Work in Progress

keaton___sherlock_jr.

OK, here’s a provisional list — tear it apart or question it or whatever. Be great to have your thoughts. Apologies to all those whose ideas I didn’t use, but please believe that you inspired or clarified my own thoughts.

1) Monday 29th September.

Silent comedies: Buster Keaton’s SHERLOCK JNR plus a few shorts.

2) Monday 6th October.

Silent drama: Victor Sjostrom’s HE WHO GETS SLAPPED.

3) Monday 13th October.

Early talking pre-code cinema: Gregory LaCava’s BED OF ROSES and Mervyn LeRoy’s THREE ON A MATCH

4) Monday 20th October

The Classical era: Powell and Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

5) Tuesday 3rd November

Studio experimentation: Charles Laughton’s NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

6) Tuesday 10th November

Post-war “realism”: Stanley Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY

7) Tuesday 17th November

Sixties experimentation: Luis Bunuel’s SIMON OF THE DESERT and Lindsay Anderson’s THE WHITE BUS

8) Tuesday 24th November

Bernardo Bertolucci’s THE CONFORMIST

9) Tuesday 1st December

New Hollywood: Peter Bogdanovich’s PAPER MOON

10) Tuesday 8th December

The world: Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE

11) Tuesday 15th December

Seasonal treat: Billy Wilder’s THE APARTMENT

I’m going to watch a bunch of the films you all suggested which I haven’t seen, probably starting with Johnny To’s THE MISSION and carrying on with Makhmalbaf’s ONCE UPON A TIME…CINEMA.

And, yeah, I’m definitely going to have second thoughts in the morning, so let me know what you think I should change.

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25 Responses to “Work in Progress”

  1. If it were possible for the UCLA Film Department to lend you a suite of the rushes from The Night of the Hunter it would BLOW YOUR MIND!

  2. Certainly a good list, though since you suggested your course was some sort of “untold history” of film (or at least not the conventional canon), I feel like you should have some sort of representation of B-movies and exploitation. Maybe an Edgar Ulmer or a Sam Fuller or Jack Hill? I know these guys aren’t unknown to cinephiles, but I’m not sure most people who know Welles/Sirk/Coppola/etc will recognize them.
    Might even be interesting, if you can find any copies, to screen clips, at least, from the African-American film-makers in the first half of the 20th century.

  3. Oscar Michaux’s Within Our Gates would be excellent in that regard.

  4. Christopher Says:

    I’d a voted for He Who Gets Slapped if I’d been thinking of it at the time..Its hard to find here..and I don’t like watching whole movies on You Tube!!

  5. I think I have one Michaux film, and am sure I can get others. Fiona and I went to see a presentation of the NOTH rushes and it was indeed incredible. Appalling that a DVD extra hasn’t been made of it.

    Would still like to get some Ulmer in there, and Detour is pretty short… another double bill might be arranged.

  6. Luis Bunuel’s SIMON OF THE DESERT made a big impression on me when I saw it a fair number of years ago.

  7. Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast is another nice film.

  8. Bravo for starting with Sherlock Jr. If the shot of Buster stepping from the auditorium onto the screen doesn’t make them gasp, if the chase sequence doesn’t get them laughing, and if the glances from the projection box at the end don’t make them sigh with pleasure, then maybe they should be studying accountancy.

  9. Great list. I want to see you and David Ehrenstein start a film academy. I missed the NOTH rushes when they were screened at the NFT a few years ago but the admirable book Heaven and Hell to Play With goes through them in such vivid detail as to be a reasonable substitute until Criterion or somebody releases the lot.

  10. Apart from the joy of seeing Laughton direct the little girl and play all the parts, you get Mitchum blowing his lines and swearing in from of Lillian Gish. “Bum poon!”

    Revised list —

    ECA DRAMA SCREENINGS

    1) Monday 29th September.
    Silent comedies: Buster Keaton’s SHERLOCK JNR plus a few shorts.

    2) Monday 6th October.
    Silent drama: Victor Sjostrom’s HE WHO GETS SLAPPED.

    3) Monday 13th October.
    Early talking pre-code cinema: Gregory LaCava’s BED OF ROSES and Tod Browning’s FREAKS

    4) Monday 20th October
    The Classical era: Powell and Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

    5) Tuesday 3rd November
    Studio experimentation in the B movie: Joseph H Lewis’s MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS and Edgar Ulmer’s DETOUR

    6) Tuesday 10th November
    Post-war “realism”: Stanley Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY

    7) Tuesday 17th November
    Genre meltdown: Kon Ichikawa’s AN ACTOR’S REVENGE

    8) Tuesday 24th November
    Sixties experimentation: Luis Bunuel’s SIMON OF THE DESERT and Lindsay Anderson’s THE WHITE BUS

    9) Tuesday 1st December
    Bernardo Bertolucci’s THE CONFORMIST

    10) Tuesday 8th December
    New Hollywood: Peter Bogdanovich’s PAPER MOON

    11) Tuesday 15th December
    The world: Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s A MOMENT OF INNOCENCE

  11. Aki Kaurismäki is another great but seemingly little appreciated film director.

  12. I think he’s definitely appreciated, but regarded as a sort of cult figure.

    Interviewer: “You don’t move the camera very much.”

    Kaurismaki: “The camera is a big, heavy thing. When you have been drinking the night before…”

  13. Have you seen Arthur Penn’s remake of My Name is Julie Ross — Dead of Winter ?

    If you’re looking for another Ulmer I can’t reccomend Ruthless highly enough. It was scripted by Alvah Bessie, but his name was taken off of it and not restored until two years ago. It marks him as the very first victime of the blacklist.

  14. I love this list; can you set up remote class links? ;) If it weren’t so long, I’d suggest Raj Kapoor’s “Awaara” as the sole change/addition, as an illustration of the mainstream Hindi cinema – with a left-wing bent – in the 1950s. I think one of the things that makes it especially interesting – and teachable – is the way in which it makes use of ideas from other filmmaking traditions (most obviously the Chaplinesque hero) while remaining very distinctive.

    In terms of other non-Western popular cinemas, something by King Hu might also be fun; “Come Drink With Me” is shorter, although “A Touch of Zen” is probably better.

  15. Don’t overlook the French filmmakers, such as Claude Lelouch whose wonderful Les Uns et Les Oltras is a masterpiece. Who else but Lelouch can interweave five separate storylines against the backdrop of the German occupation and Allied liberation of Paris? It you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a rare treat

  16. I’ve never quite been able to take Lelouch seriously, but maybe I should try his earlier films. I remember seeing Edith and Marcel, in which he staged a boxing match using all the shots from Raging Bull, with the addition of a glass floor shot filmed from below… I think that’s when I gave up on him in disgust.

    Am determined to see more King Hu. Recently obtained Awaara and looks forward to seeing it. I like Bollywood films but don’t really know the filmmakers.

    Haven’t seen the Penn remake of Julia Ross, and didn’t know he’d done it! Doesn’t seem a particularly promising project for him, but the 80s weren’t very good to him generally.

  17. I like the revised list!

    Another good B movie I just remembered: Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker.

  18. Great list–I especially applaud including Ichikawa–a director much less discussed than he should be. Revenge is up there with Enjo as his best. What shorts will you be showing with Sherlock? If they’re Keaton’s I could recommend Daydreams, Convict 13 or The Frozen North. More canonical selections would of course be The Playhouse and Cops.

  19. I’m thinking I’ll probably go for a variety, a Chaplin and a Lloyd and maybe something by Charley Bowers or even a Winsor Mackay animation.

    Suggestions welcomed!

    I love An Actor’s Revenge, which is really suis generis in Ichikawa’s work and in cinema in general. A shame it’s frosty reception meant he never revisited that wacky-poetic mode.

  20. Ah, Bowers! It’s puzzling how someone who made such jaw-dropping films could be almost forgotten. I’d suggest “It’s a Bird” but that’s not silent. Other riches worth showing might include “Now You Tell One,” a film guaranteed to induce psychosis in cat lovers, and “There It Is” (on the “More Treasures From American Film Archives” set, not the Bowers one). “Egged On” is also worthwhile, even if only as evidence of Bowers’ egg obsession. I’ve heard that Bowers modeled his acting style after Keaton’s, and it certainly seems that way in his films, but I’m curious to know how much of a Keaton fan he actually was, and whether Keaton knew him or knew of him.

  21. It seems like Bowers was never very famous, maybe for distribution reasons. His was kind of a cottage industry.

    All I have is the first disc of his collected works, I’d probably show the egg one.

    Not sure what the best Harold Lloyd short to show would be.

  22. I’d be happy to send you the Treasures disc with “There It Is” if you’d like to take a look at it. Wish I could offer some suggestions on Lloyd but I’m regretfully unacquainted with most of his work.

  23. Thanks for that offer — I’ll email you. Never one to pass up a free movie show.

  24. robert keser Says:

    NOW OR NEVER (1921) is my favorite among Harold Lloyd’s shorter films, with some very funny passages. It’s still thirty minutes long, though, but you could shorten it to play just the extended train ride sequence. The print in the Lloyd DVD box is also beautifully gold-tinted, which is another plus.

  25. Cool, I’ll check that one out this week! Thanks.

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