Losing his place

The Forgotten this week looks at late-period Marcel Carné, and commits the cardinal sin of using the formulation “Does X matter?” — an abhorrent journalistic cliché which I like to think I’d have had the sense to resist had I not been laid flat with food poisoning (OK, I’m leaping to a conclusion here — it may not have been food poisoning. It may just have been ordinary poisoning. I’m trying to recall — what poisons have I eaten?).

But, apart from the medical excuse, I’d also say that the poorly stated question is still semi-valid — what becomes of the filmmaker who once had his finger on the pulse of the nation, had the ear of the world, when he loses both? Answers at the Daily Notebook, or here.

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4 Responses to “Losing his place”

  1. Off-topic, but. . .

    Just got through looking at Todd Haynes’ 5-part mini-series rendition of Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo and Evan Rachel Wood. OVERWHELMING! Not a remake of the Curtiz-Crawford hit but a compete reworking that goes back to James M. Cain’s Zolaesque original novel. There is no murder, and Veda becomes an opera singer. The film recapituales what seem to be stanard “women’s picture” tropes in a new way. Not “postmodern” a la Far From Heaven, it’s a straight-ahead period film. But when it gets to is new and rather frightening. And this song is used in a very original manner (Take it away Judy!)

  2. Apropos Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, I happened to mention to someone recently that I liked this film. He told me that he once watched the film in the company of the director Arthur Penn. Apparently Penn couldn’t stand the film at all. Another case of chacun à son goût I suppose.

  3. Sirk’s work, the prime reference point for Far from Heaven, was probably part of the studio style Penn was reacting against back in the sixties, so I doubt he’d have welcomed its return. And he was never into pastiche, despite Beatty calling Bonnie and Clyde a homage to the Warners gangster pictures. Jack Warner: “What the hell’s a homage?”

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