Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

High School Confidential (1958)

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

With Russ Tamblyn and Mamie van Doren:

And here they are, passing out:

A Comment on the Movies

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’m speaking of the morality play of the Jesuits, not the morality play on the style of Everyman, which is the British morality play in Gothic form, before the Renaissance. I see it in the dark grey of Germany, Holland, more or less of the Breughel period. Musically, I can only point to Carmina Burana, which comes from the same time. Now, in the telling of a story in films, the director is more or less obliged to stylize characters as characters are stylized in artwork in the Church of Notre Dame or the Gothic churches of England. You have only a short time to tell a story, and therefore — I’m now going from one theory to another, so don’t misunderstand me — you must have two sides, as in the commedia dell’arte, and later seen in our great Western successes as: the man with the white hat, the man with the black hat. You have the wonderful chance — which no theatre ever had — to create the background against which your characters tell a story, in a stylized form. If you take today, for instance, Z [1969; Costa-Gavras] — in it there is the highest form of stylization; the director created a Greek chorus with the blue-steel helmets of the police, and this becomes a theme in his film. It reminds you of the Eumenides — of the great classical Greek tragedy. You look at that picture, and whenever danger comes and whenever brutality forces you, these blue-helmeted figures take the whole screen.

— Edgar G. Ulmer
Interview with Peter Bogdanovich
Who the Devil Made It

Personally, I doubt there’s a director working in Hollywood today who would understand anything Ulmer is talking about. Ulmer was a Czech, a European who immigrated to the United States. Along with many other Europeans who fled the Nazis or came for the money, he created the so-called “American” movie.

Now, we have what Sarah Palin might call Real Americans making the American movie. The American movie is now mainly concerned with comic books.  As a college rommate of mine once observed, the only Real American art form is the skyscraper.

On Viewing Taxi Driver on Xmas Eve

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Bah!  Humbug!

“Write about what you know.”

Movies Made with Game Engines

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Deus ex Machina, Episode 4:

Combine Nation,
Episode 1:

Diary of a Camper: