segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2012

(...) Dans ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, l'appel à la lutte contre le nazisme vient s'immiscer dans le schéma d'une comédie américaine classique et s'exprime à travers la prise de conscience d'un personnage traditionnel du genre, et donc peu préparé, au départ, à de telles révélations. Dans SATAN NEVER SLEEPS, qu'on pourrait décrire comme une fuite hors de l'Eden envahi, s'installe presque malgré l'auteur une amertume qu'on voyait poindre déjà dans telle séquence de MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW ou dans MY SON JOHN. Modernes malgré eux (n'est-ce pas la meilleure façon de l'être?), ces films, qui dissimulent à peine la colère rentrée du plus pacifique et du plus chaleureux des hommes, ne disent-ils pas, d'une manière plus persuasive encore que si l'auteur avait voulu le dire ouvertement, la difficulté du bonheur, de l'harmonie, et combien un monde qui serait fondé sur eux est encore loin du nôtre, est encore à créer.

Jacques Lourcelles, McCarey, Anthologie du cinéma nº 70, L'Avant scène du cinéma, novembro 1972

quinta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2012

Do you feel class is something not addressed enough in U.S. film?

[Class is] not discussed in American life very much -- there’s a notion that social or economic class divides don’t exist when of course they do. But that wasn't always true in film -- think of John Ford, it’s always all over his films. The idea of "Vertigo" is partly genius because of social class -- the idea is he has to make Kim Novak up to the fancier version of Kim Novak in order to rekindle his obsession. So class becomes part of that story. Today, I mean, what social class can you find if someone’s a fucking Spider-Man? What the fuck does that mean?

I'm sensing a degree of dissatisfaction with current mainstream U.S. film from you...

I think it’s in profound trouble in a way that is not reflected by people writing about cinema now. What I find troubling is, I’ll read, for example, conversations between AO Scott and Manohla Dargis [in the New York Times] and I find that they’re extremely erudite, and I love what they say.

But sometimes I feel like the subtext is them trying to convince themselves and each other that the state of cinema not so bad. And what neither of them has ever really addressed, and I have not read it anywhere else either, is the troubling disappearance of "the middle." Which is not to say the middlebrow -- that exists with flying colors. But there is tremendously interesting cinema being made that is very small, and there are very huge movies which have visually astounding material in them, but you know Truffaut said that great cinema was part truth, part spectacle, so what’s really missing is that. It’s what United Artists would have made in 1978 or something.

Like "Raging Bull" could not be a low-budget movie, it just couldn’t, there’s a certain scale that’s involved in making it, and no one would make "Raging Bull" today. The last example of the industry doing this middle movie that I’m talking about, to me would be Michael Mann’s film “The Insider” which I really like. That has scale and also a bit of truth it. What I don’t see as part of the discourse is a discussion on the economic forces that have forced out the middle. There is some discussion, some awareness, but not enough, because to me that is the central crisis of American movies: the disappearing middle of the mainstream.

So where has the audience for these films gone?

They’ve migrated to television. So there’s superb television, but it’s not for me because first of all, the two-or-three hour format is just perfect, because it replicates best our birth-life-death cycle. "The Sopranos" was genius television but it went on forever, and it never seemed to culminate in anything, and then everyone was pissed off at the ending but that’s exactly why TV cannot substitute for a great movie because the swell of the architecture of a movie is part of what makes it the most beautiful visual art form.

And it’s true, right? There’s a kind of beautiful movement to a wonderfully structured film which is not reproduce-able by the best "Breaking Bad" [episode], which, by the way, is great. But it’s not the same thing - that’s a kind of luxuriate, get the food delivered, sit down in front of the TV and for that moment, that hour, you’re in pleasure, and then you go back to your life until the next week. It’s not quite the same [as a movie], not as transformative.


Does storytelling feel too unironic for our ironic times?

Yeah, I’m not exactly certain when that began. And it’s not just movies, it’s culture-wide. Look at music, the idea of melody. I would say over the last 30 years melody is not really particularly important. Isn’t that analogous to story [in film]?

I think that people have done [the destruction of narrative thing]. Derek Jarman made "Blue," and that’s it. Once he made "Blue" you can’t do anything else. Once Andy Warhol shot the Empire State Building for 8 hours what are you going to do? What more can you do? Jackson Pollock "broke the ice." And by the way I love these people. Jackson Pollock is the greatest, I’m not badmouthing these people, but cinema, for me, the meaning of it is telling a story on film.

For me, it’s an act of hubris to say that you don’t need story because it means that we would be members of the first group of human beings in the entire history of the human race that didn’t need story. And I’m not so arrogant as to suppose that’s the case.

sábado, 1 de dezembro de 2012

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