Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sometimes, movies are messes for a number of reasons, including the fact that oddball casting decisions can create impressions which are prehaps unwarranted, or the director thinks he knows what he's doing (but really doesn't). And it doesn't matter who the director is. Sokhurov is a great one for this: didn't he realize what "Father and Son" looked like? But if you brought up the fact that the movie seemed to be softcore gay porn, he took offense.

Yesterday, just to unwind, Larry and i watched "The Happening", which i saw (once) on TV, where it had been heavily edited. Faye Dunaway sure was lucky that Tuesday Weld backed out of "Bonnie and Clyde": enough performances like this one which "introduced" her, and she'd have been lucky to get TV jobs (not that there's anything wrong with that). And Michael Parks, George Maharis and (especially) Robert Walker Jr.: if their pants were any tighter, they'd be walking around naked. And Faye Dunaway seems to be thrown in just so you don't get the idea that the boys are gay (but you get that idea anyway).

Then i watched Bresson's "The Devil, Probably" (the Region 2 DVD). Even in 1977, it was a riot of unintended meanings, because Bresson's ostensible purpose... well, what was his ostensible purpose? Bresson was never one for didacticism (Brecht, he wasn't), but here, he's trying so hard to hit this message of the pollution of the planet that he throws in whole sections of illustrated lecturing (did Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim see this movie?) to clobber the viewer into submission. Yet there's a formal... it's not even formal rigor, more like formal rigidity, which seems to indicate precision, but really doesn't.

And then i watched Preminger's "Skidoo" on TCM. Once again, it's the hideous pan-and-scan print. But then, what isn't hideous about this movie?


Blogger Michael in New York said...

"The Happening" sounds awesome suddenly. And "Father and Son" is softcore pervy gay porn w an incestuous twist, making it by far my favorite film of his. I find the idea that he didn't think it was homoerotic absolutely FASCINATING.

6:49 PM


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