He was the spectator at his own drama, like a person at a play he doesn’t understand. – Victor Hugo1 “On the other hand, I don’t want to do Petronius[…]
Category: Historical & Epic
“If head and heart are united, harmony can exist even in the midst of strife. Let them come into opposition, however, and chaos enters from which there is no escape and no conclusion possible except a tragic one.” — Francis G. Gentry. “Triuwe and Vriunt in the Nibelungenlied.” Amsterdam: Rodopi: 1975. p. 45.”Perception is everything. It turns villains into heroes and victims into collaborators.” — Hilary Mantel. “A Change of Climate.” New York: Henry Holt and Company: 1997. p. 317.
“In Lincoln, the abolition of slavery is the goal of the narrative; the closing scenes are intended to confirm our notion of a historical trajectory that moves from injustice to justice. In Django Unchained, the narrative is simpler, but the notions of justice and history are more complex. The story gives no hint that slavery will ever be abolished. It presents an America that has yet to escape its foundational sin, and may never be able to.”
“The unrolling of the canvas was timed to take around two hours, with the speed of movement simulating the experience of drifting on a steamboat down the river itself. Lit by gaslight, the presentation was accompanied by the delivery of a lecture by a narrator, an episodic commentary that ranged from the didactic to the purely entertaining. The exhibition was often joined by piano accompaniment, the score composed specifically for the painting and even made available for purchase after viewing. In some cases, as the scene moved, stage crews would manipulate lighting to simulate sunrises and sunsets, daylight and darkness.”
“While Powell and Pressburger were masters of the classic show-don’t-tell method, they also daringly broke the rule by telling, not showing. Both techniques ultimately serve the same purpose. Despite the aesthetic of excess often attributed to the Archers’ films, they gain power by withholding certain elements, requiring the audience to supply what’s not there.”
“Spielberg’s post-millennial Lincoln epitomizes the more experienced politician’s awe for Justice (as distinguished from the malleable Law), which is to be sought by whatever means necessary and inevitably involves sacrifice, perhaps of one’s very soul. There’s more than a touch of Faust in this script.”
“If you can get past all these potentially off-putting deviations, Park Row offers Samuel Fuller at his most free, exuberant, and even experimental. As unfocused as the narrative is, it is essentially a realist fable, or collection of fables, condensing an entire rough-and-tumble era into a coincidence-riddled pill.”