Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In his word, he is a “product of a lousy public school education, a couple of crazy years in art school, and too much time in newspaper offices and sporting arenas; no college, always hanging around smarter people.” His brief stint with the world of filmmaking goes back to late 1970s; a 14-minute, 16mm hommage to Raymond Chandler called Bay City Blues. Later he directed another short The Grand Inquisitor.
Now it seems like he has became one of the smartest people in town himself, because everybody hangs around him! He is the president of the “Film Noir Foundation” and writer of three books on noir. You can hear his voice and his comments on numerous DVD audio commentaries for noir masterpieces in Fox and Warner. He also has 2 fiction books in his vast catalogue of prints.
He is a noir comrade of mine, and thanks to him I printed my first noir piece in English in “Noir City Sentinel”, a publication of “Film Noir Foundation.”
You can watch and listen to him, in person, here:
The Czar has chosen his top 25 noir. “ These are simply films that I have viewed and enjoyed multiple times, and expect to appreciate even more as time goes on. Consider the listing a sort of carnival barometer, ranging from INFATUATED to PASSIONATE.” Says Eddie about this selection in his website.
25 RAW DEAL (1948)
24 CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS (1952)
23 TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)
22 SCARLET STREET (1945)
21 DETOUR (1945)
20 TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951)
19 THE PROWLER (1950)
18 GUN CRAZY (1950)
17 ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949)
16 ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959)
15 THE KILLING (1956)
14 THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949)
13 THIEVES' HIGHWAY (1949)
12 SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1958)
11 THE KILLERS (1946)
10 MOONRISE (1948)
9 OUT OF THE PAST (1947)
8 NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950)
7 NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947)
6 THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
5 DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
4 THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)
3 SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
2 CRISS CROSS (1949)
1 IN A LONELY PLACE (1950)
Monday, July 27, 2009
"تی سی ام زیرزمینی" (TCM Underground) عنوان یک برنامۀ سینمایی در کانال "ترنر کلاسیک موویز" است که نیمه شب جمعه ها، فیلم های عجیب و غریب، مهجور، خل وضع، بد، افتضاح، فراموش شده، ترسناک و یا قدر ندیده را نشان می دهد.
در سایت شبکه بخشی جداگانه به این برنامۀ کالت اختصاص داده شده که درست بر خلاف طراحی کلاسیک و شکیل سایت اصلی است. خودتان باید این سایت شگفت انگیز را ببینید، اما لازمۀ آن اینترنت با سرعت بالا و معقول است. با این لینک به دنیای زباله های باشکوهی چون Reefer Madness ، فیلم های اد وود و آثار پر از خون و خون ریزی وینسنت پرایس پا خواهید گذاشت.
علاوه بر معرفی فیلم های زیرزمینی می توانید عکس ها و یادداشت هایی از آن ها ببینید. بخش مورد علاقۀ من "صحنه های حذف شده" فیلم هاست که در قالب زیباترین کمیک استریپ های ممکن، راش های از بین رفتۀ فیلم را تصویر کرده و با صحنه های موجود مقایسه کرده است. می توانید پایان متفاوت Freaks تاد براونینگ را برای اولین بار ببینید و یا نماهایی که خود اد وود فقید هم ندیده را از Plan 9 from outer space را ملاحضه کنید.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This French adoption has been forgotten since its director doesn’t belong to the league of giant French cineastes of the glorious 1930s and 1940s, and unfortunately it hasn’t been released on DVD yet. According to Georges Sadoul the film was banned in the U. S. by Hayes office and it closed the doors for further appreciations, so it could be another reason for obscurity of this version.
Although this is a very important film for noir scholars, because the French poetic realist cinema always has been recognized as a great source for latter American noirs, as long as theme and style were concerned. Now we see a French film that unites the very elements of a national cinema with the literary sources that later caused a big tide in Hollywood crime films.
But who is Pierre Chenal? Well, as long as I know his birth name is Pierre Cohen. He was born in 5 December 1904 in Bruxelles, and died in 23 December 1990 in Paris. First he started to make short films and then became a feature director from 1933, the era known as French poetic realist cinema. He has made one of the first adaptations of Dostoyevsky’s novel, The crime and punishment in 1935 and also a remake of Luigi Pirandello’s Feu Mathias Pascal in 1937. Lots of his films deal with the issue of crime and responsibility, in the context of intellectual despair of the post first world war France. He was Jewish, so he left the occupied France in 1942 and moved to Argentina, where he directed three films. After the war he came back and continued to making films till the 1970s.His most famous works belong to pre-war era, films like L'Alibi (1937, with Louis Jouvet and Erich von Stroheim) and Le Dernier Tournant.
Le Dernier Tournant is a sincere adoption of Cain novel, so the story is quite familiar for everybody and changes are few:
Frank, a vagabond, arrives at a service station on a mountain road near to Marseilles. The owner, Nick, offers him a job which he accepts. Frank is instantly attracted to Nick’s young wife, Cora, and they have a passionate affair. The two lovers plan to kill Nick so that they can profit from his life insurance. Having made Nick’s death look like an accident, they are acquitted of his murder.
In Le Dernier Tournant the most impressing part appears when the picture read as a poetic realist reflection of American noir fiction, completely in opposite way of what has been happened so far by reading the American crime films via French poetic realist directors like Marcel Carne and Julien Duvivier.
By observing the effects of environment on two major characters we’ll be able to see some of the early sketches of life in bore and gloom in the suburbs that later became the center of attention for directors like Antonioni in Il Grido.
Unlike most film noirs the husband is very quite sympathic, because after all he is Michel Simon the heart of the all poetic realist films. The scene which Frank is trying to kill Simon is unforgettable. Simon shouts loudly to the valley and the echo of his voice came back after a few seconds. After his last shout, Frank knocks him in the head; he is dead and his body falls down; suddenly the echo of his voice comes back like he is still alive and calling Frank and Cora.
One of the key methods used by Chenal could be found in his two some framings when he studies one person carefully, and leaves the other unfocused. By this technique we are able to read the influence of characters and place in these powerful medium shots.
Director: Pierre Chenal
Script: Charles Spaak, Henri Torrès, based on the novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice" by James M. Cain
Photographer: Christian Matras, Claude Renoir
Music: Jean Wiener
Cast: Fernand Gravey (Frank), Michel Simon (Nick Marino), Corinne Luchaire (Cora), Marcel Vallée (Le juge), Robert Le Vigan (Le cousin maître-chanteur), Etienne Decroux (Le bistrot), Florence Marly (Madge)
Runtime: 90 min; B&W
Friday, July 24, 2009
like a musical from 1940s
spaces divided with light and colors
There is no wall
Transparency of transforming spaces