Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gettin' down wit Edgar and then some...

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart): "I came to Casablanca for the waters."
Capt. Renault (Claude Rains): "But we’re in the middle of the desert."
Rick: "I was misinformed."

Welcome back to the perpetual ever changing seashore. Sorry for the lapse of time, I was out to sea for a wee bit, but it is high tide I get my bearings for y'all now. My compass is a bit confused but it all points to the North star anyhow right? Gather around folks for another story on the shore, and please enjoy the view (triptych of me at Anthology Film Archives), sooo brick, am I right? I recently attended a double screening of two Edgar G. Ulmer films by myself. It was nice though, and I chatted with an interesting man who wanted to be an architect but decided to wing it in NYC instead of going to College and enjoyed a coffee and donuts from a "coffee spot down the street". Back to the films though; I am a big fan of Mister Edgar although I have only seen a few of his films so far. The first film of the night entitled "The Naked Dawn" is technically considered his masterpiece. It was an astounding work of technicolor art and included Edgar's unique lyrical dialog preformed by an interesting melodic cast of characters that while realistic and witty, still contained a magic within that is missing from the 'real' world, and also a great song sung by a lovely lady (a trademark of Edgar). A great sub-textual humility that is learned and re-learned as the film approaches it's climax. I don't want to ruin it for those of you who haven't seen it, but it is a much cherished gem and it is worth a viewing as soon as you possibly can. As amazing as "The Naked Dawn" was and is technically, the next film "Detour" still holds a special place in my heart and it is not just my favorite Ulmer film, but also stands as one of my top ten favorite films of all time. This film has touched me in ways that I don't have words for. I own it and have seen it at least 6 times but never on the big screen so this was a treat indeed. It is one of those films that gets better every time you see it, it seems to glow more like a shadow that has seen the light so many times that it has turned into a bright enigmatic star lighting a dark road. The writing is phenomenal preformed by the perfect but unlikely duo Savage and Robinson. Errol Morris said that it was one of his favorite films, stating "It has an unparalleled quality of despair, totally unrelieved by hope."

This shot is one of my favorites in the film, the great creative power that comes with good low budget cinema, it is also the second flashback to the amazing song "I can't believe that you're in love with me". To me this film is a love letter to those of you who are talented but in poverty, keep sailing because fate always comes in waves. Or as Roberts says in the film, "That's life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you."

Other highlights from my recent meanderings include doing freelance for Bravo network which involved getting a free lunch at Peter Luger's Steakhouse, kind of overrated but it was still nice, (I much prefer small quaint places where the food is as good or better and cheaper with more character). Also received my first Birthday present, a comprehensive book on Film Noir, halfway through it and loving it, great timing too. Before I depart for a dip in the ocean; yes I did attend the Brian Jonestown Massacre concert and yes it was much more amazing then expected, however my good friend Sam Marine who is spending her days and maybe nights as well at the bottom of the ocean wrote a great entry about it, so I am off the hook so the fish would say, please check out this link and the pictures that moi took: