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January 26, 2009


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Sam Adams

I'm not sure this the best time to be quitting over a bum shot, but point taken.

Glenn Kenny

Yes, it occurs to me that I'm being a little, um, hardcore here. As it happens, the theme of the human body as object of beauty versus the human body as object of prurient interest looms large in the picture itself.


Helen Mirren is pretty...

Peter Nellhaus

That the Powell set is selling better than Sony expected should also be good news for Martin Scorsese as he's been working with Sony to get more films out on DVD, such as the Boetticher collection. I'm hoping that Sam Fuller's Columbia films will be next.

Sy Polish

Helen Mirren in O Lucky Man was my first boner.


This is way off topic, but I just heard that John Updike has passed away.


Not that far off-topic, as long as we're still talking about beauty vs. prurience. But still sad.

Ellen Kirby

Though I thought Kent Jones' commentary was quite thoughtful I do think he's a bit in denial when he avers that the nudity is never erotic and only about the beauty of the human form. I'd agree about that Mason-insisted-upon ending, though. I can just hear him saying to himself: "Yes, 'Lolita' without tears..."

Glenn Kenny

I've only listened to part of Kent's commentary thus far. But I think the nudity is, shall we say, a double-edged sword. Powell never shoots Mirren in a way that could get him called a "dirty old man," as so many (idiots) said apropos Bertolucci's view of Eva Green in "The Dreamers." His perspective is straightforward, direct, frank, and very much in keeping with a perspective on "natural beauty." But young Mirren and her character Cora absolutely emanate youthful sensuality, or, if you will, eroticism. One of the linchpins of the whole story, it seems to me, is Cora's increasing frustration at the painter's REFUSAL to see her in an erotic context. Hence, the erotic context has to be there.

Ellen Kirby

Agreed, and I'd say sensuality is better word.

Ellen Kirby

I could be wrong but it sorta seemed to me like Jones was (understandably) trying to defend Powell from any charges of dirty-old-manism to the point where he was avoiding seeing what was actually there.

Glenn Kenny

Well, those dirty-old-man charges can really ruin a guy's day.

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