Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Great Articles 7-05-06

Robert Cumbow can write. If you haven’t already caught his dissection of the movie Birth you should, as well as his great piece, “Altman and Coppola in the Seventies: Power and the People.

Of Brewster McCloud and Nashville, Cumbow wrote:

“The title sequence of Brewster McCloud is a tilt-down from blue sky to band and singers rehearsing the national anthem. At the end of the film, the movement is echoed in a fast downward swish-pan to Brewster’s crumpled body, almost under the feet of the circus parade. Nashville, by contrast, begins with the camera still as the door of the Walker-Talker-sleeper rises; and ends with the world holding still as the camera rises, lifting us for the first time above those singers and that massive flag, then stopping-down to bring blue sky into proper exposure before fade-out. The two films, in all their remarkable imagistic similarity, describe a fall from the divine to the depths of fleshly failure, and an ascent through Purgatory to Paradise regained.”

Also - Michelle Orange’s
Tadpole Proliferation in Pop Culture.”

"Hollywood’s road between the rarified kink of 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor imploring a man twice her age to 'Tell Mama all' in A Place in the Sun and the schadenfreude of Alfie's Susan Sarandon (the patron saint of the ma-toor female) dumping a boy half her age for someone even younger is paved with dubious intentions."

Mark Conard’s “
What is Film Noir?

Adam Dobson's dissection of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And David Church’s “
Cult Cinema in the Land of the Auteur.”

“Kubrick’s touted role as auteur is quite apparent in the outcry that the mild censorship of the orgy sequence would infringe upon his apparent 'auteur privilege' to include whatever he wished in his final cut, even if that freedom to do so would not be shared by 'lower' directors. The backlash over the sexual content of the film—combined with Rafael’s diatribe, which seemed to represent the flip-side of the idiosyncratic auteurist coin that had benefited Kubrick for so much of his career—added up to a negative critical response to Eyes Wide Shut which actually used Kubrick’s own auteurdom against him. With even auteurist critics sided against the film, celebration of the film today falls more to the same 'cultists and Kubrick fanatics' noted by LoBrutto. Despite its mix of 'high' art and 'low' softcore sexuality, Eyes Wide Shut remains one of Kubrick’s most culturally neglected films, but that very neglect (mixed with the film’s controversial content) leaves it as fodder for Kubrick fans in whom cultism and auteurism exist symbiotically.”

Yeah, well, if the public had seen how silly the orgy really looked, the outcry would’ve been, “put the figures back in!”

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