Much has been made of Laughton’s decision to shoot the film in black and white; Couchman writes persuasively about Laughton’s debt to early silent film and to the films of the German Expressionists. In any case, having seen the film, we are utterly unable to imagine it in color. This is partly because the clear and sharp division between black and white mirrors the clarity and the extremity of the film’s divisions between good and evil. Except perhaps in the cases of Ben Harper, who commits a crime out of poverty and desperation, and Willa, who convinces herself that marrying Powell is her salvation, very little in the film occurs in any sort of “gray area” of moral ambiguity—of characters doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Francine Prose writes about “the primal pull of Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter” for The Library of America’s weekly “Moviegoer” column.
Tags: film · ideas
January 12th, 2016 · 1 Comment
Leaving The Hateful Eight tonight, a woman who had also stayed through the closing credits says to me, “And they say that was about the futility of war.” Where did she get that? my lazy brain thinks, refusing to make any grand interpretation of a film with exploding heads, a toothless bloody-faced female lead and more instances of the N-word than I’ve probably heard in my entire life. “I guess that’s one way to look at it,” I say in return. “What?” she winces at me, less from not hearing me and more with an officious incredulity communicating that she wasn’t willing to accept that I didn’t find her quasi-analysis witty. “I said ‘I GUESS THAT’S ONE WAY TO LOOK AT IT!!'” in my loudest possible outside voice, begging a fight with an invitation that echoed around the corner to the popcorn seasoning stand.
Tags: film · Screenings
A recently-unearthed ticket stub from one of the best concerts I have ever attended.
While I was in the Summit movie theater, watching a film, a good Samaritan left this note on my windshield. I noticed no damage.
On the other side of this note – which was apparently half of a greeting card – was written, in a different, more mannered hand: Love Granny & Paw-Paw.
[Click on the images to see all those fine details.]
Card in untitled on the front.
Printed on back of postcard:
ALLEN GINSBERG, NEW YORK CITY, 1966. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ©FRED W. MCDARRAH.
Handwritten on back of postcard:
“At least the world will end, an event anticipated with great joy by many. It will end very soon, but not in the year 2000, which has come and gone. From that I conclude that God Almighty is not heavily into Numerology.” -Eugene Debs Hartke (K. Vonnegut), Hocus Pocus