A Cavern Worthy of Plato

…or Pluto, even (the God of the Underworld, not the cartoon dog, you big silly). The film is Edgar Ulmer’s THE CAVERN, it’s the subject of this week’s edition of The Forgotten, and it’s over at The Daily Notebook.

Thanks to C. Jerry for recommending this one!

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11 Responses to “A Cavern Worthy of Plato”

  1. Never seen this one. For Ulmer, producing great work isn’t so much a question of trying his best under circumstances as much as a question of survival. DETOUR had to be a masterpiece. He’s a truly great artist.

    Among low-budget film-makers with great invention, Jon Jost is really striking as well. His films are a good candidat for THE FORGOTTEN.

  2. Off-topic.

    NYC-based Ruiz fans should note there is a screening of TREASURE ISLAND coming up: http://www.filmlinc.com/wrt/onsale/cannon/treasureisland.html
    Eccentric choice of still, but there you have it…

  3. Why in hell do they use a still from the Robert Newton Treasure Island?

    Ruiz’s film stars Jean-Pierre Leaud, Lou Castel, Martin Landau, Anna Karina, Melville Poupaud (as Jim of course) and as Long John Silver — Vic Tayback.

    Do not so much as think of missing it.

    I well remember when The Cavern. premiered in New York in 1965 on 42nd street as the B-film to something I’ve totally forgotten. The Cavern is certainly no without interest. Ulmer may have been falling to pieces but like a true Ulmer character he did so beautifully.

  4. Since Treasure Island seems to be stuck in a legal limbo, maybe there are simply no stills available, since there’s no distributor? But I bet you can find SOME image, SOMEWHERE.

    Arianne’s devotion to her father’s legacy is truly inspirational. Every filmmaker should be lucky enough to have such an heir.

    Been meaning to plunge into Jon Jost.

  5. David Boxwell Says:

    The 272-minute theatrical version of Ruiz’s THE MYSTERIES OF LISBON is beyond words! (and Melvil P has a large role in the second half).

    Actually seen in Lisbon, last week. And the Portuguese respect the concept of subtitling (contra the Italians), so the English and French speakers were subtitled in Portuguese.

    One of the greatest historical films I have ever seen in my life (and I couldn’t comprehend two-thirds of the dialogue). Played like Visconti’s THE LEOPARD, but with supernatural elements and Ophulsian camera moves.

  6. Can’t wait to see MYSTERIES OF LISBON! It’s getting UK cinema and DVD releases in 2011, thank goodness: http://www.newwavefilms.co.uk/view-film-detail.html/?viewListing=NTI=& amp; amp; amp; amp;cat=1
    The 6-hour version is being shown at the Estoril Fest on 14 Nov (and then on Portuguese TV in 2011). Not sure if Ruiz will be there, but they’re showing several of his films plus Malkovich and Poupaud are about on 13 Nov – Melvil playing with his band: http://www.estoril-filmfestival.com/pt/website/concerto_melvil

  7. Christopher Says:

    ..”theres corn in the field and theres grapes on the vine but the sun never shines in the CAVERN…”…I saw this only once on tv about 30 years ago..yet that song still runs thru my head from time to time..

  8. BOY you got a good memory! I wasn’t sure about the song (but the Carlo Rustichelli score is nice).

    Excited about Ruiz’s super-epic also. Everybody who’s seen it seems wildly enthused. I’m all a-quiver.

  9. Can’t help wondering how MYSTERIES OF LISBON will compare with KLIMT – his last major epic. KLIMT got slated in some quarters but I thought it was fantastic

  10. English-language criticism of Ruiz movies seems pretty arbitrary. Critics clubbed together to hate on KLIMT, and now it’s the near-universal acclaim bandwagon for MYSTERIES.

  11. The Klimt reviews I read were pretty dumb. Cosmo Landesman, the Sunday Times’ resident moron, was perplexed by it, and had evidently never seen a Ruiz film before, so I suppose that’s not too surprising. I guess it might get dull saying the same things each film, which one more or less could do, since Ruiz strikes me as very consistent in his concerns, approach, style and quality. So an arbitrary switching from praise to irate confusion is probably considered appropriate for variety’s sake.

    “Hey, it worked for Fellini.”

    (It didn’t work for Fellini.)

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