Monday, January 24, 2011

what the light used to do

I'm finally watching the Feist movie Look at What the Light Did Now. When it first came out and was touring all over the place -- everywhere except Atlanta -- I was worried I wouldn't get to see it. But, of course, agents and managers and producers don't let something like that go without a DVD-&-CD release. The first thing to say is that it reminds me alot of the kind of, as it were, "art documentary" first invented by Orson Welles in F for Fake (Welles called it an "essay" film). But I think the reason I find Leslie Feist so hypnotic (aside from the fact that I like her voice and style, and that she's quite a piece of ass) is she reminds me of what it was always like spending hours upon hours with my guitars and pens and papers, how tedious yet invigorating the creative musical process is. I get it; I know what she's doing; I've been where she's been (at least mentally: her love for, and cooperation with, other artists is something I was never good at).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"mainstream" noir

It has become increasingly apparent to me that all the best noir films were made by directors who, for the majority of their career, could be called "mainstream." The list should speak for itself:

Double Indemnity and Sunset Blvd. by Billy Wilder
Kiss Me Deadly by Robert Aldrich
Touch of Evil by Orson Welles
Possessed by Curtis Bernhardt
Act of Violence by Fred Zinnemann
The Asphalt Jungle by John Huston
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers by Lewis Milestone

I think it worth noting that Van Heflin stars in three of these (Possessed, Act of Violence, and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). Interesting....

There are more, of course, but these make a good representative sample. I think it worked out this way simply because these were not per se "B-picture" directors; they were A-picture directors who, for whatever reason(s), employed -- even if only for one film -- an idiom, icononography, and style more common among B-pictures. It still all kind of goes back to my own view that Citizen Kane is really the first film noir ever made.