Sunday, July 29, 2007

Film, Part Deux

Do I continue down my path of movie viewing today? I imagine I will as I did not entirely encapsulate all I wanted to about The Passion of Joan of Arc as I became sidetracked with mentioning facial expressions and the body's motion when conveying information and yet I have a feeling that will always be the case: often there is much more to be said (Me long-winded? Perish the thought!) and I usually go off on tangents. The music written for or inspired by the film is breathtaking and gorgeously evokes the somber, intense tone, religious fervor and medieval period. Silent films are pared down so much that you really notice details (as long as you don't have too much to read and certainly in The Passion of Joan of Arc there is only the sparest of dialogue). As I mentioned earlier I was impressed with the commitment of both subject and star of this film which then led me to wonder about what it meant to be so passionate about something you would endure torture (the director to squeeze a more wrenching and convincing performance from the actress made her kneel for hours on end. I have to wonder if perhaps how voracious this part was led the actress to decide to look elsewhere for a profession), isolation, death and even eternal damnation. I think it high time I read more about Joan of Arc as all I know is gleaned from very distant, indirect sources. Anyone with reading suggestions?

Late Friday night on TCM Underground they had a Roger Corman double feature. Now I am not going to tell you, dear reader, to go out and find these films as only someone who appreciates classic horror (which is often absurd and melodramatic) will enjoy them. Since I happen to be such a person, I did find them amusing. First was A Bucket of Blood starring Dick Miller (also known as Richard Miller) as a very pathetic beatnik-wannabe desperate to fit in at any cost. I believe desperation to be one of the least attractive traits known to man as in the state of desperation a person's very soul and essence is compromised. Desperation has its own smell and sticky, sick sense about it. Miller's character stumbles upon his entrée by accidentally killing a cat and encasing it in clay. I think you may figure out the natural progression when he receives so much praise for the realism of his sculpture. The best things about this film is the satire of the beatnik culture and perhaps artistic elitism in general.

The second film, The Terror, starred an older Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson. I even noticed in the credits a likewise young Francis Coppola as an associate producer. The film contains a count, his trusted servant (played by Dick Miller), creepy castle, vengeful witch and beautiful ghost of a murdered young woman all set during the Napoleonic Wars (dear reader, you may also find it delightful that Nicholson plays a French soldier in Napoleon's army sporting a modern day handgun, if I am not mistaken). One thing struck me was how much more handsome Dick Miller appeared in this second movie than the first. I believe it had everything to do with his character being much more menacing and not in the least bit desperate, but this is only my opinion. Overall, this is not an inspired film, but since I am interested in all things even remotely tied with the Napoleonic era and it seems like a natural predecessor of some of my favorite guilty pleasures (Vincent Price horror movies), I was not displeased with the time spent.

Tonight, is Silent Sunday Night on TCM followed by TCM Imports. I plan on recording these films and enjoying them during the coming week. I hope, dear reader, you are as happily (and easily) entertained!

1 comment:

otr said...

Well done yet again Miss texas.I agree with all films that the music can and does send signals to ones mind and this body.When watching and enjoying silent pictures the music does tend to help one feel or to lighen the mood.This does go hand in hand as they say.But to me the actors and the way they use there bodies is what really makes me feel something when watching these type of films more then todays standards.

You need to write about the type of movies roger has produced.They are just fun movies to sit down and watch and think OMG! LOL!

Let us all know how those films you taped turned out this week.Thanks again for yet another great blog. Nice Pics BTW as well.