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Archive for October 30th, 2013

7men3

By Jon Warner

“The reason that people understand the westerns I made with Randy Scott is that they were simple…..nothing in those Scott pictures would make the audience say, “What did he mean? What was he trying to say?……..I said it very simply, and that’s the way I make my pictures. One doesn’t have to sit there and say, “Well, I don’t know….ethically….and maybe he meant…” That’s a lot of crap: to be so artistic that you don’t make sense.”

Budd Boetticher – 1972 – Excerpt from The Director’s Event

“For it is indeed the most intelligent western I know while being at the same time the least intellectual, the most subtle and the least aestheticizing, the simplest and finest example of the form.”

Andre Bazin – Seven Men From Now – 1957 – Cahiers du Cinema

Through a series of 7 films that Budd Boetticher made in conjunction with his star Randolph Scott, the western saw some of its finest films get made. The best of the bunch, The Tall T, Ride Lonesome, Comanche Station, and especially Seven Men From Now were all written by Burt Kennedy. It was a tremendous stretch run for a director, writer, star combination, and it’s really only in recent years that Boetticher’s films have become more available and more lauded, finally landing Boetticher in the same discussion with Ford, Mann, and Leone (and I think Daves could be included as well). It turns out that Seven Men From Now, in particular, has been little seen for decades and only available in archive prints until about 2005. Because the film was produced under John Wayne’s Batjac film company (as opposed to Ranown Productions), it had different distribution rights than the other films in the series, and after Wayne’s death the film remained in hiding for the most part. It’s almost hard to believe that a film THIS good was so hard to see for so long. It is high time that this film gets seen because it’s one of the most perfect westerns ever made, and is worthy of consideration for top 10 status. Perhaps in years to come, this film will continue to receive more recognition. (more…)

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roman-holiday-1

 © 2013 by James Clark

    Sometimes luck has a lot to do with it. Feeling it was time to translate the many confusing intimations, in current films, about tempering the sense of other people as hell (an axiom of Robert Bresson’s brand of Surrealist discovery), along comes a show (at our Design Exchange) involving artisans from the Hermes corporation of breathtaking design. Their actions concerning the crafts per se and their interactions with us were so redolent of regal brilliance and passionate love for creation that I was encouraged to put aside misgivings and undertake a context of filmic magnanimity, namely, the Audrey Hepburn movie, Roman Holiday (1953), which had appeared in my eyes to have as many minuses as pluses. That the minuses of the Hermes enterprise—clustered about a marked indifference, in its horsey set market focus, to the twenty-first century and its cues toward prodigious leaps—could be brushed aside by their pluses become (somewhat incongruously) alight, gave me the shove to allow Audrey to strut her stuff. (more…)

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