
> motion - because it's only the motion that matters, in some utterly
> imprecise attempt at injecting 'energy' or 'visual interest' or
> suspense or something or other into the scene at hand (and then it gets
> 'laid on', in the worst cases, just about every scene in the film,
> indifferently). Brian is absolutely right: it's the dead opposite of
> the careful reframing practiced by Preminger, Lang, etc. You can almost
> hear the director yelling off-screen: "Just keep the camera moving!"
> When did this sort of 'gliding' begin in mainstream cinema? Even
> directors who are in other ways much more interesting, like Scorsese
> and Campion, sometimes rely on this facile device. On the other hand, I
> am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to who
> indeed has done this?
>
> Adrian
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27497  
From: "Ruy Gardnier"
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 4:33pm
Subject: Re: Re: what is cinematic?  ruygardnier


 
> > When did this sort of 'gliding' begin in mainstream cinema? Even
> > directors who are in other ways much more interesting, like
> Scorsese
> > and Campion, sometimes rely on this facile device. On the other
> hand, I
> > am sure the technique can also be used well: any suggestions as to
> who
> > indeed has done this?
> >

It's miles away from the meaningless trackings in Lord of the Rings, but Lee
Ping-bing's constant reframings in Hou Hsiao-hsien's films -- mostly Goodbye
South Goodbye and The Flowers of Shanghai -- set the standard very very
high. And they achieve with far greater impact that flux feeling has
mentioned about Altman.

And I'd also take a look at McG, who is -- among other things - a visual
parodist.
27498  
From: LiLiPUT1@...
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Scorsese summarized for all-time  scil1973


 
In a message dated 5/23/05 8:18:04 AM, cellar47@... writes:


> "Riding My Own Hobby Horse: THE
> > KING OF COMEDY As A
> > Syntactically Gay Text."
>
> HUNH?
>

After Rick Altman's "A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre," I argue
that KING is a syntactically but NOT semantically gay film. It's quite a lovely
piece (well, towards the end, at least). I'll do some cleaning before
submitting for publication somewhere. The title comes from an amazing essay I found:

Miller, William Ian. “‘I can take a hint': Social Ineptitude, Embarrassment,
and The King of Comedy.” Michigan Quarterly Review. 33 (1994): 322-4

Didn't know CASINO was your fave. Nice to hear it has supporters. Also,
surprised to hear that you think MEAN STREETS is overrated.

Kevin John


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
27499  
From: BklynMagus
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Scorsese summarized for all-time  cinebklyn


 
Kevin writes:

> After Rick Altman's "A Semantic/Syntactic Approach
to Film Genre," I argue that KING is a syntactically but
NOT semantically gay film.

What is the distinction between "syntactically" and
"semantically"?

> Didn't know CASINO was your fave. Nice to hear it
has supporters.

The last time Scorsese was discussed, I found it
interesting that there was so much support for KING
OF COMEDY which has always been my favorite, but
seems in some ways to be antithetical (at least in terms
of style) to what comes before and after.

As for CASINO, the new dvd comes out June 14th with
deleted scenes. Maybe I have always been drawn to it
since it is 2:35 rather than 1:85. I like David E's
distinction between middle class and nouveau riche as
well. Also, the hand-offs from one narrator to another
reminds me of Mankiewicz.

Brian
27500  
From: Peter Henne
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 8:15pm
Subject: Re: Re: Group business: all members please read  peterhenne
Online Now Send IM

 
Well, that sounds like a dare, so I'm game. I'd like some clarification on political discussion by way of an example. Not long after I joined this group, I (unwittingly) started a thread on the political point of view expressed in Manoel de Oliveira's "A Talking Picture." Much, though not all of the discussion in the developing thread centered on dialogue, and not visual style. Several members brought in quite a lot of historical information when posting on that thread, not directly about the film or cinematic style at all, and Fred responded to these observations without upbraiding anyone about their relevance. I'd like to know would Fred have done things differently now, approximately six months after the thread took place? The thread was very informative for me, and broadened my perspective on the film because of the historical discussion.

There has got to be a way to keep political interpretation of image and sound (including dialogue) in, and sometimes that must include discussing political and historical contexts which lie ouside of the film to make your point. The "Talking Picture" thread IMHO is a case in point.

Peter Henne



Fred Camper wrote:


And now, echoing Peter, this will be my last post in this thread --
unless someone posts something that *must* be replied to, which I hope
doesn't happen.

Fred Camper


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