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October 18, 2012


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I was just re-watching THE CONFORMIST (going through all the political-oriented movies I own). Still my favorite Bertolucci movie.

And I don't know about anybody else, but IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE is my favorite Wong Kar Wei film.

Tony Dayoub

I heart B.C. Has anyone heard about FROM BEYOND coming to Blu-ray yet?

Also, SUMMER INTERLUDE is aces, and I'm pretty sure it was a visual touchstone for Wes Anderson when making MOONRISE KINGDOM. But back to Bergman... tenth feature film? And he hadn't even broken through yet. How likely is it for a director today to get as many opportunities to stake his claim as a cinema great without being written off by even the most patient of today's critics/scholars?

Tony Dayoub

Scratch what I just said about INTERLUDE's influence on MOONRISE. I was thinking about Bergman's SUMMER WITH MONIKA. But everything else I said still applies.


Very well said regarding HAROLD AND MAUDE.


"I do not regret purchasing this, because when I feel like watching (The Conformist), it offers a better-than-watchable presentation."

So how do we move The Conformist up the S&S poll ten years from now?

As the poster for another film once noted, "It's Terrific!"

David Ehrenstein

Here's the movie "Magical Mystery Tour" wanted to be


Many of the shots in "The Last of England" were taken in L.A. Derek, Tilda and Derek's assistant-boytoy Spring (aka. Rupert Audley) were in town to promote "Caravaggio." Spring trundled off to The Pleasure Chest for dildos. So Derek, Tilda and I took a stroll up Sunset blvd. where he shot the wainscotting on the buildings. IOW I was "on the set" of that film, so to speak.

My favorite Wong Kar Wai movie is "Happy Together"

David Ehrenstein

Best scene from "Happy Together"


Johan Andreasson

@Tony Dayoub: Interesting observation on SUMMER WITH MONICA and MOONRISE KINGDOM. I wouldn’t have made the connection myself but now I think it's quite possible you’re right.

Bergman’s road to international stardom was indeed far from an easy one, and took some patience from all parties concerned. His first attempt was SHIP TO INDIA, which was shown in Cannes, and, I believe, his first film Shown in the US.

Here’s Bergman himself on the subject in his book ”The Magic Lantern”:
”I myself thought I had made a magnificent film. I was terribly proud of it. Lorens Marmstedt, who had produced it, wasn't sure what he should think, but he took the film down to Cannes, showed it to various buyers and called home saying: 'You have to cut at least 400 metres, it's far too boring.' But I loved every single metre of this masterpiece equally well.
Just before the premiere everything was last minute as usual, and on that wretched evening the copy came direct from the lab to the cinema. I was there with Stina Bergman, Hjalmar's widow, who had previously been my boss in the script department at SF and I'd travelled up from Gothenburg where I was working at the City Theatre, having promised to be on the first plane back there in the morning. Well, the film starts and the sound is wrong. I rush out and bang on the door of the machine room, yet nothing happens. Back in the stalls I now discover that the fourth act is being shown before the third, so once again I'm standing outside that damned metal door to the machine room that nobody wants to open for me, screaming and bawling. And this at a time when critics actually went to premieres and then back to their newspapers to write their copy. When the film finally came to an end there was a ridiculously long period of silence, and then we went off to drown our sorrows at a place (the restaurant Gondolen) next to the Katarina Lift, and that was actually the only time that I've drunk so much that I don't remember a single thing. I was woken up by a newspaper boy treading over me in a doorway on Artillerigatan. I went out onto the street, flagged down a taxi and went straight to Bromma airport.
When I got to the tiny waiting room, who should be sitting there, well-dressed, smelling good, fresh and awake, reading the morning papers that all contained ghastly executions of my film, but Hasse Ekman, and with him an Eva Henning, beautiful as a Lady's Mantle*. I myself smelt of God only knows what, looked like shit and was the spitting image of the Great Failure. I sat at one end of the waiting room praying they wouldn't notice me. But Hasse came up to me and said 'Some of the reviews are bloody awful – but then again, the film wasn't too good either.' 'It would at least have been better if the acts had been in the right order,' I said. 'Are you sure about that?' he said. And we laughed together. Then he sat down beside me, and that actually felt rather good.”

By the way, Hasse Ekman, Bergman’s great rival in the 1940s is long overdue for some international recognition. For a start his three or four best films would make a very good Eclipse box.

Peter Labuza

Not to be *that* commenter, but I'm putting this up because it's up for debate, but if we are referring to Wong Kar-Wai by his last name, we should just say Wong's "In the Mood for Love," no? I've been told the same with that it's Jia's "Platform" and "24 City," not Zhangkie's "Platform" etc.


Bloggers were cool to "In the Mood for Love" reaching the top 50 of the Sight and Sound Poll? Clearly I need to check out some new blogs.


People actually get worked up about if 'In the Mood for Love' finished in eleventy-fifth position and whether or not 'Chungking Express' (my own personal fave) was a baker's dozen places behind or in front? This site's abandonment of DVD-only release roundups bothers me far more.


Hold on - "I'm looking through you" was the original track that played over the last scene of Tenenbaums? As in, playing over the characters leaving Royal's grave, which is now (and for me, will always be) "Everyone" by Van Morrison? While I can't say that the former song wouldn't have worked, the Van, fanciful connection or no, is clearly the right track for those images.

Glenn Kenny

What can I tell you, Zach. First impression. Twice, even: at a critic's screening and then at the New York Film Festival.


The plot thickens - there are even reports that for some prints, Sloop John B, of all songs, played over the final scene. It seems impossible, at first blush, that ALL of these songs could have been considered, never mind actually worked, especially given the ludicrous intricacy of Anderson's films. A quick repeat viewing of the scene on YouTube shows a positively wonderful synchronicity - the closing of the gate w/ the end of the first chorus...man, what a fucking great film.

Peter Nellhaus

Before it was a movie, "The Color of Money" was a novel by Walter Tevis, the same guy who wrote "The Hustler". Anybody upset that Scorsese made a sequel to a film classic is demonstrating their inability or lack of interest in doing research or simply reading the credits.

David Ehrenstein

It's definitely Van Morrison's "Everyone" at the end and always has been.

Even more interestingly early on in the proceedings --


John M

"It seems impossible, at first blush, that ALL of these songs could have been considered, never mind actually worked, especially given the ludicrous intricacy of Anderson's films."

So, Anderson is a ludicrously intricate director, but it seems "impossible" that he might have had three songs in consideration for the coda of The Royal Tenenbaums? (Three songs for which grabbing the usage rights would be, to say the least, complicated?)

Mongo very confused. Creativity and imagination, forever undercut by the popular myth of god-blessed serendipity. Synchronicity often comes in the editing, not the other way around. Even when The Great Wes Anderson is at the helm.

John M

Noticing now that Zach qualified his observation with "at first blush," and am regretting the somewhat smug tone of my comment. Sorry, Zach.

What's so enviable/interesting about a director like Anderson is that his sense of rhythm is so ingrained that even when he lays out options or falls upon a happy accident, the results are harmonious.


Debra Paget's also used as a good girl in Anne of the Indies - a good wife anyway - but that works.

David Ehrenstein



Not David Bordwell


My wife's devoted to ANNE OF THE INDIES (strong identification with Anne Bonney), but hasn't been able to find this anywhere (well, Region 1) on DVD. I'd be interested to know where it can be had/seen.


Would it feel fresher if you watched the first 20 minutes or so of DRACULA 2000 right after BLACK SUNDAY? I take it you felt the effects seemed cheesier on this viewing, but for my money, the frying-egg eyeballs in the re-animating witch's skull is pretty queasily effective, bargain basement be damned.

David Ehrenstein

Is your wife familair with Jacques Rivette's "Noroit"?

Professor Bubbles

I saw the Sloop John B version of Tenenbaums at an advance screening. It also still had the "real" Hey Jude at the beginning, and as a result the instrumental in the final version always feels wrong to me. Elliott Smith was apparently considered to do a cover of it at some point, but that didn't pan out.

Anderson did a Q&A at the screening where, as I remember it, he said that Sloop John B was definitely not going to be in the final film, and he was still trying out every song he could think of to find something suitable that wouldn't involve a Beatles-esque legal/financial quagmire. The implication was he was having great difficulty finding the right match. Personally, I think the Van Morrison works best of all the known choices, but it seems like a last minute compromise, with the tantalizing possibility that the perfect sync-up is still out there somewhere waiting to be discovered. Or the version you saw first is the "correct" one. Or perhaps there is no song written by human hands that could quite live up to the Platonic movie in your head. In any event, it was pretty clear that the final choice was not masterplanned.

I say leave Van Morrison be and put the Beatles' Hey Jude back in and you got a deal for that Super Awesome Definitive Edition.

David Ehrenstein

Off-topic but of interest to this site I trust


Peter Nellhaus

A note to the "Anne of the Indies" fan: The Spanish DVD is region free. I own it, and played it on my Macbook.

Robert Cashill

You can rent/buy ANNE OF THE INDIES from Amazon Instant Video.

That Fuzzy Bastard

Every time I see the title ANNE OF THE INDIES, I assume it's some new Greta Gerwig vehicle with Mark Duplass as the male ingénue.


I concur that Debra Paget is fine as a "good girl" in ANNE OF THE INDIES. While it's undeniable that fans of THE INDIAN TOMB will consider most other Paget films to be marred by an unfortunate absence of hot temple dance action, they may well find some compensation in her other considerable charms.


"Ah ha, San Antone" is not sung by Ken Curtis and the Sons of the Pioneers in Rio Grande. It is sung by Ken Curtis (also playing guitar), Harry Carey, Jr., Ben Johnson and Claude Jarman, Jr. The first six notes of the song also comprise Johnson's character's musical motif in the score.

Jonathan H.

Robert Harris was pretty rough on the COLOR OF MONEY Blu-ray here:


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