Saturday, April 25, 2009

Marjo Pipinen: Indiewood (lecture)

Cinema Orion, 24 April 2009. The concluding lecture in the U.S. Independents series. How the independent companies became subsidiaries of the major companies.

Lions Gate Films, Summit Entertainment, Overture Films, IFC Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Warner Independent Pictures, The Weinstein Company / Dimension Films, Magnolia Pictures, Palm Pictures, Tartan Fils, Newmarket Films, Picturehouse, ThinkFilm, Troma Entertainment, First Look Studios, Image Entertainment.

Independent Film and Television Alliance

The story of DreamWorks

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

Rakettirakkautta / Raketkärlek. US © 1958 Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. P+D: Leo McCarey. SC: Claude Binyon, Leo McCarey – based on the novel by Max Shulman (1957, in Finnish: Ohjukset irrallaan [Missiles on the Loose], Juhana Perkki / Otava, 1959). DP: Leon Shamroy – CinemaScope – colour: De Luxe. AD: Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller (art dir.). COST: Charles LeMaire. Make-up: Ben Nye. Hair: Helen Turpin. M: Cyril J. Mockridge. Song: "Seein' As How You're Mah Boojum" (comp. + lyrics: Leo McCarey). Conductor: Lionel Newman. Orchestra: Edward B. Powell. S: Eugene Grossman, Harry M. Leonard. ED: Louis R. Loeffler. CAST: Paul Newman (Harry Bannerman), Joanne Woodward (Grace Bannerman), Joan Collins (Angela Hoffa), Jack Carson (Capt. Hoxie), Dwayne Hickman (Grady Metcalf), Tuesday Weld (Comfort Goodpasture), Gale Gordon (Gen. Thorwald), Tom Gilson (Opie), O.Z. Whitehead (Isaac Goodpasture). 108 min. A Twentieth Century-Fox studio print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 22 April 2009. - A fine print with good colour. - Leo McCarey's last comedy, after a comedy directing career of over 30 years, starting with Laurel & Hardy and other Hal Roach greats. One can still recognize the zany impulse, but although the cast is great, the actors are not as funny as the Hal Roach ensemble or Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. It's not bad but one has come to expect better from Leo McCarey.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Son John

Agentti 52 / Agent 52. US (c) 1952 Paramount. P+D: Leo McCarey. SC: Myles Connolly, Leo McCarey - adaptation: John Lee Mahin - based on a story by Leo McCarey. DP: Harry Stradling. AD: Hal Pereira, William Flannery. Song: "Alma Mater" (composed by Leo McCarey and Robert Emmett Dolan, lyrics by Leo McCarey). COST: Edith Head. ED: Marvin Coil. CAST: Helen Hayes (Lucille Jefferson), Van Heflin (Stedman), Dean Jagger (Dan Jefferson), Robert Walker (John Jefferson), Minor Watson (Dr. Carver), Frank McHugh (Father O'Dowd). 122 min. A Paramount (Hollywood) print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 21 April 2009. - A brilliant print. - A seminal anti-communistic film made with total devotion by Leo McCarey, who not only wrote, directed, and produced, but also dubbed John's final speech and composed and wrote lyrics to the final song that accompanies it. - After this film, there was a five year hiatus in McCarey's filmography. - A strange film beneath McCarey's usual intelligence, wit and sense of humour. - McCarey had certainly demonstrated audacity in treating serious political issues in Hollywood entertainment in Once Upon a Honeymoon. - Before this, he had made one non-comedy, Make Way for Tomorrow, but there was a profound sense of humour in it. - It seems that for McCarey, Communism was a force of evil, of Satan (as in Satan Never Sleeps). - The strange conclusions in this film include that intellect, intellectuality, and academic achievements become suspect. And a fatally dysfunctional family (a weak, conformist and alcoholic father, and a mother on the verge of nervous breakdown) becomes the ideal of America. - Robin Wood has remarked that if this film had been properly understood, McCarey, himself, might have been hauled before the Un-American activities committee. - A pervasive sense of unease, fraud, and phoniness. - A terrible film with a lot of fascinating unconscious content. - An apology of naming names, informing, and espionage. - Robert Walker plays John for a monster. - Helen Hayes is great as the neurotic mother, who also makes fun about her condition (pretending to catch a fly).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going My Way

Kulje tietäni / Vandra min väg. US 1944. PC: Paramount. P+D: Leo McCarey. CAST: Bing Crosby (Father Chuck O'Malley), Barry Fitzgerald (Father Fitzgibbon), Rise Stevens (Genevieve Linden). 126 min. A Universal print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 17 April 2009. - A brilliant print. - Revisited: a masterpiece made during WWII about spiritual regeneration. - The old St. Dominic church is deteriorating, and even finally burns down, but Father O'Malley comes to start a revival with his high spirits. The generation clash (qf. Make Way for Tomorrow) with the old Father Fitzgibbon. - The music is based on the contrast between the Metropolitan Opera, where Genevieve sings the habanera from Carmen, and the church, where Bing Crosby leads a magnificent performance of "Adeste fideles". - It seems that O'Malley has been in love with Genevieve, but because of a misunderstanding had come to believe that Genevieve was not interested in him anymore. - This is a film about the joy of helping, about the pain of the generation gap, and the difficulty of giving up. - It is played as a comedy, but there is a profound sense of sadness and disappointment, also because of the human condition in 1944, as in The Bells of St. Mary's. - Going My Way was made in order to make The Bells of St. Mary's, which was Leo McCarey's original project.

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

US (c) 1971 Yeah. P+D+SC+M+ED: Melvin Van Peebles. M: Earth, Wind & Fire. CAST: Melvin Van Peebles (Sweetback), Simon Chuckster (Beetle), Hubert Scales (Mu-Mu), John Dullaghan (Commissioner), Niva Rochelle. 98 min. A MoMA restored print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki 17 April 2009. - A brilliant print. Last time I saw this in 1992, the print was not so hot. - Revisited (the beginning and the end): a film that is more fascinating than I have realized, see Pirkka Kivenheimo's commentary below.

Pirkka Kivenheimo: African-American Cinema (lecture)

Lecture at Cinema Orion, 17 April 2009, in the U.S. Independents series.
For the black film-makers in the United States, being "independent" was not a virtue but a necessity.
The Birth of a Nation: racism in the heart of mainstream Hollywood.
The PBS definition: three of the following criteria have to be met in order for a film to be classified as "black": 1) black producer, 2) black director, 3) black executive producer, 4) black talent, 5) black target audience.
In Hollywood the black breakthrough took place first in the late 1990s.
Clip: ABC Nightline on the 1996 Oscar Gala. American film industry was one of the last to have black presence.
For a long time blacks had to make their films independently on a small budget.
1910: Chicago, Phileon Poster. Segregation in Cinemas.
1910-1952: ca 500 race movies.
Oscar Micheaux: 34 films. He made the first black feature film The Homesteaders (1919). Paul Robeson debuted in Body and Soul (1924). The first black sound film.
The 1950s and the 1960s were the great decades of civil rights. During 1952-1967 there was not a single film directed by a black artist in the United States.
1967: San Francisco Film Festival: Melvin Van Peebles presented La Permission. He had lived since 1959 in Europe. Born in 1932 in Chicago, served in the U.S. Air Force, was a painter in Mexico, worked in San Francisco as a trolley driver, became an author, since 1957 short films, Pick-Up Men for Merrick, moved to the Netherlands in 1959, was a dramaturg, moved to France in 1961, first feature film 1965, and in 1967, La Permission, in the same year as Sidney Poitier starred in In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Hollywood studios were intrigued and employed at once three black directors. Gordon Parks, Sr. became the first black Hollywood director (The Learning Tree). Ossie Davis, the second (Cotton Comes to Harlem). Van Peebles directed The Watermelon Man for Columbia.
But in 1971 he directed Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. On a budget of 100.000 USD the revenue was 10 million dollars. Immediately this success inspired the blaxploitation cycle, starring blacks, but written, directed and produced by whites.
Van Peebles inspired a whole generation of young black film-makers, such as Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, Keenen Ivory Wayans, the Hudlins, Charles Burnett, Mario Van Peebles, John Singleton, the Hugheses, Ernest Dickerson, Carl Franklin, Bill Duke, Mike Lane, Leslie Harris, Ruby Oliver.
Clip: Melvin Van Peebles visits the set of Do the Right Thing (1989).
Melvin Van Peebles was multitalented: he made records, poems, novels, theatre, he was a flyer, and in the 1970s and the 1980s he was a trader in the New York stock exchange, and also wrote a book about that.
Clip: Mario Van Peebles, 2003.
As a 13 year old boy Mario played a sex scene in Sweet Sweetback.
Backing came from Bill Cosby, among others.
Clip: Baadassss (Mario Van Peebles, 2003)
The secret of the popularity of Sweet Sweetback: the right time, the right place, the right spirit. The black community. Melvin hired black professionals to his crew. For the first time, police violence against blacks was shown. It was well-known to the blacks, but first in 1991, with the Rodney King incident, whites became aware of it. Sweet Sweetback was prophetic.
No more resignation. Taking responsibility. Emphasis on the black community. Already the opening credits are significant. "Starring: the black community". Melvin himself stars as "Brer Soul", a reference to Brer Rabbit and the old tales of the South, coming from Africa. A new kind of hero.
The film is serious beneath the surface.
The depiction of sexuality was interpreted as machoist, but is not that simple. The theme of androgyny. The sexual exploitation is mutual.
The theme of violence. The essential scene: Sweetback kills the policemen who beat cruelly a brother. There is no glorification of violence.
"Dedicated to the brothers and sisters who have had enough of the Man".
The old woman's comment: "I might have had a Leroy once, but they used to take them away from me". The slave masters could break up families, and so could the social security officials.
Clip: the premiere (from Mario's Baadassss, 2003), "dedicated to the brothers and sisters who opened the door".
Earth, Wind & Fire performed the soundtrack in the year of their debut album.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bells of St. Mary's

Pyhän Maarian kellot / Klockorna i St. Mary. US 1945 © Rainbow Productions, Inc. P+D: Leo McCarey. SC: Dudley Nichols – from a story by Leo McCarey. DP: George Barnes. COST: Edith Head. M: Robert Emmett Dolan. Songs: "The Bells Of St. Mary's" (Douglas Furber, A. Emmett Adams); "Aren't You Glad You're You?" (Johnny Burke, James Van Heusen); "In The Land Of Beginning Again" (George W. Meyer, Grant Clarke); "Varvindar friska"; "Adeste fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful)" (John Francis Wade); "O sanctissima" (trad. virsi). CAST: Bing Crosby (Father O'Malley), Ingrid Bergman (Sister Mary Benedict), Henry Travers (Horace P. Bogardus), William Gargan (Joe Gallagher), Ruth Donnelly (Sister Michael), Joan Carroll (Patsy Gallagher), Martha Sleeper (Mrs. Gallagher), Rhys Williams (Dr. McKay), Dickie Tyler (Eddie), Una O'Connor (Mrs. Breen). 125 min. A UCLA print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 15 April 2009. - This is a much screened print of a restored version apparently based on partly challenging materials. Mostly the definition of light is beautiful. - A masterpiece revisited. - I am not a religious person, but as years go by, my respect and admiration for religious work keeps growing. - There are several profound ideas in this film produced during WWII. - There is a fight among the schoolchildren in the yard. Bing Crosby defends the boy who wins: "On the outside it's a man's world". Ingrid Bergman: "How are they doing?". - "I turned the other cheek. Then he really let me have it". - The funniest scene is the "boxing nun" scene; it's also very thought-provoking. It brings to mind that Leo McCarey was the co-creator of the Laurel and Hardy "tit for tat" concept. - The story of the troubled millionaire who finally donates the schoolhouse to the nuns. The message of the film is that doing good for others is good for your heart, even literally. - It is the story of the joy of giving, when every day is Christmas. - If we don't fail sometimes our successes don't mean anything. - You don't become a nun to run away from something but because you've found something. - The final prayer: remove all bitterness from my heart. - The final, breathtaking scene: "You have a touch of TB". "Thank you... you have made me very happy". The misunderstanding of Ingrid Bergman's transfer is cleared (it is to save her). - The beautiful close-ups of the protagonists who have sworn abstinence. - The film is humoristic, but there is also a sense of hidden profound sadness and disappointment which the protagonists fight to overcome.

Huuto tuuleen

A Shout Into the Wind. FI (c) 2007 Oktober Oy. P: Joonas Berghäll. D+SC: Katja Gauriloff. DP: Jarkko T. Laine, J.-P. Passi, Jani Kumpulainen, Pentti Pällijeff, Johannes Lehmuskallio. M: Pekka Karjalainen. ED: Tuuli Kuittinen. S: Juha Hakanen. 56 min. Digibeta from Katja Gauriloff, with English subtitles by Susan Heiskanen, viewed at Cinema Orion, 15 April 2009 in the presence of Katja Gauriloff. - This is the story of the Skolt Sami today, a proud people of ca 600 only, most of which lived in Petsamo, now part of Russia, and now living around Lake Sevetti. - The film both gives a view of the lived life of the Skolt Sami and the action to have their status as an indigenous people accepted. - The director herself is a Skolt Sami.

Porojen parissa

Bland renar / With the Reindeer. FI 1947. P: Erik Blomberg Oy, Eino Mäkinen, Adams Filmi. D: Erik Blomberg, Eino Mäkinen. 8 min. A fine KAVA print viewed at Cinema Orion, 15 April 2009 (Dokumentin ytimessä 47). - Revisited the beautiful account of the reindeer round-up (poroerotus), a big annual event in the life of the Sami people, of the "paliskunta" institution (reindeer owners' association).

Suonikylän talvielämää

Vinterliv i Suenjel / Winter Life in Suenjel. FI 1938. PC: Kansatieteellinen Filmi. D+SC: Eino Mäkinen, Kustaa Vilkuna. Specialist: Karl Nickul. Silent, 25 min. A fine 35mm KAVA print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 15 April 2009 (Dokumentin ytimessä 47: Saamelaiset / In the Core of the Documentary 47: The Sami People). - A beautiful print. - Revisited the classic of Finnish ethnographic cinema, with scenes of sheep-farming, washing clothes, net-fishing through ice, children playing with the lasso (suopunki) and with reindeer horns, producing thread from veins, spinning by distaff and filling the shoe with hay. Also shown is baby-rearing and removing blackheads from the skin of the back. The whole property of the skolt sami family is packed in a sleigh (ahkio), and winter survival techniques are displayed. - Ilkka Kippola and Jari Sedergren criticize the film for breaches of intimacy, but the Sami director Katja Gauriloff did not find the film improper in that way. - A beautiful film in the Flaherty tradition.

Friday, April 10, 2009


PL (c) 2007 Akson Studio etc. P: Michał Kwieciński. D: Andrzej Wajda. Based on the novel Post Mortem by Andrzej Mularczyk. SC: Andrzej Wajda, Przemysław Nowakowski. DP: Paweł Edelman - 4K digital intermediate. M: Krzysztof Penderecki. ED: Milenia Fiedler, Rafał Listopad. Excerpts from both the German and the Soviet propaganda films, "Im Wald vom Katyn" and "Katynskiego lieso". CAST: Maja Ostaszewska, Artur Żmijewski, Paweł Małaszyński. 122 min. A Polish TV / Polish Embassy print with English subtitles by Jerzy Siemasz. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki 9 April 2009. - The 4K digital intermediate is so well made that I didn't notice it was digital. - A strong historical film that approaches the Katyn massacre in 1940 of 22.000 Polish officers by NKVD from the viewpoint of the survivors. The script is well constructed to convey the profundity of the horror and the pressure on the survivors to lie. - As in Roman Polanski's The Pianist, there is no self-conscious style here. The director's style is unrecognizable, there is perhaps a slight lack of sturdiness and intensity. - The subject-matter is horrible in itself, and the visual and musical expression is calm and dignified. - Certainly one of Wajda's key films beside Ashes and Diamonds and The Man of Marble.

"Plaisir d'amour" (song by Martini, 1780)

"Plaisir d'amour", the song by Jean Martini (1780), has a pivotal role in two films in which it is the theme song:
Love Affair (Leo McCarey, 1939): the moment of gravity in the life of the two protagonists.
The Heiress (William Wyler, 1949): the lost love of father and daughter; also in this film the tune is played imperfectly; the choice of the song was Wyler's

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment.
chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.

J'ai tout quitté pour l'ingrate Sylvie.
Elle me quitte et prend un autre aimant.

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment.
chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.

Tant que cette eau coulera doucement
vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,

Je t'aimerai me répétait Sylvie.
L'eau coule encore. Elle a changé pourtant.

Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment.
chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.

Love Affair

Sanovat sitä rakkaudeksi / Det handlar om kärlek... US (c) 1939 RKO. D: Leo McCarey. SC: Delmer Daves, Donald Ogden Stewart - based on a story by Mildred Cram and Leo McCarey. DP: Rudolph Maté. AD: Van Nest Polglase, Al Herman. M: Roy Webb. Theme song: "Plaisir d'amour" (1780, Jean Paul Egide Martini). ED: Edward Dmytryk, George Hiveley. CAST: Irene Dunne (Terry McCay), Charles Boyer (Michel Marnay), Maria Ouspenskaya (grandmother). 88 min. A MoMA restored print with funding provided by The Film Foundation. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 9 April 2009. - This is the best print; the restoration has been conducted from partially worn and scratched materials. - A masterpiece revisited. - The Madeira turning-point. Two shallow people who have been drifting through life experience a moment of gravity. - The story of spiritual regeneration through love.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Once Upon a Honeymoon

Paronitar painuu maan alle / Baronessen går under jorden / Lua sem mel. US 1942 © RKO Radio Pictures. P+D: Leo McCarey. SC: Sheridan Gibney – based on a story by Sheridan Gibney and Leo McCarey. DP: George Barnes. AD: Albert S. D'Agostino, Al Herman. Set dec: Darrell Silvera, Claude E. Carpenter. COST: Miss Leslie. M: Robert Emmett Dolan. S: James G. Stewart, Richard Van Heussen. Montage: Douglas Travers. ED: Theron Warth. CAST: Cary Grant (Pat O'Toole), Ginger Rogers (Katie O'Hara von Luber or Katherine Butt-Smith), Walter Slezak (Baron von Luber), Albert Dekker (Le Blanc), Albert Bassermann (General Borelski). 116 min. A Cinemateca Portuguesa print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 7 April 2009. - A print from less than perfect start material. - A wonderful film that faces the fatal world historical situation in the Hollywood way, a remarkable film that can be juxtaposed with Chaplin's The Great Dictator and Lubitsch's To Be Or Not To Be. The three greatest comedy directors active in Hollywood each handled Nazi invasion, persecution of the Jews and concentration camps in a topical comedy. - This film is rich with surprises, and Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers handle their difficult roles very well.

Fucking Åmål

Fucking Åmål. SE (c) 1998 Memfis Film. D+SC: Lukas Moodysson. DP: Ulf Brantås - Super 16 mm - blow-up to 35mm. Music selections include: "När vi två blir en" (Per Gessle) pres. Gyllene Tider. "Adagio" (Albinoni). "I Want To Know What Love Is" pres. Foreigner. "Show Me Love" pres. Robyn. ED: Michal Leszczylowski. CAST: Alexandra Dahlström (Elin), Rebecca Liljeberg (Agnes), Mathias Rust (Johan), Erica Carlson (Jessica), Stefan Hörberg (Markus). 89 min. Finnish subtitles: Arto Paljakka. A vintage release print, a good print, viewed at Cinema Orion, 7 April 2009. - The 16mm cinematography brings a filmic texture, the colour is full and saturated in a pleasant way in the all-photochemically processed print. - Lukas Moodysson's masterpiece stands the test of time. Now, after the serial school massacres that got a higher profile since Columbine 1999, the theme of school bullying seems interesting and alarming in a new way. The film is psychologically subtle and honest. It is an extremely serious film about identity, sexual identity in this case. It is about love that has to be hidden. The conclusion is moving. "Do you really mean what you said before?" The victory of pride.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Leopold & Loeb: lapsenmurhaajien tarina / Brottslig drift. US 1992. PC: Intolerance Productions, American Playhouse. P: Christine Vachon. D+SC: Tom Kalin. CAST: Daniel Schlachtet (Loeb), Craig Chester (Leopld). 94 min. A Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet print with Swedish subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 3 April 2009. - I watched the first 20 minutes of the fascinating black and white film which borders on the experimental.

Marjo Pipinen: New Queer Cinema (lecture)

An excellent lecture belonging to the U.S. Independents cycle at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 3 April, 2009.

- Traditional queer cinema: American Underground, European directors (Pasolini, Jarman, Fassbinder, Akerman), San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 1977
- Gay representations in mainstream cinema (The Children's Hour, Rebel Without a Cause)
- The 1980s: Born in Flames, Lianna, The Times of Harvey Milk, Desert Hearts, Mala Noche, My Beautiful Laundrette, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, Looking for Langston
- New Queer Cinema. B. Ruby Rich (Sight & Sound, Sep 1992, March 2000). Festivals the main distribution channel. "A new kind of film and video-making that was fresh, inventive, unapologetic, sexy and stylistically daring". No consistent aesthetics or strategy, but a common style: Homo Pomo
- Characteristics: roughness (low budget); appropriation - pastiche - re-interpretating the past; pleasure!; no clear identities; an unapologetic attitude; aesthetizing violence
- Themes: re-interpreting the past: Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, GB 1988), The Hours and the Times (Christopher Münch, 1991), Edward II (Derek Jarman, GB 1991), Swoon (Tom Kalin, 1992), Orlando (Sally Potter, GB 1992), The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)
- Themes: AIDS. RSVP (Laurie Lynd, 1991), The Living End (Gregg Araki, 1992), Blue (Derek Jarman, GB 1993), Derek (Isaac Julien, GB 2008), Zero Patience (John Greyson, CA 1993), Fig Trees (John Greyson, CA 2009), Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)
- Themes: Queers of Color. Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, GB 1988), Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien, GB 1991), Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1991), Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, 1991), Khush (Pratibha Parmar, GB 1991), A Place of Rage (1991), The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)
- Themes: Outside Society. Gus Van Sant: Mala Noche (1985), My Own Private Idaho. - Todd Haynes: Poison (1991). - Tom Kalin: Swoon (1992), Savage Grace (2007). - Gregg Araki: The Living End (1992), Mysterious Skin (2004). - Negative representions?
- Lesbian Cinema. Su Friedrich: Sink or Swim (1990), Lesbian Avengers Eat Fire (1994). Sadie Benning: A Place Called Lovely (1991). Aerlyn Weissman & Lynne Fernie: Forbidden Love (CA 1992). Rose Troche: Go Fish (1994). Cheryl Dunye: The Watermelon Woman (1996). Lisa Cholodenko: High Art (1998).
- After New Queer Cinema? - From a radical impulse to a market opportunity. - Rather a moment than a movement. - Queer motifs int0 the mainstream: Lesbian chic, trendy gays. - A flood of hlbt film festivals. - Genre cinema: coming out, romantic comedy.
- Cam Archer: Wild Tigers I Have Known (2006), EX: Gus Van Sant
- Queer in the 2000s: old film-makers. Gus Van Sant (1952. Elephant, Paranoid Park, Milk). Gregg Araki (1959. Mysterious Skin, Smiley Face). Bruce LaBruce (1964. The Raspberry Reich DE/CA, Otto; Or, Up With Dead People DE/CA). Todd Haynes (1961. Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven, I'm Not There). Tom Kalin (1962. Savage Grace). Todd Solondz (1959. Happiness, Storytelling, Palindromes).
- Queer in the 200s: new film-makers. John Cameron Mitchell (1963. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus). Michel Cuesta (1963. L.I.E.). Jonathan Caouette (1973. Tarnation). Cam Archer (1982. Wild Tiger I Have Known)
- L Code employing Lesbian directors. Rose Troche (D, SC, P), Go Fish. Kimberly Peirce (D), Boys Don't Cry. Jamie Babbitt (D), But I'm a Cheerleader, Itty Bitty Titty Committee. Angela Robinson (D, SC), D.E.B.S.
- “New Queer Cinema”, Sight & Sound, Sep 1992
- B. Ruby Rich, “Queer and Present Danger”, Sight & Sound, maaliskuu 2000
- PopcornQ:
- Michele Aron (toim.), New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader (2004)
- Richard Dyer, Now You See It (1990, 2003); The Culture of Queers (2002)
- B. Ruby Rich, Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (1998)

Make Way for Tomorrow

[The film has never been released in Finland, nor transmitted on tv, nor published on video or dvd]. US (c) 1937 Paramount. Presented by: Adolph Zukor. EX: William LeBaron. D: Leo McCarey. SC: Viña Delmar - based on the novel Years Are So Long (1934) by Josephine Lawrence and an unpublished play based on the novel by Helen Leary and Nolan Leary (1935). DP: William C. Mellor. AD: Hans Dreier, Bernard Herzbrun. Interior Decorations: A.E. Freudeman. M: Victor Young, George Antheil. Song: "Make Way For Tomorrow" (Leo Robin, Sam Coslow, Jean Schwartz). "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" (Leo Friedman, Beth Slater Whitson). S: Walter Oberst, Don Johnson. ED: LeRoy Stone. CAST: Victor Moore (Barkley Cooper), Beulah Bondi (Lucy Cooper), Fay Bainter (Anita Cooper), Thomas Mitchell (George Cooper), Porter Hall (Harvey Chase), Barbara Read (Rhoda Cooper), Maurice Moscovitch (Max Rubens), Elisabeth Risdon (Cora Payne), Minna Gombell (Nellie Chase). 91 min. A Universal print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 2 April 2009. - A fine print. - Revisited: Leo McCarey's masterpiece of the generation gap, or, rather "a canyon between us". - The motto is "Honour Thy Father and Mother", but the film is a satire about that theme. - Parents living with children: never has worked out for anybody else. - Grandmother Lucy spoils her daughter-in-law's bridge class. - The kind shopkeeper Rubens reads Lucy's letter to Barkley. - The first half of the film is the story of the embarrasment as the old Cooper couple gets evicted from their home and cannot fit to live with their children, even separately. - The second half is their "second honeymoon" 50 years after the first one (their golden wedding), for one day only, which they spend in New York, in Central Park, in front of the car store, in the restaurant and the dancing hall of the Vogard hotel, and in the railway station. - Everybody else is very nice to them. - "We have five children". "It must be a lot of pleasure". "I bet you haven't any children". - Barkley doesn't know that Lucy is going to an old people's home. "It's been very nice knowing you". - The train leaves. A medium shot of the lonely Lucy. The End.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Awful Truth

Rouvani sulhanen / Min fru har en fästman. US (c) 1937 Columbia. P+D: Leo McCarey. SC: Viña Delmar - contribution to screenplay construction: Dwight Taylor - based on the play by Arthur Richman (1922). DP: Joseph Walker. AD: Stephen Goosson, Lionel Banks. Interior Decorations: Babs Johnstone. Gowns: Kalloch. M: Ben Oakland, MD: Morris Stoloff. Song: "My Dreams Are Gone With The Wind" (Ben Oakland, Milton Drake). "Home On The Range". "La serenata" sung by Irene Dunne. CAST: Irene Dunne (Lucy Warriner), Cary Grant (Jerry Warriner), Ralph Bellamy (Daniel Leeson), Alexander D'Arcy (Armand Duvalle), Cecil Cunningham (Aunt Patsy), Molly Lamont (Barbara Vance), Esther Dale (Mrs. Leeson), Joyce Compton (Dixie Belle Lee), Skippy (Mr. Smith). 91 min. [Other film adaptations of the play: 1925, 1929, 1953.] A SFF print with Swedish subtitles by Torsten Manns. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 1 April 2009. - Print was intact but with low contrast. - Revisited: a film I had seen only on tv before. I had not unreservedly liked it because I sensed a mean streak in the parody of the characters around the Warriner couple. I have preferred the Lubitsch approach which makes fun of everybody, with tenderness underneath. - I still find that the film's weakness is that all except the Warriners are made too ridiculous, and as we feel no sympathy for them, the whole story is diminished. - Having said that, the film has abundant joys to offer. Even as I watch it I want to see it again, because there are too many touches to savour during a single viewing. - Cary Grant and Irene Dunne: sophisticated comedy acting at its best. - The skill of Cary Grant of making Irene Dunne's remarriage plans look ridiculous as he feigns to defend them. - The affection of Cary Grant as he rises to Irene Dunne's defense when her reputation is questioned. - Cary Grant's girlfriend's skirt-blowing song scene and its parody by Irene Dunne. - The dance scene with the waltz and the jitterbug. - The scene with the two hats and the dog. - Ralph Bellamy: "Well, I guess a man's best friend is his mother". - The final sequence is magnificent. The couple drive together on the final evening before their divorce is legal. The seriousness behind the fun. Irene Dunne tricks them to Aunt Patsy's cabin, a trysting place of affairs. There is between the two bedrooms a creaking door that won't stay shut. There is a black cat, a wind from the window, and a cuckoo clock with a male and a female figure. "Things are the way you made them". "Things could be almost the same, only a little different". The eroticism and sensuality of Irene Dunne in the final bedroom image is of Lubitsch caliber (resembling Jeanette McDonald's nightgown scenes).