Stealing Time

I’m in the edit today — Fiona and I have recorded a video essay for KWAIDAN. So not much time for blogathoning. But I tell you what — Timo Langer and I are cutting at Mark Cousins’ place. How about I wander about and see if I can find any late films to write about, in between cuts?

The reference material from Mark’s THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES lie all around, so there’s CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, F FOR FAKE and THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.

There’s a Derek Jarman box set, but it doesn’t contain BLUE, which I really ought to write about — one of the ultimate late films, you could argue, made when its director had been struck blind by AIDS.

Ah, there’s WAR REQUIEM, late-ish Jarman and positively final Olivier. You can’t get later than late Olivier.

(Is it bad manners to blog about somebody’s flat when they’re out?)

Two Theo Angelopoulos box sets. Haven’t seen THE DUST OF TIME, but it’s a great title for a last film, even though its creator probably wasn’t planning to curtail his career by stepping in front of an off-duty cop’s on-coming motorcycle.

Wow, here’s THE BRAVE, the only film directed by Johnny Depp, to date. (And a follow-up seems less and less likely.)

This place is a treasure trove of cinema, including late cinema…

Mark’s back, now I feel guilty and furtive.

He’s OK with it — in fact, he mentions an article he wrote on Late Style, which you can read here, at The Prospect. Quick discussion follows on why, so often, filmmakers’ work becomes tired or boring in old age, whereas that doesn’t happen so often with visual artists. The weight of all that equipment seems to be a burden. “Look at Bertolucci, how his films shrank, until they were one-room films.” Maybe lightweight digital cameras will transform this. But the filmmaker’s

I suggest that there’s a feeling that film is done best by people who are still discovering everything. It’s when we think we know what we’re doing that we get dull. It’s like those seventies Disney films where they had filing cabinets full of old animation cels as reference. You want a dancing bear, you just trace one somebody did earlier. Sometimes our brains get like filing cabinets.

There’s a relevant line in THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND: “It’s alright to steal from others, what we must never do is steal from ourselves.”

5 Responses to “Stealing Time”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    Derek was indeed struck blind by AIDS. He made a film anyway. Laurence Olivier being pushed around in a wheelchair by Tilda is one of the joys of “War Requiem.”

  2. He made two films after going blind, Blue and the Ken Russellesque fantasia, Wittgenstein.

    Tilda and Larry is a sort of baton-passing moment, I guess.

  3. ehrenstein47 Says:

    He was starting to lose it with “Wittgenstein” That’s why he created a visual field for it he could still to some degree see. Tilda is hilarious as Lady Ottoline Morrell.

  4. Oooh, where will we be able to see this Kwaidan visual essay? And have you seen Johnny Depp’s directorial debut/finale? It’s synopsis has haunted me since I was a kid (that was a real interesting trip to the Dictionary, rivalled only by the voyage that a brief appraisal of The Horribl Dr Hichcock sent me on)

  5. I should’ve asked to borrow The Brave… it got a very bad reception, but even if terrible it ought to be of some kind of interest, even if only morbid…

    Kwaidan video essay will be on the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray due out early next year. I think it’s a good one!

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