Saturday, September 09, 2006

Jean Nathan's book is "The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright"; i conflated it. The book itself was... it's strange, because in trying to be rather scrupulous, the book is rather too bland, i.e., Nathan doesn't really "speculate" about her subject, she's trying to be as factual as possible. But is that what is wanted?

The backyard is crazy here: we're just being overwhelmed with figs, the jasmine is in bloom and it's everywhere, and the dill has seeded and is just wild. And there are so many insects, bees and wasps and all sorts of things flying around. It is a jungle out there.

Will have to go to Ellen Flanders's "Zero Degrees of Separation" tomorrow, waited for Larry to return from his opthamologist's appointment. But went to the gym, and when i came back, i was feeling tired. A lot of it is the allergic reaction that i'm having to all the stuff in the backyard.

Watched a little bit of "Royal Flash"; Richard Lester's career is a puzzle, because i can't understand how it just seemed to sputter. But he's one of those people who was "of the moment" and then he began to search for something to do... there's a lack a conviction in a movie like "Royal Flash".

But this raises the question: in an artform like film, that sense of contemporaneity can lend excitement, and a "movement" (the Swinging England films, the NeoRealist films, the Nouvelle Vague, etc.) can create a sense of cohesion. Lester, the American who began his career in England, was one of the originators of the Swinging England style, with "A Hard Day's Night", "The Knack" and "Help". Yet the Swinging England style was itself imitative of the Nouvelle Vague: John Schlesinger, Karel Reisz, Silvio Narizzano, Tony Richardson seemed to ladel Nouvelle Vague tricks onto the old Kitchen Sink context of English films. And it was ok, because it was more fun than the stodgy American movies of the time. But so many of those directors were floundering by the 1970s.

But is that always the case?


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