The Sunday Intertitle: Jolly Grimm

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A swellegant intertitle from THE WILD PARTY, which I haven’t seen but which looks rather gorgeous. But isn’t it a roman a clef on the Fatty Arbuckle case in which Arbuckle is presumed guilty? I’ll have to watch it to find out. It sort of fits into The Seventies Look Back, being an AIP picture set in the late jazz age, but James Ivory’s relationship to the New Hollywood is tenuous at best. (How weird to think of Merchant-Ivory working for AIP!) DAY OF THE LOCUST is a better match, since Schlesinger also made MIDNIGHT COWBOY, which is seminal pre-seventies New Hollywood, and his HONKY TONK FREEWAY is a good example of the way the era combusted.

Next week I suspect I’ll be shuffling between posts carrying on the 70s thing, with other more random stuff, and then on Wednesday I leave for The Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Canuck Shadowplayers are advised to meet me at the screenings of NATAN on the 8th and 11th.

On Tuesday I’m aiming to squeeze in my second video intro for a Masters of Cinema Blu-ray. I didn’t tell you about the first yet, did I? I will!

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5 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: Jolly Grimm”

  1. The poem-in-the-form-of-a-novel Merchant-Ivory adapted wasn’t based on the Arbuckle case as it was written before it happened. AIP took the film away from Merchant-Ivory and recut it in the hope of making it more commercial. It flopped. Their version is available however. It’s interesting but not as successful as Schlesinger’s Day of the Locust

  2. Thanks for the info.

    I liked Day of the Locust, especially the horrifying apocalypse of an ending. There was a kind of desultory feeling to a lot of it which has something to do with West’s tone, but doesn’t seem to me quite to capture it.

    AIP’s editorial interventions were generally moronic in the extreme: I hope I have the right version to watch…

  3. La Faustin Says:

    The Wild Party is fascinating because you can see it snowballing to disaster — “Let’s make a film version of Joseph Moncure March’s The Wild Party, and keep the poetry as a voiceover! But hey, wild party, 1920s — let’s make it a HOLLYWOOD wild party, with a big scandal involving a comedian! And maybe the comedian is threatened by the coming of the talkies! And didn’t Chaplin like little girls? Maybe work that in! And it can be a musical, with diegetic numbers commenting on the action, like Hal Prince did with that Broadway show, Cabaret!”

  4. Yes. We just watched it, then I read the poem (better to do it that way round, you see the movie slightly more sympathetically, and then you realize you were wrong to do so). Here comes the article ~

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