Started by Pas, April 05, 2011, 08:42:12 PM
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QuoteA delightfully aware and exquisite children's tale about the dangers of fascism and the power of self-image, The King and the Mockingbird (Le roi et l'oiseau) tells of a vainglorious king's painting coming to life and deposing of its image-sake. This new king hunts down the also-risen portraits of a young shepherdess he admires and her lover-boy chimney sweep in order to steal her hand. Based on the work of Hans Christian Andersen, this affably subversive animated adventure was scripted by legendary Jacques Prevert (Port of Shadows, Children of Paradise). A wildly inventive treat and apropos fable, the film took decades to see release and was a big inspiration for Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki.
Quote from: The SpectacleTHE BIG BLUE follows a snoop for hire named Jack (David Brisbin) contracted by a dissatisfied housewife named Myrna (filmmaker Sheila McLaughlin, of COMMITTED and SHE MUST BE SEEING THINGS) to spy on her husband Howard, played by the film's screenwriter Jim Neu. Myrna thinks Howard is cheating on her, but he's actually involved in a drug trafficking deal with Max (John Erdman), a goateed East Village entrepreneur having a romance with a free-spirited and beautiful blonde named Carmen (Taunie VreNon). Problem is, Jack is surveilling Howard while having his own dalliance with Carmen (who dresses completely different every time she leaves the house), giving way to a four-way meditation on loneliness – with art director Anne Stuhler juxtaposing Horn's tortured ensemble against a vertical maze of staggering German Expressionist-style skyscrapers.
Quote from: Imogen Sara SmithThis independently produced documentary-fiction hybrid is not strictly film noir, but its penetrating study of urban alienation draws from the same well of midcentury anomie. Among the film's creators were blacklisted screenwriter/poet Ben Maddow and peerless street photographer Helen Levitt. A newly divorced woman arrives in Los Angeles alone, retreating from life. Through her eyes and her stylized interior monologue we experience a phantasmagoric vision of the city: freeways, hotel rooms, bars, strippers, wrestlers, faith-healers, transvestites, beauty parlors, bingo parlors, car accidents, hospitals. Yet in this tawdry, desperate place the woman ultimately finds renewal and healing through connections with strangers.
Quote from: Letterboxd user rjtougasA bleakly lonely, yet beautifully poetic examination of a divorced woman and the City of Angels. Drunks and drag queens. Burlesque and bible thumping. Dark and light. Cynicism and possibility in an artificial world. The true In a Lonely Place.
Quote from: Conor BatemanThe Savage Eye is something of a different beast, though. Whilst it shares some of the pseudo-documentary stylings of the crowd work in Silence Has No Wings, its approach to voiceover and character is wholly unique. What Ben Maddow, Sidney Meyers and Joseph Strick have crafted is a bleak and unusual film which savagely attacks the banality of existence in 1950s America, as seen through the eyes of a newly divorced woman (Barbara Baxley, brilliant here) who wants time to just pass her by. It's primarily unusual in the way it acts as something caught between the cracked divide of documentary and fiction. Its diegetic dialogue-free narrative is cut into a documentary of landscape and people, the filmmakers deftly applying social commentary to the faces of innocent bystanders, whose genuine actions seem to perfectly reflect the depressive inner monologue of our protagonist; shouting crowds become animalistic spectacle, target for our derision.
Quote from: makeminecriterionJudith is an uncharacteristic female character for American cinema, being unapologetically childless and punishingly alienated. Her solitude, as Imogen Sara Smith considers, is a rare subject in art – "lonely women characters are common enough, but willfully anti-social loners are typically male."As Gordon Theisen detects, The Savage Eye might even be read as an antecedent to Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), interrogating the same psychological isolation, lurid atmospheres, and moral confusions.
Quote from: makeminecriterionStanding with hallmark works of the first American New Wave like Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery (1957), John Cassavetes' Shadows (1959), Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank's Pull My Daisy (1959), and Shirley Clarke's The Connection (1961), the experimental documentary The Savage Eye began with Joseph Strick filming in and around Los Angeles on a wind-up Eyemo camera. Strick would co-direct, produce, and edit the film with Sidney Meyers and Ben Maddow on a $65,000 budget, shooting over four years of weekends with an impressive trio of cinematographers – Helen Levitt, the celebrated New York street photographer; Haskell Wexler, soon to break into his legendary career in Hollywood; and Jack Couffer, a noted naturalist and filmmaker and a key figure in Disney's nature documentaries like the True-Life Adventures series. Maddow, a former Bellevue orderly and government relief investigator during the Depression, had already established himself in Hollywood with scripts for films like Framed (Richard Wallace, 1947), Intruder in the Dust (Clarence Brown, 1949), and The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston, 1950), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Maddow was later blacklisted for his left-wing background but he still wrote scripts with Philip Yordan as his front, likely contributing to Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar (1954) and Anthony Mann's God's Little Acre (1958). Sidney Meyers was best known for his twice-Oscar nominated documentary The Quiet One (1948), about a troubled African-American boy and the sensitive care he receives at a reform school. Although credited as written by novelist and critic James Agee, The Quiet One was a collaboration with Agee, Meyers, Levitt, and painter Janice Loeb. Maddow's friend and collaborator Irving Lerner, with whom he made the short film Muscle Beach (1948), also contributed to the production of The Savage Eye but left midway through filming. For his part, Lerner received credit as a technical advisor.
Quote from: jenkins on June 17, 2020, 03:02:18 PMA spectator to a reality in which you don't want to participate.
Quote from: Letterboxd user josh lewisworking men drawn to and expressing themselves through danger; the community that forms around it, the feelings of beauty, love and loss generated by it and the money that exacerbates its worst qualities/impulses. sorta like a cheap racing b-movie Only Angels Have Wings. real cars smashing into each other. sid haig. desert jazz racing.
Quote from: Letterboxd user matt lynchtotally immersed in its subculture, obsessed with the zen allure of professionally blowing off steam.
Quote from: Letterboxd user Ira BrookerMan, I fucking dare you to show me a cooler movie than this.Semi-charismatic street racer Richard Davalos impresses semi-legit race car impressario Brian Donlevy and starts a heady climb through the ranks of semi-professional California stock car racing, hampered/aided along the way by semi-feral racer Sid Haig, semi-tragic racing fan Beverly Washburn, and semi-available racing wife Ellen Burstyn.Jack Hill digs deep into the specifics of a very specific subculture and comes up with something like a masterpiece of observation. I'm by no means a car guy and even less a race car guy, but I was instantly mesmerized by the inner workings of the insane world of Figure 8 racing. There's a ton of wordless racing footage here that could've easily bored me stiff. Instead, I was full-on riveted. Hell, there's a near 5-minute sequence of folks driving dune buggies around the desert while jazz guitar plays, and I found it downright breathtaking. It's a scintillating, straight-shooting, occasionally beautiful piece of moviemaking. That's no small feat for a director to pull off, especially when every male character is a miserable piece of shit.