New DVDs: Bogdanovich, Painleve, Sailors

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As a professional journalist, I pride myself on my ability to fabricate a thesis out of any three random pieces of data, but this week, I admit defeat: the release schedule offers Peter Bogdanovich’s preferred black-and-white version of his 1976 “Nickelodeon” (created through the miracle of reverse colorization); Criterion’s survey of Jean Painleve’s wide ranging nature films, “Science Is Fiction”; and Flicker Alley’s “Under Full Sail,” a selection of silent films, including Rupert Julian’s 1927 feature “The Yankee Clipper,” set on tall masted schooners that seem to be neither Lydecker brothers miniatures nor ILM digital effects. How did they do that? More details in the New York Times.

223 comments to New DVDs: Bogdanovich, Painleve, Sailors

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, There is no documentary evidence that Welles repudiated the film for “political reasons” but there is plenty of evidence in the Lilly Library Archives that THE STRANGER was never intended to be a “normal film” as Alex mentions.

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that the US State Department was actively engaged in helping Nazis escape from justice to enlist their services in the Cold War, a film like THE STRANGER (1946) could be political dynamite in view of State Department Policy over West Germany and the aid given to war criminals (including Mengele) to escape justice. Again, there are many historical books on this subject but I’m reluctant to cite any more due to the “parallel universe” argument you made. Your reasons are different from mine but I’m emphasizing the important nature of the historical context affecting the production of THE STRANGER. In 1945, future blackistees Dmytryk and Scott made a film CORNERED (1945) in which the Dick Powell character is actively discouraged from investigating the whereabouts of Luther Adler’s war criminal character in south America.

    So, Welles may have made this film in the immediate aftermath of WW2 in which the hopes of the New Deal and a more democratic America would soon be trampled on by the forces of reaction. I’d also suggest you read the congressional records of speeches by Rankin and others who were also supporters of the Klan to discern the signs of the times as well as their explicit anti-semitism.

    Welles did not set out to make an explicit political film but the theme of a Nazi war criminal hiding under a new identity in America, aided and abetted by so-called liberals who soon supported HUAC, would have been political dynamite.

    Again, archival evidence has revealed that J. Edgar Hoover was angry at Truman for not opening concentration camps in America for known communists and progressives. Welles was under surveillance. I have documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act to prove this. Also, in an interview given before her death in THE GUARDIAN U.K. newspaper, Betsy Blair stated that her ex-husband Gene Kelly was left alone because he was a major money-maker for MGM.

    No, Welles’s departure was not hastened by THE STRANGER but he was streetwise enough to “read the signs of the times” and move to Europe. Unlike Kelly, he was not box office and the director of “flops” such as AMBERSONS could easily have found himself in the HUAC versions of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay had Truman not refused to follow Hoover’s directions.

    Again, you “presume” Robert Ryan made a deal via Hughes but wasn’t the real reason he was left alone, the very reason he stated, namely that he was an ex-Marine and a Catholic? Despite this, he was actively involved in a Californian progressive school. If you do read the wsws.org, material you will find that one Republican Congressman was against free education because it was communist-inspired in making people think.

    I think the cultural and historical context behind the making of THE STRANGER also requires some further thought.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, you’re welcome to your interpretation, I’m sure I’m wrong about Robert Ryan, I know (as I’m sure most of the people on this site do) that Welles was under surveillance, and please stop suggesting that I beef up my reading list.

    Alex, maybe “comparatively normal” is more like it. With extreme reluctance, I will quote from Joseph McBride (who will no doubt be uncovered as a closet HUAC sympathizer): “When offered his first chance to direct a movie following the collapse of his deal with RKO, Welles accepted THE STRANGER, as he said at the time, ‘to prove to the industry that I could direct a standard Hollywood picture, on time and on budget, just like anyone else.’ Unfortunately, he succeeded all too well in these goals.”

  • Alex Hicks

    One might square the honesty and accuracy of the “standard Hollywood picture, on time and on budget” quote with the discrepancies between original/scripted film and the released film, by surmising that that Welles acquiesced to the released version because of his conciliatory intent. Such intent is not inconsistent with
    eventual disappointment on Welles’ part with the Studio restraints he got himslef into.

    As for politics, Kent, would Welles’ Progressive Party politics have been sufficient to assure pressures to appear before or make a deal with HUAC? And why, Tony, would the “Nazies in Latin America” angle have been a problem for the May-released STRANGER but not (apparently) the August-released NOTORIOUS?

  • Kent Jones

    Alex, I’m sure that Welles would have been dragged before HUAC. This is the man who had directed THE CRADLE WILL ROCK and who sent out a press release when DANTON’S DEATH opened affirming its radical applicability (to no avail). He was close to Henry Wallace and a fixture of American left-wing politics. On the other hand, he was pretty resourceful and might have found a way around it, as many people did. The idea that Nick Ray cut a deal with Howard Hughes doesn’t tarnish him in my eyes. It was a terrifying time, and people are reduced to all kinds of behavior in terrifying times.

    I thought of NOTORIOUS too, and the two films seem identical to me from a political standpoint.

    I simply do not understand why it’s so difficult to see THE STRANGER as more conventional than every other movie made by Welles. I know that drama, character and narrative structure are sometimes considered dirty words around here, but they do exist. They are realities, particularly for someone like Welles, who was so grounded in theater and literature. THE STRANGER is very much unlike any of his other films on this level, and if it had been directed by Curtis Bernhardt or Irving Pichel I don’t think anyone would have a problem seeing its astonishing dramatic contrivances. This is coming from someone who genuinely loves the film. I really don’t understand why he has to have another, veiled reason for disliking the film.

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, In the words of the beloved Sam (that Orson may have intuitively implied to the industry), “What you want and what you get are two different things.” Welles may have spoken the correct language in a press release but his artistic intentions may have been something else. My suggestions about the reading list specifically relates to the book by Reynold Humphries that, of all the current EUP books, has been denied a paperback edition which is ironic since it was also intended for classroom use. Reynold did sterling archive research while in LA several years ago and his findings deserve wider circulation.

    Alex, I think NOTORIOUS escaped any political problems since it was a Hitchcock thriller centered around a love story. But, as we know, the uranium element brought unwelcome FBI attention to the film. THE STRANGER is different since it is set in Brazil with the Nazis safely outside America.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, do you really mean the words “may have” before “spoken the correct language,” or are you just including them as a matter of form? You seem to think of your own, rather unique and utterly singular interpretation of this film as something approaching hard fact, and anything that Welles or anyone else says to the contrary is discounted. It would be nice if, in the interest of civility, you could admit that alternate points of view are exactly that -alternate – and not colored by a lack of historical/political knowledge of the period or insufficient scrutiny of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. I know the period, I know the context, I know Welles’ politics and the circumstances of his departure, I know Reynold Humphries’ writings, I know the difference between a press release and a film, I know the film itself extremely well and have re-watched it recently, and hard as it may be to believe, I do not see it as you do. And I really don’t see why NOTORIOUS would have been less “incendiary” than THE STRANGER simply because it was set in Brazil. It’s not the Brazilians who are tracking down the Nazis but American intelligence agents, just as in THE STRANGER. And the Hitchcock film actually begins in Florida with a convicted war criminal.

  • Alex Hicks

    Kent, I agree with you on “Welles would have been dragged before HUAC” now that you bring in THE CRADLE WILL ROCK and DANTON’S DEATH.
    I have no opinion on whether Welles might have cut a deal, a bit too arcane for me, though you make an engaging case.
    I do think that NOTORIOUS and STRANGER are very similar from a political point of view, despite Cary and Ingrid warming up to each other from time to time.
    I don’t think I’ve ever thought or indicated that STRANGER was not n more conventional than every other movie made by Welles> What I’d stressed was that the film was transformed from what Welles had made and that this, as much as disgust with be so accommodative, must have been a big part of why Welles To quote Tony,“What you want and what you get are two different things” and I suspect Welles , as always, would have been angry not to have gotten what he wanted, angry enough to dislike the film for the failure of his compromise as well as the fact of it.
    On Sturges, I think that after the light graces of MYSTERY STREET, JEOPARDY he flounders alternating between action-depleted serioiusness (BLACK ROCK )and Seriousness-burdened action (e.g., the Lancaster Westerns) until he discovers that he has the classical Hollywood skills to be a master orchestrator of the adolescent action epic with the likes of MAGNIFICENT EPICS and GREAT ESCAPES, early masterpiece of “Kidpix” and jock art that will live as long as there’s a Saturday afternoon AMC or it’s facsimile –and always be artful enough to win over the hearts of true cinephiles of a sufficiently young age or childish mood.

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, My use of “may have” is subjunctive in terms of raising a possibility.

    Also, since Welles is regarded as the sole arbiter on this issue in terms of the argument you are making then this comes dangerously close to the “intentional fallacy” that has been criticized in terms of its monolithic dimensions. Concerning the issue of my supposed “unique and utterly singular interpretation of the film as something approaching hard fact” you are really distorting my arguments. On your elevation of the director’s comment then I guess we should stop at Lang’s definition of M as a film warning mothers to look after their children much better and not examine any other factors besides this.

    First, I’m not the only person to arrive at this historical and political interpretation of the film but I am loath to add any more readings to this effect since you obviously object to this line of argument.

    Secondly, as David Bordwell pointed out in THE MAKING OF MEANING, the historical factors behind the appearance of any particular film tend to be neglected in most interpretations. I freely admit to being a “maker of meaning” but I see no reason why relevant cultural and historical factors should be denied. If you want to make a textual, close-reading, with the director’s comments supreme then that is your right and privilege.I’m only trying to arrive both at an historical context for the appearance of this film as well as reading certain scenes, namely the dinner table scene that you so vehemently object to and suggesting another way in which it can be read.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, back up a minute. When and where did I claim that Welles or any other director has “supreme privilege” in all descriptions of a movie? I didn’t. I simply don’t believe that it’s a good idea to instantly assume that whatever a director says should be taken as a cover story for something else. As, in this case at least, you seem to.

    I have no objection whatsoever to your argument. It just doesn’t hold water for me and I don’t see the evidence to back it up – a different matter entirely. For instance, your description of the dinner table scene doesn’t jibe with the scene as I see it. I don’t dislike the scene, I think it’s very well realized apart from some of Welles’ overly indicative facial expressions. I just don’t think it makes much dramatic sense. And I don’t understand why you keep implying that I’m against contextualizing this film or any other. I am all for contextualizing every film as much as possible – that’s what criticism is all about. However, for you, it would seem that contextualization leads in only one direction on this particular movie. You even seem to be implying that not seeing THE STRANGER in exactly the light in which you see it veers toward the apolitical and ahistorical. I hope that’s not true, but it sure feels that way.

    So let me approach this problem from a different angle.

    For me, the naiveté you’re honing in on belongs to one character and one character alone – Loretta Young’s. I just don’t see a way to attach it to the other people around her. Apparently Welles did plan to look more closely at the strange and compelling phenomenon of a woman pulling the wool over her own eyes (this is in one of those drafts in the Lilly Library). I find this the most fascinating side of the film despite the fact that it’s not completely achieved, because Young apparently didn’t want to go that far. There are many movies of the era that go into this territory – both versions of GASLIGHT of course, SUDDEN FEAR, SUSPICION, and so on.

    I don’t disagree with you about the overall sense of unease beneath the placid surface, but I find the same to be broadly true of any good movie covering any milieu. What good director is NOT going to see contradictions and indications of dissatisfaction or delusions of grandeur when closely inspecting a becalmed environment? What has always fascinated me in this particular movie are the documentary details, which are quite unusual – the town square itself, the prep school, the time of year (autumn going into winter), the sense of liberal patrician life with its antique collecting and dinner table repartee and genial air of benighted authority, the unwritten but strictly observed rules of the general store where everyone knows that you get your own coffee, and so on. I think Welles was always interested in the social make-up of a place, the class structure. I don’t think he had the right vehicle to go too far with it here, but it’s what interested him, or helped him to sustain his interest in the project (or so HE says). I am not an expert on small-town life in the 40s, but I did grow up in a very similar milieu in the 60s and it all seems unusually accurate to me. And I don’t see it leading in the direction you imply with either Mr. Potter or the townspeople. “They’re coming after you,” says Robinson to Welles, but they don’t look like they’re coming after anybody – the news has spread that Welles is a Nazi and that he has Young trapped in the clocktower, and they’re running to get a look in four or five very quick shots that emphasize a general low-level panic but do not suggest a lynch mob.

    It’s not difficult to imagine the impulses and subterfuges you’re focused on blooming into full flower a little beyond the borders of the story being told. Welles finds the richest values imaginable in evert tidy corner of the narrative, even (sometimes) in his own crudely conceived (on paper) character – the way he holds Young by the wrist and bestills himself like a child until Robinson’s curiosity abates, which is preposterous (he’s completely lacking in subtlety) but also touching. Or the way he hunkers down and smokes a cigarette after burying Meineke, silently ruminating on the state of his life, on life in general, on the universe. And as he always does, the imagery gives every event a kind of irreal second life. The insistence on the geography of the square and the store and the church; the unexpectedly majestic boom up on the paper chase runners, like the inauguration of a tale of wonder; the neurotic close-ups between Young and Welles, which almost make up for the lack of believable intensity in their acting. Another instance of a great director fighting with the implausibilities in his materal and bringing it to some kind of impossible life. I don’t think he ever had to do the same thing again – to deal with that kind of crude dramatic typing (in his own character), without any possibility of the richness or overflowing life which filled every other movie he made. That he didn’t wind up making an ordinary movie is obvious – he was Orson Welles, and he simply wasn’t capable of doing anything ordinary.

    I also don’t think he had the kind of vision of American life that you imply, in this or any of his other movies. From the evidence of the films, he saw it as grotesque and praiseworthy, horrifying and beautiful, all at the same time.

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, I refer you back to your line..”anything that Welles or anyone else says to the contrary is discounted.” I would say “questioned.” You’ve supplied an excellent evaluation in response but I still stand by my argument concerning that lack of response to Kindler’s “Karl Marx was a Jew, not a German” which is taken on face value by those at the dinner table and not questioned then thus implying a common agreement on the part of those present. I still think that the importance of relevant background context is important especially in terms of what was going on at the time.

    Of course, I’m not going to go into the implications of your final sentence since they involve feelings.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, I don’t see it, for this reason. If Welles had wanted to make a point about the complacency of the people at the dinner table, he was certainly capable of making it – a cut to a long shot, an inflection of knowing humor, an air of everyday conspiracy. But no – nothing. Apart from the fact that it’s less blatantly anti-semitic than strange, very strange indeed, everyone is caught up in questioning the suggestion of “annihilation, down to the last babe in arms.” in the end, they’re both mechanical devices – the annihilation speech is his cover story, and the Marx remark is not spoken to be politely ignored, a value that Welles fails to exploit or even explore in the imagery or the body language, but to be remembered by Edward G. Robinson at 3 o’clock in the morning as something “only a Nazi would say.” As W.C. Fields sarcastically murmurs in THE BANK DICK, “Clever observation.”

    in short, I agree with you aboout relevant background context, but only when it applies to the movie under consideration.

  • Tony Williams

    I think the “movie under consideration” depends on which version we are considering. I think we are both agreed that THE STRANGER is not the film Welles would have made had he been allowed to direct it in the way he did. On the other hand, do we limit any discussion of AMERBERSONS to the version that RKO released, especially the hideous conclusion shot by Robert Wise, without any consideration of the way Welles wanted it to end, to say nothing of the other footage that was cut?

    Similarly, when Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was released in both Britain and America the darker elements in the director’s actual version were not available thus the ending looked more positive than it was intended to be. Certainly, the footage survived (unlike AMBERSONS) and appeared in the “restored version” which still lacks the scene of Harmonica being beaten up by the deputies of the sheriff (Keenan Wynn).

    THE STRANGER was re-edited so we have only the version in front of us. On the other hand, the dinner table scene still contains an anti-semitic sentence concerning the rejection of Karl Marx’s German nationality linked with the Nazis’ perverse GOTTERDAMERUNG appropriation.

    The difference between us on this issue is that you are looking at the final edited version of the “movie under consideration” while I am trying to suggest a relevant background context that the studio ruthlessly excised but which still remains in the form of “traces” in the final version. I’m not arguing that THE STRANGER is necessarily a great Welles film but instead suggesting that a particular historical context could result in another reading. You are entitled to yours as I’m entitled to mine but I think a certain historical and political context is important here.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, I think “a certain historical and political context” is always important for every film. I also think that there’s the immediate context of the film itself, from which it’s very easy to lift such a provocative line. But first of all, what are you talking about, the film Welles would have made if he’d been left completely to his own devices at every stage, or the original cut? Spiegel cut most of the South American section and a flashback to Welles’ arrival in Connecticut. Maybe this suggests to you that a “relevant background context,” which would have filled out the theme of liberal complacency you’re honing in on, was excised because it was deemed too politically sensitive. Nothing I’ve read about the excised material suggests that this is the case. I know that I’m not supposed to trust Welles’ version of events, but he did say that Spiegel cut the material because it didn’t advance the story. Does this sound outlandish to you? It doesn’t to me, because it’s been done by movie producers since the job of movie producer came into existence, and they still do it today.

    On to the remark itself. Welles’ character is making a racial distinction that should be read, within the context of the scene, quite differently from the way you suggest. It’s important not to forget that he’s a Nazi trying to pretend that he’s not a Nazi or even German in origin, so he’s actually making a point of separating Marx from the German people and thereby placing him in a favorable light (his logic, not mine). Even more importantly, his “observation” is prompted by another observation. The discussion, as you remember, is about the German people, how they are hellbent on destruction, how they have never had a longing for equality or peace. There’s “all men are created equal” and “Liberté Egalité Fraternité,” but nothing in German. “There’s Marx,” responds Richard Long, “‘Proletarians unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.” Followed by the Welles character’s racial distinction. In fact, I would say that what’s most astonishing about this scene is not the remark or the non-existent reaction, of any kind, to the remark, but the fact that someone actually mentions Karl Marx by name, quotes him, and does so approvingly. Perhaps not enough to do Welles much harm, but it certainly wouldn’t have done him much good had he actually been called before HUAC.

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, I mainly consider the film Welles would have made as well as the version existing today containing “traces” of a much more interesting version that would have complemented his critique of an American society very similar to the original AMBERSONS ending.

    A major problem about Kindler’s arrival (which may have been dealt with in a fuller version) is how easily he is accepted by this community. Does anybody ever initially question his German nationality? Although we assume he is an American citizen, the existence of a Fifth Column was very strong in this time. In England, Emeric Pressburger and Allan Gray were temporarily interned despite being anti-Nazi and even Conrad Veidt (a naturalized British citizen since 1936 and married to a Jewess) was called a Nazi on the set of CONTRABAND (1940). There are too many loose ends floating around in this version and one of them involves small-town America’s easy acceptance of a stranger in their midst in this version. Don’t forget, it was only a few decades ago that naturalized Germans were hung in American small towns during 1917-1918 in an era that Sinclair Lewis mentions that sauerkraut became “freedom cabbage” in IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE.

    The olive scene was cut from AMBERSONS because it “didn’t advance the story” but this was one of Welles’s best scenes. However, I think editing material in a highly charged political context is different from average movie producer practices today. But if somebody could even write a script criticizing 9/11 ideology the same thing would happen if it ever got the green light to begin production.

    I’m absolutely amazed by your comment that by “separating Marx from the German people” he is “thereby placing him in a favorable light”? Do you mean, Marx? Or Kindler himself? Jews were denied any claims to German citizenship at the time since they were an inferior race. This is the sense in which Wilson later understands this. Only a Nazi could make such a remark. Furthermore, the tone of Kindler’s remark is racially condescending even in its abruptness.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken here and misinterpreting what you have said. If so, could you clarify it further?

    Even, as a naturalized citizen Kindler can not deny his original nationality. The accent is enough so his strategy is flawed here. You must remember that MEIN KAMPF regarded democracy as decadent and Long’s parallel to the equality of the French revolution and the democratic rights of the working class in Marxian terms to “1789 freedom” is immediately dismissed by Kindler since it is “un-German” and irrelevant to the Gooterdamerung and “Blut und Boden” philosophy of the Third Reich. As a character in MORGENROT says, We Germans may not know how to live but we certainly know how to die” . So Marx is not a German but a Jew and the father of the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy using democracy to gain word control as fabricated THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION. Furthermore, the perversion of Wagner’s RING cycle with its emphasis on death and destruction is very much in the background here.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, I feel like the movie itself has disappeared, and all that’s left is Kindler’ remark and the vast amount of contextualization you’re bringing to bear on it, some of it easily relatable and some not. Plus there’s way too much conjecture here for me to deal with.

    I feel obliged to repeat, lest I be accused of anti-semitism (along with ahistoricism, militant auteurism and an insufficient level of disdain for Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.): it’s Kindler’s logic and not my own that I was referring to, and I meant Marx, and not Kindler, who Kindler pretends to place in a favorable light, after he’s been cited approvingly by someone else at the table…in the context of the scene. Dramatically speaking, the logic is that Kindler identifies Marx as a Jew, thus distinguishing him from the Germans, trying to say the equivalent of something like: “Marx may be one of the good guys who loved freedom and equality, but that’s because he was a Jew and not an Aryan.” He says it in such a way that he clunkily betrays his origins, the memory of which rouses Edward G. Robinson from a sound sleep at 3 in the morning.

    Beyond that, I have no idea why you think I need a refresher course in Hitler’s thoughts on democracy or Fifth Columnists or English internments of Germans in the 30s, and I am baffled as to why 1942 was less politically charged than 1946 – two different sets of circumstances, equally politically charged.

    In other words, an impasse. See you at the movies.

  • Tony Williams

    Kent, looking at this part of the movie that has not disappeared Kindler does speak in a disdainful manner and it is the vocal overtones as well as the sentence that alerts Wilson.

    I think the contextual elements I mention are still important, despite what you may think.

  • Kent Jones

    Okay Tony, he speaks disdainfully. The point is: he doesn’t do it on purpose. He gives himself away. So his “vocal overtones” don’t alert Wilson until several hours after he’s made up his mind that he’s leaving town – and when he gets on the phone, he doesn’t say, “Gee, that guy sounded like a real Nazi.” It’s what he says that he recounts, not how he says it. But I don’t even understand what you’re getting at anymore. The original point was that Welles was critiquing the family for not responding to an anti-semitic remark – the same family whose youngest member has just invoked Marx as an example of striving for liberty. Then, the point seemed to be that Welles was taking an unpopular political stand by making a movie about a Nazi war criminal hiding out in Connecticut. Now I don’t even know what the point is. Of course the contextual elements are important, but the question is: are they relevant? And if so, how relevant? In what way? Are they immediately related to what we’re seeing, or are they relevant as deep background?

  • alex hicks

    Interestingly, Sarris, consistent with his labelling of Sturges with the “strained seriousness” epithet, lists BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, as roughly the 40th best film of 1955 but lists THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and THE GREAT ESCAPE as among the top 20 films of their years.

  • Tony Williams

    Whether he does it on purpose or not is beside the point. He does give himself away. Wilson recognizes this later. Vocal overtone and discourse are intertwined here. Although Long cites Marx, the response of Kindler concerning this Jewish non-German background goes unchallenged at the dinner table.

    Again, context is important but since you deny the fact of wartime and immediate post-war suspicion of Germans in Allied communities (whether anti-Nazi or not) who were interned and MEIN KAMPF’S attitude to Democracy, the important historical background to this film is now judged inadmisable. Why has Kindler being so easily accepted into this particular community despite the fact that he is German? By contrast, the heroine of Ealing’s FRIEDA (1947) has a much rougher time in that particular era than does Kindler in that particular brahmin American society. I find the approach you take very reminiscent of 1950s New Criticism which focused exclusivelyupon the text to the detriment of cultural, historical and political issues.

  • Kent Jones

    Tony, where on this thread did I deny “wartime and immediate post-war suspicion of Germans in Allied communities (whether Nazi or not) who were interned” or “MEIN KAMPF’s attitide to Democracy?” Where? Find it. And where did I say that I find historical contextualization beside the point? I didn’t. I said the opposite. Frequently. In many different ways. But you really don’t seem to care. At all. This is insufferable, and it certainly can’t be much fun for anyone else to read. So long.

  • Tony Williams

    You need only look at your April 30 3.57 pm comments in the penultimate paragraph where you dismiss my historical references that are meant to show their relevance to issues in THE STRANGER by the demeaning remark that I suggest you take a “refresher course” in certain areas. These instances were cited in terms of their reference to the situation of the film and its “historical contextualization. You just don’t want to explore these issues so engage in brusque dismissal.

    So what is the point?

    I’m not giving in on this interpretation to please either yourself or anyone who reads this post.

  • Kent Jones

    Thanks for everything, Tony. I’m off now, to lose myself in a world of ahistorical de-politicized artistic conetmplation.

  • Tony Williams

    You’re welcome!