HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM

David Kamp “with” Lawrence Levi, Le Dictionnaire du film-snobisme (q.v.):

Maddin, Guy
Winnipeg-born director, often referred to in priggish film-crit circles as a “fabulist,” whose genuinely strange movies combine a GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM–informed visual sense with an arch sense [echo sic] of humour and a Farrelly Brothers–like fetish for disabled and deranged persons…. The director’s column in FILM COMMENT, “My Jolly Corner,” in which he breezily celebrates such obscurities as NICHOLAS RAY’s The Lusty Men, is the best thing in that otherwise-mirthless magazine.

Really.

And what exactly are some of those bons mots?

  • November/December 2005: “As an admirer of [the Brothers Quay’s] animated work – Street of Crocodiles, Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, The Comb, et al. – I was struck rum-giddy by their workspace, crammed as it was with all the miniature sets and puppet stars of their cherished masterpieces, and seemingly everything else these twin directors had ever put into their brains along the way to becoming the sovereigns of such intensely scrimshawed dreamscapes.”
  • September/October 2005: “Lubricious and poignant jollity is mine whenever I think of Jean-Claude Lauzon, my contemporary and compatriot who directed and breathed with such a frightening ferocity he was doomed to flame out early and spectacularly – and so he did, crashing at the throttle of his own plane after completing just two films, one of them the masterpiece of childhood autobiography reconfigured as poetry, Léolo.”
  • July/August 1005: “Joy, joy, joy is mine when I get to behold, in Robert Siodmak’s The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, the usually-ennui-enervated and -irony-fumed George Sanders creating a character of complicated sensitivities and sympathies – a vein of talent rarely tapped by the actor, who preferred to mine his mother lode of dispassion and stuffiness for roles of Nabokovian villainy in All About Eve, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and a million stylized others.”
  • March/April 2005: “Beluga-roe bliss to me is this continentally suave 1939 Mitchell Leisen romantic comedy [Midnight], a version of the Cinderella tale given so many glosses by the great screenwriting team of Brackett and Wilder that even the famed out-on-your-can 12 chimes at the end of the balltime seem to gong themselves out elsewhere, and mutely – perhaps on another back lot, behind some trademark closed door supplied courtesy of Paramount head Ernst Lubitsch.”
  • January/February 2005: “With foggy jollity do I proclaim Random Harvest my favourite amnesia melodrama of all time! […] Those who deride these plots as melodramatic corn forget the amnesias that have clouded the world today, the era of great political forgetfulness!”
  • November/December 2004: “Blissfully blitzed am I by [Jam Session] – Anatole Litvak’s zippy swing noir singularity, a kind of musical I Vitelloni about the fraternity of a jazz quintet riding out its hunger on the rails that connect the jitterbug venues peppered across the grimy Warner Bros. map of Depression-era America.”

Incidentally, the now-standardized typography of unligated, too-large Adobe Garamond with BALD CAPITALS as cross-references (MC5? WIP?) works no better in this book than the first one.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2006.03.05 16:38. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2006/03/05/film-snobisme/

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