Author Topic: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman  (Read 11973 times)

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Alexandro

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2008, 02:46:43 AM »
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try it you want to, dude. i didn't meant or refered to the absence of your  "predictable" argument, i meant that you can write three books on the "stanley kubrick is predictable" subject, and still you know...don't get the point across...

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2008, 10:50:11 AM »
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try it you want to, dude. i didn't meant or refered to the absence of your  "predictable" argument, i meant that you can write three books on the "stanley kubrick is predictable" subject, and still you know...don't get the point across...

I'll get the point across. So far I have only explained myself in how he isn't good. His predictability is a whole other game but it isn't a complicated idea to get across. And at least I am trying to explain myself. It shouldn't be assumed that Kubrick is God, but yet it happens all the time.

Alexandro

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2008, 11:23:53 AM »
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i know you have explained yourself. at least i don't really understand your points regarding that subject. from what i gather, not many people do. perhaps you are a genius and perhaps we are stubborn. I have passed my "Kubrick is God" phase. It was happening when I saw A Clockwork Orange in 1995. Now I just think he's one of the best filmmakers in history, without putting down a lot of other true masters. you seem to come from a place very much like the one this guy mutinyco used to be, in which he for some reason wanted to "bring down" filmmakers from their "pedestal". I just don't see how that serves any porpuse except the satisfaction of your own masturbatory pleasures. I personally wouldn't need to bring down a considered master in order to praise another one. Or viceversa, yet you do this for argument's sake all the time.

In any case, what i mean was that you can say all you want, but in the end your arguments are always constructed on the base of a rulebook only you care about, and from where i'm standing there are no rulebooks for film or filmmakers, so the point doesn't get across dude.

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2008, 12:30:22 PM »
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i know you have explained yourself. at least i don't really understand your points regarding that subject. from what i gather, not many people do.

Are you serious? In the Kubrick Boxes thread, where most of my posts on the subject are, the people that have responded have said that while they don't agree with me, they respect and understand the arguments I made about him. I have yet to get any "I don't know what you mean" replies. It's true I have gotten few replies, but that's always normal when writing longer posts. Happens to everyone.

you seem to come from a place very much like the one this guy mutinyco used to be, in which he for some reason wanted to "bring down" filmmakers from their "pedestal". I just don't see how that serves any porpuse except the satisfaction of your own masturbatory pleasures.

Haha, it's hard to continually deal with praise of bad filmmakers on the board. Not only just praise, but blinded praise that comes off as smug and arrogant to me. I know what filmmakers a lot of people on the board like, but I have no idea why they like them. And not only that, but whenever I would write negative reviews, I would get attacked as if I was the person just ripping on them without any reason. It's been a long history.

Has it created a pleasure in some of my opinions? Sure, but considering I come from the opposite view point than most other people here, I also think it was natural. Other people enjoy whenever I make a mistake and they can call me on it so that could be seen as a perversion in itself. I don't know. I have never written a review to just disagree with someone, but I think it's natural to have a little scorn for the majority opinion. I don't dislike anyone personally on the board. In fact I like most people here, but I don't see a little scorn as such a bad thing.

I personally wouldn't need to bring down a considered master in order to praise another one. Or viceversa, yet you do this for argument's sake all the time.

Promoting argument isn't the same as for argument's sake. The latter means I don't believe in what I'm saying when that couldn't be further from the truth.

In any case, what i mean was that you can say all you want, but in the end your arguments are always constructed on the base of a rulebook only you care about, and from where i'm standing there are no rulebooks for film or filmmakers, so the point doesn't get across dude.

Everybody who writes reviews here have a rulebook of sorts. They may not realize it, but it's very apparent to me.  Every review is based on ideas of what you think is good and bad. Everyone has their own set of value systems. Yes, I do have one too, but the beauty in art is that it can always change and evolve.

But I'm starting to understand P's point about how my reviews can be impossible to break through. I try to be specific with my points so anyone who may argue me can have a good points of reference, but I'm the only person who goes to such an exaspperated length. People used to argue films on the board to incredible lengths, but it's a different board now. My reviews aren't promoting argument when I'm the only one writing ones like them. Now I'm just promoting disagreement at best.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2008, 06:18:47 PM »
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I have to say that, even though I don't agree with about 90% of GT's opinions on many filmmakers, he does defend his cases to the fullest. Of course it's always bad when someone doesn't like Kubrick when we all think he was one of the best, but GT's a world apart from those guys who go on the IMDB and say "this guy sucks!". Now that's arguing for argument's sake. He (and so did mutinyco, which, by the way, was a very well made comparison) has his filmmaking ideas and knows how to defend them, which is always great, because in the end, the most enjoyable debate comes from very different opinions on a subject - I know I'm not one to talk, since over the past few years I've been making very little contributions to Xixax, but I've been reading them and this kind of polarizing opinions are the best ones to read.

That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

As for Kubrick, well, you're the one who called him a simpleton, so you'll have to deal with it. I'm actually waiting for your deeper analysis on this. Not that I'll agree at all, but I'd like to understand a bit more where you're coming from.
Si

Alexandro

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2008, 07:47:31 PM »
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I'm sorry if I sounded like an idiot gt. No offense, really. I didn't explain myself very well. I don't promise to do that this time either. What I meant wasn't that we don't understand how you conclude what you conclude. But speaking only for myself, even though I get clearly where you're coming from, you usually leave me with a question mark over my head, because I just didn't understand why you give a fuck about the things you give a fuck. You don't have to like Kubrick or Marty or anyone. I know people in my life who are not crazy about them either, but the reasons you choose to make these guys simpletons and handymans, are completely not valid for me.

When I said the "for argument's sake" bit, I meant that when you construct your arguments you usually do it comparing one filmmaker unfavorably to another, not that you say things for saying.

We all have our rules, but they're there to be broken. Each film requires a different set of rules, in fact I think, each films establishes those set of rules for itself.

And of course, Scorsese is no handyman. You can say what you want, but he isn't. And it doesn't even have anything to do with his status as a good, bad, great or godlike filmmaker. It has to do with personal ethics, which I think are just fine in his case.

SoNowThen

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2008, 10:04:17 PM »
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GT, I respect your dedication, but you can't call Kubrick a "simpleton" and then get mad when people say you dislike things just to dislike the popular.

Stanley Kubrick would beat you at chess.

I can reference Kubrick in passing and make it a legitimate comment. I've said enough about Kubrick in detail recently where I'm not just speaking from my ass. I don't expect I have to go into great detail about him everytime I mention his name. If that was the case I would go into detail about numerous people before I would ever get to the subject of the thread. I veer off and go into explanation when my opinion has been lacking on a subject, but I don't see the need to do it all the time.

And I don't think Kubrick is just dumb. Like I said in my recent pieces, he was a master craftsman of production but lacked in filmmaking virtues. The details of production numbed his artistic senses.

Also, people here will always think I dislike things just to dislike them. That's just how it is.

I found it interesting once when I read an interview with Rivette (who has a crazy eclectic taste in films and is not a snob by any stretch of the word) that he and the other New Wave filmmakers really disliked Kubrick and nicknamed him "The Robot" because they thought all his films were totally devoid of any human emotion or feeling. Also, in Godard's early writing (before he made films) he used to rip on Kubrick (pre-the move to Britain) for shamelessly cribbing from Ophuls.

It's funny, cos I had never heard anyone speak ill of Kubrick before, and then here were my filmmaking Gods, trashing him.

Which doesn't change the fact that I still really like Kubrick. However I have definitely cooled on him recently. But by cooled I mean not wanting to watch his movies all the time and shoot and frame exactly like him.

However, when one thinks of the Olympus of cinema, a Kubrick just doesn't quite belong at the top with a Bresson or a Bunuel or a Tarkovsky.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2008, 10:28:37 PM »
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That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

The funny thing is that "handyman" comment isn't even mine. It's his. He says he wants to be like an old Hollywood director who goes from project to project and is more of a professional filmmaker. That goes against the ideals of a filmmaker as film artist. Of course Marty always has his religous films which are his passion projects, but he sums himself up as someone who wants to be able to interject his style into numerous different stories. Steven Soderbergh believes you have to mix and match the personal film with Hollywood ones, but Scorsese makes a totally personal film for himself just once every ten years. He's more interested in the bigger budget ventures.

I said it back in 2003, but I would love for Scorsese to mix his bigger budget films with 5 - 10 million dollar personal films. His name would get any project funded and he could do well to make films on the scale of a Mean Streets level. His hero Sam Fuller was very comfortable going back to low budget after losing studio backing, but Scorsese clings to bigger projects. Other filmmakers like Spike Lee fight to make personal projects, but recently said Lee could easily get 90 million dollars tomorrow if he wanted to make a comedy (I believe). I think Scorsese wants to keep making big budget films and is too comfortable to stray from Hollywood so he just takes the most interesting project that a studio will commit significat money to. Spike Lee could be making a film every year if he did just that, but I don't think he does.


Gold Trumpet

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2008, 10:40:54 PM »
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We all have our rules, but they're there to be broken. Each film requires a different set of rules, in fact I think, each films establishes those set of rules for itself.

You may think I disagree with that, but I don't. But I also believe that each film requiring its own set of rules isn't reason to just rationalize their faults.

Alexandro

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2008, 02:19:12 AM »
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That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

The funny thing is that "handyman" comment isn't even mine. It's his. He says he wants to be like an old Hollywood director who goes from project to project and is more of a professional filmmaker. That goes against the ideals of a filmmaker as film artist. Of course Marty always has his religious films which are his passion projects, but he sums himself up as someone who wants to be able to interject his style into numerous different stories. Steven Soderbergh believes you have to mix and match the personal film with Hollywood ones, but Scorsese makes a totally personal film for himself just once every ten years. He's more interested in the bigger budget ventures.

I said it back in 2003, but I would love for Scorsese to mix his bigger budget films with 5 - 10 million dollar personal films. His name would get any project funded and he could do well to make films on the scale of a Mean Streets level. His hero Sam Fuller was very comfortable going back to low budget after losing studio backing, but Scorsese clings to bigger projects. Other filmmakers like Spike Lee fight to make personal projects, but recently said Lee could easily get 90 million dollars tomorrow if he wanted to make a comedy (I believe). I think Scorsese wants to keep making big budget films and is too comfortable to stray from Hollywood so he just takes the most interesting project that a studio will commit significant money to. Spike Lee could be making a film every year if he did just that, but I don't think he does.



What I remember is Scorsese saying he wished he was like those old Hollywood filmmakers, and that at some point he wanted that, but realized it's another time and he has to approach things differently. Since he also sees directors as smugglers in Hollywood, no doubt he feels like one. But that's different than just being a gun for hire who will do what is expected of him. He has a personal print in every one of his films, and it's not only about style, but about human concerns and themes.

About the new wave guys criticizing Kubrick for being emotionless, that's some lazy shit comment on the guy. By now it's a cliche, and it's bullshit, because the amount of emotion a person feels with one film is individual. I find Kubrick's films very moving, and not only because I think the craftsmanship is so good it can be emotionally moving, I think he finds ways to communicate those emotions and feelings too. I have never felt him to be cold as he is usually accused of. Some people confuse distance with coldness. 2001 is very moving to me, the death of Hal almost brings me to tears, it's hard to explain, but I feel sorry for the computer. The Shinning is scary not because it makes you jump but because it has a dark disturbing undercurrent, those are feelings.

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2008, 03:13:01 AM »
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What I remember is Scorsese saying he wished he was like those old Hollywood filmmakers, and that at some point he wanted that, but realized it's another time and he has to approach things differently. Since he also sees directors as smugglers in Hollywood, no doubt he feels like one. But that's different than just being a gun for hire who will do what is expected of him. He has a personal print in every one of his films, and it's not only about style, but about human concerns and themes.

I don't know. He doesn't involve himself in the writing of his films and recent films have come to him with some development already behind it. Gangs of New York was a personal project for him, but it seems his last few projects already had screenwriters and some money behind it and he was convinced to jump aboard.

Haha, I really hope you don't take human concerns and themes idea serious. Howard Hawks was able to jump from movie to movie. Some of those films of his also had human concerns and themes. The fact you could argue that both The Departed and The Aviator has those concerns don't make them identifiable with Scorsese. Like I said before, he doesn't have themes that cross his filmmaking like the stamp of his style does.

About the new wave guys criticizing Kubrick for being emotionless, that's some lazy shit comment on the guy. By now it's a cliche, and it's bullshit, because the amount of emotion a person feels with one film is individual.

If that's the case then their emotions matter as much as yours. so it's not just bullshit or lazy.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2008, 05:13:09 AM »
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I don't know. He doesn't involve himself in the writing of his films and recent films have come to him with some development already behind it. Gangs of New York was a personal project for him, but it seems his last few projects already had screenwriters and some money behind it and he was convinced to jump aboard.

Haha, I really hope you don't take human concerns and themes idea serious. Howard Hawks was able to jump from movie to movie. Some of those films of his also had human concerns and themes. The fact you could argue that both The Departed and The Aviator has those concerns don't make them identifiable with Scorsese. Like I said before, he doesn't have themes that cross his filmmaking like the stamp of his style does.


Well, as much as I know, Scorsese always tries to improve from the scripts he has. I think a lot of the dialogues and some of the scenes from The Departed were re-written to some extent, mainly concerning Jack Nicholson's character. No doubt those movies were already ready to start production, but I think Marty really had something to say. As for the human concerns, I think Alexandro means that those concerns are very specific and repeat themselves from movie to movie. I mean, I'm not even that fond of The Aviator, but I really see his Howard Hughes as an extension of Travis Bickle and Jake LaMotta - guys who couldn't live with the world around them, and closed themselves from it. And of course The Departed is all about coming from that place where loyalty (to someone, to a lifestyle) and "wanting out" enter in conflict. From Mean Streets (Keitel wants the restaurant, but also wants to leave Little Italy with Johnny's cousin, but can't leave Johnny behind. He pays for it), to GoodFellas (Liotta loves that life, lives on loyalty but in the end has to give it up and leave his world to save himself and become the worst thing in the world - a rat, betraying his boss) to The Departed (Damon is a rat for the mafia, lives on loyalty, but becomes attracted to the lifestyle outside the mafia, so he betrays his boss to leave that situation, but at a price; DiCaprio is a rat for the cops, lives on loyalty, but then gets into conflict about not knowing who to trus/be loyal to, so he wants out. He gets out, but at a price).
Si

Alexandro

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2008, 10:38:01 AM »
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About emotions. Maybe so. But I think a lot of people accuse Kubrick of being cold because he has a distant approach to the situations he presents. And he had a bittersweet worldview that imprinted even the most tragic and painful situations with dark humor. Like saying: "this is the most importnt thing in the world right now, and yet is irrelevant". I find that to be a very truthfull way to experience the world, yet thera are people that find that cynic. On the other hand, without reading the new wave guys exact words, I bet it was all about his style. His "perfect" shots and attention to detail. He embodied everything they were against in "old" cinema. But to me it's like the communist kid in the 60's unable to see beyond his own ideas. Just because he didn't followed their dogma didn't mean he was following the old dogma either. He had a personal vision. Godard and Truffaut also started being very similar, following their little rules, and eventually each one developed his own style. Godard is still changing it.

Scorsese always has a hand in the screenplays of his films, even if he is uncredited. Only The Aviator and The Departed are films that were already in developement before he arrived there, and surely you notice the similarities between Howard Hughes and all the other lead Scorsese characters. I don't think he actively searches for opportunities to develop those themes and ideas, but he does anyway. And from what I've read on him and from him, he makes every film because he finds something interesting to say in them, concerning his personal experiences. That's why he said he can't be really a gun for hire as in the old days, because he wouldn't be able to do exactly that.

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2008, 11:34:23 AM »
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About emotions. Maybe so. But I think a lot of people accuse Kubrick of being cold because he has a distant approach to the situations he presents. And he had a bittersweet worldview that imprinted even the most tragic and painful situations with dark humor. Like saying: "this is the most importnt thing in the world right now, and yet is irrelevant". I find that to be a very truthfull way to experience the world, yet thera are people that find that cynic. On the other hand, without reading the new wave guys exact words, I bet it was all about his style. His "perfect" shots and attention to detail. He embodied everything they were against in "old" cinema. But to me it's like the communist kid in the 60's unable to see beyond his own ideas. Just because he didn't followed their dogma didn't mean he was following the old dogma either. He had a personal vision. Godard and Truffaut also started being very similar, following their little rules, and eventually each one developed his own style. Godard is still changing it.

I don't understand how Kubrick's attention to detail represents an older cinema. Their main criticism of older cinema (specifically French Cinema) is that the films tried too hard to be bad imitations of literature and feature very few cinematic traits. They weren't just rallying against films of little style exuberance. Eric Rohmer maintained a realtively conservative style through out his career and he was part of their pack.

When they say they felt Kubrick was cold, I believe just that. Look at Barry Lyndon. There are moments in that film that are suppose to be everything from light to tender and even sentimental. Kubrick tries to extend himself to meet the emotional depths of those scenes, but they still come out flat. Kubrick numbs all the scenes.

Scorsese always has a hand in the screenplays of his films, even if he is uncredited. Only The Aviator and The Departed are films that were already in developement before he arrived there, and surely you notice the similarities between Howard Hughes and all the other lead Scorsese characters. I don't think he actively searches for opportunities to develop those themes and ideas, but he does anyway. And from what I've read on him and from him, he makes every film because he finds something interesting to say in them, concerning his personal experiences. That's why he said he can't be really a gun for hire as in the old days, because he wouldn't be able to do exactly that.

Even though ElPandaRoyal makes better points, I'll quote you of my conveniance. I see the similarity between Hughes and Bickle, but only in the very loosest sense. Scorsese did continue Bickle with Bringing Out the Dead, but the main importance of Bickle is that the existence of his character has as much to say about societal problems as it does about Bickle himself. The great shock of Taxi Driver is that urban decay was such a back drop it almost became a second character.

I think when filmmakers continue themes and characterizations, they do take notice of those contexts as well. They also take notice of styles and tone of the storytelling. Bringing Out the Dead isn't very similar to the style in Taxi Driver, but it has a similar temperment. The view of urban decay being everywhere is still the main highlight and the film decides on a style that will go against conventional storytelling.

The main thing to say about the Aviator is how classical the storytelling is. Everything looks clean and in order. Even when Hughes is in the depths of his disorder suffering the film still looks cleaner than any inch of the previous two films. In fact the differences are so great that the similarities are only in the general story. You could say that Scorsese was attracted to the project because he saw some familiar grounds in Hughes, but I don't think he did much to make the film a continuation of any themes of his. I think to do that you have keep more similarities going than just general emotions like isolation going.

SoNowThen

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Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2008, 12:23:18 PM »
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Bringing Out The Dead (the most underrated MASTERPIECE in the Scorsese canon, alongside Gangs Of NY) is similar to Taxi Driver because Paul Schrader wrote both scripts and he is the screenwriter with the most personal style in Hollywood. I suppose it's not for nothing that Marty said, upon reading the book, that only Schrader can do this adaptation... but I don't see it is a continuation of the Bickle cycle. Schrader did that himself with American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, and Walker.

As to what Rivette said: "A Clockwork Orange (1971), a film that I hate, not for cinematic reasons but for moral ones. I remember when it came out, Jacques Demy was so shocked that it made him cry. Kubrick is a machine, a mutant, a Martian. He has no human feeling whatsoever. But it's great when the machine films other machines, as in 2001 (1968)"

I think the example of Hal's death bringing tears to one's eyes proves the point perfectly. The guy is capable of bringing some kind of feeling out of a computer, the same feeling that is generally lacking from his human characters. It may be a point, even a valid one at that, but it still means that Kubrick's domain and strengths do not lie in the subtle interweaving and development of human emotions. He's good at the extremes, whereas a guy like Rohmer couldn't do an extreme if he tried, but shows the subtle everday interplay like no one else. I mean, it just speaks of one filmmaking MO vs another, but I think that is what the new wave guys were reacting to in this case. And yes, GT was right in that when they railed against a kind of "traditional cinema" it was specifically the French commercial industry and their major literary adaptations in the preceeding decades.

Also, you can read what Godard had to say, here (it is actually more balanced than I remembered): http://books.google.ca/books?id=fU78LdDClHUC&pg=PA223&lpg=PA223&dq=Godard+comments+on+Kubrick&source=web&ots=uzzbIbG5m9&sig=A6eUWQnq59B0lUqAWRe4W8utKRg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

 

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