Author Topic: Frank Capra  (Read 2424 times)

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LostEraser

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Frank Capra
« on: July 12, 2004, 01:47:32 AM »
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Wow, there's not a Frank Capra thread?!? I think he's one of the greatest and I don't think he gets as much credit as he deserves. Nowadays people seem to dismiss his films as depression era escapist, sentimental fluff and he doesn't get as much attention as other filmakers of his era do like Preston Sturges or Howard Hawks. I find him to be a very spiritual filmmaker in the same way Parajanov, Tarkovsky, Dreyer, and Bresson are. His films are on the same mission as theirs. They are just in the form of convential 30's and 40's movie plots as opposed to the obscure foreign narratives of the others I mentioned. But I find the main characters in It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington to be on very similar spiritual quests as the main characters of Ashik Kerib, Stalker, Gertrud, and A Man Escaped. All of them are kind of trying to break out of the shell of their existance or they are searching and longing for something in a world that treats them as the outcast (though Capra's films do tend to have glossy, sentimantal happy endings, they still explore similar darker themes like the other filmmakers I mentioned).

I'm in the middle of reading the book that Ray Carney wrote about him and it's making me see his films in a whole new light. He was John Cassavetes favorite filmmaker.
Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
--Ray Carney, American Vision: The Films Of Frank Capra

classical gas

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Frank Capra
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 01:53:08 AM »
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Who's Ray Carney?

LostEraser

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Frank Capra
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 02:02:22 AM »
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Capra tells us that, in effect, love's dreams are only dreams and that they will never quite bear translation into practical forms of relationship and expression. They will never be realized in the world but only in our consciousness and in our most daring and glorious works of art - but that, for Capra, is no reason to abandon love's dreams.
--Ray Carney, American Vision: The Films Of Frank Capra

classical gas

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Frank Capra
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2004, 02:08:54 AM »
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thanks.  i'll have to explore that a little more.  interesting to see that they call him the chomksy and nader of film....

modage

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Re: Frank Capra
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2004, 03:08:49 PM »
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Quote from: LostEraser
I find him to be a very spiritual filmmaker in the same way Parajanov, Tarkovsky, Dreyer, and Bresson are.

i dont know who those people are.  but, It's A Wonderful Life is my all time favorite film.  i also LOVED It Happened One Night, enjoyed (somewhat) Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, and (as much as i love Cary Grant), did not care for Arsenic and Old Lace too much.  so, the first two are highly recommended to anyone who hasnt seen them.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Bethie

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Re: Frank Capra
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2004, 11:01:06 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
 but, It's A Wonderful Life is my all time favorite film.  



Oh my goodness! Mine too, hun!


So when is our first date?
who likes movies anyway

coffeebeetle

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Frank Capra
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2004, 12:48:44 AM »
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I think Arsenic and Old Lace is fantastic (both movie and stage production)
more than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. one path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. the other, to total extinction. let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
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eward

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Frank Capra
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2004, 11:17:36 PM »
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you can't take it with you is my favorite of his...i love capra
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cine

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Frank Capra
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2004, 02:34:36 AM »
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Quote from: eward
you can't take it with you is my favorite of his...i love capra

I did the stage version which the movie was based on. Played Paul Sycamore. Blew up fireworks. Good times.

Redlum

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Frank Capra
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 06:02:37 PM »
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Quote from: cinephile
Quote from: eward
you can't take it with you is my favorite of his...i love capra

I did the stage version which the movie was based on. Played Paul Sycamore. Blew up fireworks. Good times.


Hey that sounds great!

Does anyone know any good books on Capra, I'm really starting to love his films and would like to know a little more about the man behind them.
\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas

MacGuffin

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Frank Capra
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2005, 07:13:34 PM »
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Quote from: ®edlum
Does anyone know any good books on Capra, I'm really starting to love his films and would like to know a little more about the man behind them.




It's all in his own words. All the antedotes and thoughts and stories about his life and his films come straight from the man himself.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Redlum

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Frank Capra
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2005, 04:51:39 AM »
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Cheers Mac.
\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas

eward

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Frank Capra
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2005, 12:11:01 PM »
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it's a terriffic book.  i have my mom's old copy which she hoisted from a library.  what's left of the cover is quite different from the picture above.
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

Redlum

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Frank Capra
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2005, 12:16:04 PM »
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I just watched "Lost Horizon". Fantastic film. The opening alone is worth several repeat viewings - far more exciting than the majority of modern action film's openings.

Although the ideas behind the utopian society had a few holes (such as the gold) I liked a lot of the ideas but then again Capras idealism is a big reason why I love his films.

For those who've seen it *spoilers*- on the dvd they have an alternate ending as a special feature but I feel that neither the actual or alternate ending work aswell as leaving it on the toast to Conway in london. The legend in the story of his desperate escape back to Shangri-La is kind of dissipated by the shots of him back on the mountain. Thoughts?
\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas

ddmarfield

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Re: Frank Capra
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2005, 10:30:40 PM »
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Capra's films are probably more relevant/important now than they were when originally released. "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "You Can't Take It With You" all touch on a general fear or distrust of government, yet still maintain the notion that our institutions are not beyond repair.

Ironically, "It's a Wonderful Life" is probably one of the most depressing films ever made up until the last 30 minutes when it becomes the happiest thing on Earth. About two years ago I got to see a 16mm print at an old movie house just before Christmas. Very cool.
"The girls around here all look like Cadillacs" -- Tom Waits

 

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