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December 21, 2008

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Tony Dayoub

This has been very underreported. Your site is the first one I've run across that mentions it.

"To Kill A Mockingbird" is the rare wonderful film based on a wonderful novel.

Charles

I remember going to see "The Other" at my favorite Gastonia, NC theater. Mulligan's movies ... they were horror movies whether that was the theme or not, always quite dark. Always that gothic sensibility. I don't think any other director could have handled the character of Boo Radley (sp?) as well as he did, and how much care must have gone into finding a young Robert Duvall to play him?

bill

"To Kill a Mockingbird" unquestionably deserves its place in the canon. It's a great, great film. The scene where Atticus is sitting on his porch, listening to Jem and Scout talk about their mother gets me every time.

I've never seen "The Other". I really should get on that.

Charles

Bill: be warned there's one scene in "The Other" that's about as ghastly as anything I've ever seen in a horror movie
Charles

Glenn Kenny

Charles, I remember an article about Mulligan in The Village Voice that appeared when "Bloodbrothers" came out, discussing his work with Surtees, and Mulligan's expressing his pleasure at Surtees' ability to create "blacks so deep you can eat them." Yes, a lot of the dark is in almost all his pictures...and yes, "The Other" certainly has that thing of which you speak!

Mike Grost

Dear Glenn Kenny,

Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Robert Mulligan!

You can see some key features of Mulligan's visual style in the first two screen captures.

There is wood everywhere: the walls, the furniture. Mulligan's films explore old buildings, in which wood decoration was the main style. It is like a trip into an American past.

And the compositions are built up out of repeating units: "modules".
In Dennis' classroom, identical desks repeat, over and over. And the blackboard is broken down into four identical units.

In the courtroom, we see the repeating jury chairs, the multiple benches for the public, the repeating fences and posts.

This sort of multiple module is also everywhere in Mulligan. It gives his images a complex visual rhythm, like a beat in music.

Campaspe

I was going to try to write something about Mulligan, but this post renders it superfluous. Great tribute, Glenn. Well done.

Me

"...that will remind you of Val Lewton crossed with Earl Hamner Jr."

That's as perfect a description of "The Other" as I've ever read. I myself have taken to calling it "Psycho of '42". It's like a weird cross between Norman Bates (those familiar with the film will understand the parallels) and the soft-focus nostalgia in Mulligan's prior film, "Summer of '42".

Adam Zanzie

I know this is over a year later, but I want to thank Glenn for this tribute. Mulligan truly was on of our finest and most overlooked filmmakers.

To me, To Kill A Mockingbird and The Other are his masterpieces. I have particular fondness for The Other, which I'm considering choosing as my writing topic if it's ever my turn to write something for Toerific.

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