The lovely folks at The Auteurs' Notebook are hosting a wonderful series of pieces commemorating the publication of the splendid volume of Manny Farber's film writings, Farber on Film. Regular followers of this blog know that I've been doing a retrospective series examining Farber's "best films" of 1951; this week, I move the series over to The Auteurs' to look at a pick that's become an immortal classic, Robert Wise's wonderful The Day The Earth Stood Still, theremin-laden score by Bernard Herrmann. The piece is here. And by all means do check out the other pieces in the Farber category, including David Phelps's wickedly brilliant "Outside-In" and appreciations of the critic by Library of America editor and spellbinding film writer Geoffrey O'Brien, and the all-time great Phillip Lopate. Very nice company to find myself in, I have to say.
In moderately related news, I am compelled to report that whenever I do a Google Image search on The Day The Earth Stood Still, the image reproduced at right is invariably the fourth in the top row on the very first page. I had long thought that the 2008 remake of Earth was a completely unjustified travesty, but I understand now that it very well may have been of some moderate usefulness after all. Just goes to show, I suppose.