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April 10, 2012

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Petey

I very, very rarely go off-topic in comments, but under the 'exception that proves the rule' logic, I'll do so here:

Glenn, can you leave comments open a bit longer in threads? I understand you are attempting to limit comment spam, but it'd be nice to have comments open when a movie hits Blu-Ray, at a minimum. For example, I finally caught up to Carnage, which I shamefully missed in the theatrical run. But the comments are closed on your post on that flick.

And of course Carnage is "cinematic", in every meaningful sense of that word. But the criticism I found odd was the "hateful" and "misogynistic" gibes. Unless we are automatically giving ANYTHING Polanski does a misogynistic tag, that one seems far off the mark. All of the characters are hateful, the two men and the two women both. Misanthropic, perhaps, but not misogynistic.

And the "hateful" aspects tend to work pretty damn well for a NYC comedy of manners. I mean, haven't folks ever seen Seinfeld? Four hateful characters can equal lots of superb comedy.

(Back on topic, yes, The Gang's All Here is a good recommendation to catch at the Film Forum. Any Busby pic is worth catching on the big screen, especially one that I've never seen.)

David Ehrenstein

"The Gangs All Here" is indeed a thing of beauty -- surrealist division. "Canage" is a delicious comedy of bad manners -- a piece of superbly crafter "filmed theater" right up ther with Hitchcock's "Rope," Resnais' "Melo" and the best of Sacha guitry. My book on Polanski for the Cahiers du Cinema "Masters of Cinema" series will be out in the fall.

Petey

"My book on Polanski for the Cahiers du Cinema "Masters of Cinema" series will be out in the fall."

I look forward to it.

I very much hope you'll give good focus to his late career. Polanski is one the rare directors who significantly improved with age. I've seen seven of the movies he did post-Pirates (1986), and I think they're pretty much ALL masterpieces, despite the possible semantic quibble on multiple masterpieces...

Polanski's old age is like Godard's 1960's.

(I'll even defend Bitter Moon and The Ninth Gate to the death.)

-----

And for Glenn, this is why I wish you'd leave comment threads open just a few months longer, if it's within your power. I'd have commented in the Carnage thread, David would've noticed it in the Recent Comments sidebar, I'd have replied there, and proper order in the universe would be rule.

BobSolo

Does BITTER MOON really need a defense?

David Ehrenstein

No it doesn't. Mrs. Polanski's rhumba speaks for itself.

"The Ninth Gate" is highly underrated. It's Polanski's Raul Ruiz movie in many ways -- whcih probably explains why the distributors in the U.S. didn't quite know what to do with it. I hope he works with Johnny Depp aagain. He and Polanski seem to "get" one another.

Petey

"Does BITTER MOON really need a defense?"

Of course not. But both it and 'The Ninth Gate' seem to have a lot of haters.

And I can never figure out why everyone just ignores both 'Death and the Maiden' and 'Frantic'.

Who'd have thunk that Polanski would slowly but surely have ended up as a better Second Coming of Hitchcock than De Palma?

(And as long as I'm giving Glenn an unsolicited wish-list for commenting webby structure, I'd vote for letting us have italics via markdown on our own end. They're handy for indicating film titles.)

Petey

"The Ninth Gate" is highly underrated. It's Polanski's Raul Ruiz movie in many ways -- whcih probably explains why the distributors in the U.S. didn't quite know what to do with it."

Polanski, like Woody Allen, makes the bulk of his box office overseas. 'The Ninth Gate' actually did 33% of its gross domestic, which is a recent high for Polanski. Usually, he's only around 25% domestic or lower. 'Carnage' only did 10% of its box office domestic.

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