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MOVIE-TV: REVIEWS FROM 9/25/70 TO 3/19/79. After that they were just described on the dates seen, or in special cases described in detail in other files in CULTURAL, or maybe even INTELLECTUAL. Seek and ye shall find.

DIARY 1426


"The Red and the White" illustrated perfectly the RANDOM and IRRATIONAL nature of war: people were chosen to be shot because of where they were, what language they spoke, through selection by officers, by shots fired from planes and cannon from great distances. In one case which struck me sexually, the condemned was asked to CHOOSE who would murder him. All who were captured were stripped of their uniforms and boots, those who were set free to go home were stripped completely, showing that the UNIFORM is the important signal: nothing else mattered, neither the faces nor the sides on which they fought, nor the nationality and language they spoke.
Soldiers were counted off, then irrationally set free. If someone "made a mistake," it was their hard luck, they had to take the irrational consequences. As soon as a face was familiar, it was killed off; just when one side appeared to be winning, the other side took over.
A beautiful element of "what DIFFERENCE does it make?" was added by not really KNOWING who was on what side: the battle was among the Red, the White, and the Magyars. Some were killed in agonizing close-up, others from a great distance---strangers and friends, beautiful people and enemies. Women were sucked into it, though one nurse had a good quote: "They are not Reds or Whites, they are only patients."
And the monasteries sheltered them, the blown rye fields fed and afforded cover to them, the waters supported them whether they swam alive or floated dead.
It was a randomness of real life heightened by the stupidities of war: there were good and evil on both sides, mercy and irrationality on either side, gratuitous torture and faceless death. Few loved, none cried, but very many died---but most died theatrically, gracefully: not blown off faces, no shredded sides, no smell of gunpowder or spilled guts or rotting flesh---but no glorification of color film. There was courage and cowardice, and I can't for anything recall which side won, nor can the country be any different depending on which side won. Horses died unknowingly for nothing.

DIARY 1482


1. Wed. September 23: "Our Hospitality" (1923): Canfield-McCoy feud, Buster Keaton Jr as young baby, 1-year-old. Fabulous toonerville railroad; dam bursting, falls over Buster Keaton. Incredible railroad-boat-rapids-waterfall-log-rescue-boat over falls sequence. "Coney Island" (1917) "Starring" Fatty Arbuckle (mostly as a woman). Keaton a lifeguard, rescuing Fatty. Keaton LAUGHS in cop's scene. "The Scarecrow" (1921) Fabulous "one-room" house, cute scarecrow, "mad-dog" chase, marriage on motorcycle at end in river.
Once enough. Except for FALLS scene.

2. Thu. Sept. 24: "Sherlock Jr." (1924) [40 minute feature] Magnificent motorcycle scene---over trucks, collapsing pier, great live-film-live intercutting. Slow start with stolen watch, cute "I lost $1" scene, good double images. "One Week" (1921) Pre-fab house, railroad wrecked, funny bit running around house spinning in high wind. "Cops" (1922) He dresses as cop, has hundreds chasing him; horse and moving van sequence. "The Boat" (1922) Fantastic "Damfino" launch, sail, sink.
"One week" good for twice, and motorcycle scene. "Boat" WAS good twice.

3. Sun. Sept. 27: "Seven Chances" (1925) I SAW this: must marry by 7 pm or he loses $7 million: thousands of brides, hilarious rock-slide and great cliff-run to tree. "The Paleface" (1922) Kill first white man, burnt at stake in asbestos underwear, bows and arrows. Not his best. "Good Night Nurse" (1917) Again he laughs, with Fatty Arbuckle, Keaton's a doctor, doesn't do much.
Rock scene is only repeatable.

4. Tue. Sept. 29: "The General" (1926) [80-minute feature] Great chase scenes, ingenious balancing, jumping, good comedy with helpful sweetheart. Good running, train scenes, fabulous falling bridge, good Civil War battlers, he's on South's side. "Backstage" (1918) Ridiculous weightlifting villain fighting everyone in balcony, Keaton as ballet dancer flying around Fatty. Funny scene shifting and flats falling. "My Wife's Relations" (1922) Polish judge marries him and harridan, funny eating and slapping scenes, they move into big house and tear place apart.
Train scenes repeatable.

5. Mon. Oct. 12: "The Three Ages" (1923) Brilliant as stone age man riding dinosaur, Roman citizen in huge arena for dog-sled race, modern guy in beautiful roof-leap, awning-fall, across floor slide to fire pole to fire truck to police station. "The Butcher Boy" (1917) Flour-fight with Fatty, flipping knife into butcher block. "The High Sign" (1917) Sign of the Blinking Buzzard, funny four-room chase sequence.
"Three Ages" great, saw most of it twice.

6. Thu. Oct. 15: "The Navigator" (1924) Rich sap, funny chase on ship, overboard rescues, life on ship, attacked by cannibals, underwater sequences fun, good stunts, but classic POSE doesn't appear of him peering off from ropes. "The Balloonatic" (1923) Ballooning and fishing and floating in boat and loaded fishing boots and in fun house. "The Goat" (1921) Chased and chased, "father" attacks him, he dumps load of bricks on him.
Not much.

7. Fri. Oct. 16: "Go West" (1925) He falls in love with "brown eyes" a cow, who rescues him from a charging bull, and rides off with her AND the farmer's daughter. Funny scenes of herd of cattle terrorizing a town, but slow and rather soupy. "The Blacksmith" (1922) Hilarious blackening of white horse and destruction of car, funny bit with magnetized, heated watch. "The Haunted House" (1922) Great glue-pot money bit, fabulous house with collapsing staircase and ghosts, and finale of going up to heaven, stairs collapse, hell, all a dream.
"Haunted House" great.

8. Sun. October 18: "Battling Butler" (1926) [80-minute feature; FROM a stage play] Rich lazy snob goes camping, meets mountain girl, has to pretend to be boxer, great fight scenes, but too long climax with Keaton pleading, then knocking out, real boxer. "Neighbors" (1922) Great three-man high transfer scene, fast action on clotheslines, funny pantless-marriage with no belt. "The Playhouse" (1922) Classic dream start where he's orchestra conductor, AUDIENCE, minstrel show and stagehand, then to lover of one of twins and not-so-funny Zouave fast-action maneuvers-gone-wrong scenes.
Classic "Playhouse" start.

9. Tue. Oct. 20: "College" (1927) [NOT written or directed by him, but fast paced.] High school graduation with shrinking suit and "Curse of Athletics" speech, and he goes to college and tries pole-vault, hurdles, sprint, javelin, discus, broad jump, shot-put, and iron ball, and fails, becomes coxswain and steers with his behind to win. "Day Dreams" (1922) Both shorts with Czech subtitles: he's a dog-pound keeper, and extra in an opera, girl dreams of him doing better things. Confused. "The Frozen North" (1922) Great lover in far north, funny ice-fishing scene, guitar snowshoes, igloo scenes, killing strangers he thinks are his wife and her lover.
Rescue by running and jumping in "College" good.

10. Wed. Oct. 21: "Steamboat Bill Jr." (1927) Possibly the funniest, with hat scene, much falling off boats and best of all, windstorm that collapses buildings and docks, blows down trees, building around and upon him, and rescue of girl from house and father from jail, sinking life preservers---but wind BEST of all. "Out West" (1917) He's a fast-shooting sheriff with Fatty doing most of the funny stuff, except for kicking the corpses into trapdoors. "The Electric House" (1922) Both shorts again with Czech subtitles, but escalator to swimming pool, railroad dinner service, moving bathtub, electrified library and pool game, and water level in pool all make for funny bits.
Final scenes of "Steamboat Bill Jr." about the best there are.

To summarize: the ideal Buster Keaton program would be: "The Three Ages," with the last half of "Steamboat Bill Jr," the falls scene from "Our Hospitality," and the shorts "One Week," "The Haunted House," and the start of the "Playhouse." So there could be a two and a half hour show which would show Buster Keaton at his ineffable best, though you'd have to throw in an early short to show him laughing, and a bit of Beckett's "Film" just to show how it all started, and, worst of all, how it all ended up.

DIARY 1556


Produced by NET in London, Moscow, Copenhagen, Munich, USA, and New Delhi.

1) Ramanan, investigated by Dr. Anand (New Delhi), was found NOT to be able to stop his heart, but he stayed in an air-tight chamber far longer than theoretically possible, using about 1/4 the amount of oxygen which had been thought to be minimum, for one example of a concentrated mind over the needs of the body.

2) "Transmitter substance" (Munich and Copenhagen) released from "transmitter granules" in the brain, washes ALL the connections in the brain when under LSD.

3) Eccles in Buffalo (SUNY) seems to be doing the same micro-electrode investigation of the brain as Delgado is doing (who wasn't mentioned at all).

4) Harry Harlow (U of Wisc): Monkeys act according to their sex WITHOUT any contact with adults who might teach them: so it's inborn. But studies of deprivation from affection show, "If the monkeys were left alone LONGER, they might NEVER be able to learn to love," and they sit, frowning with sadness, hugging themselves or a rag doll of a surrogate-mother.

5) Donald Hebb (McGill University) did experiments in sensory deprivation in which hallucinations were seen very quickly by the action-starved mind.

6) Neal Miller (Rockefeller University) investigated the conscious lowering of HUMAN blood pressures, but said nothing about the ANIMAL tests in lowering heart-beat, activity of kidneys, respiration levels.

7) Noam Chomsky (MIT) says there are INNATE facilities in the brains that form the basis for the understanding of language ("Wild Child" might have something to say about that, too).

8) Commentator: "Genius is akin to madness and to the "transmitter wash" of the drugged brain---the crux of the matter is the JUDGMENT shown"---but JUDGMENT COMES FROM STANDARDS SET BY PEOPLE, not by any "revealed best way." So it's only CULTURAL decision whether madness is madness or genius.

9) Sperry (California Institute of Technology) doing split-brain research since 1961: left hand can FEEL 8 and SIGNAL 8, but the left BRAIN does the talking, and asks "Is it 5?" TWO INDEPENDENT BRAINS, though the left is usually dominant, though the right can be TRAINED to take over. FANTASTIC!

DIARY 1591


1) Watching "Winterlight" the idea of the WORLD beginning to commit suicide, as Perssen did because he was convinced there was no God, though I now understood that the parson GOT God back, because he gave the Vesper service even though no one was there, and the last lines I THINK were sincere "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God on Highest, Heaven and Earth are Filled with Thy Glory." They could EITHER (A) suicide because they don't believe in God, and the world is left with only ONE MAN who believes in God---and in a certain way, because he's the only one to keep the MEMORY of God alive, he BECOMES God, because he's the only individual with the CONCEPT of God. It would be interesting to trace the government's attempts to cope with these GODLESS suicides, and (B) suicide because they DID believe in God, so thoroughly that a new religion was founded---the Church of the Awakened, and all the initiates in it had to suicide, because the heart of it was that death was life, and to wake up, the only way was to die. AGAIN it would be interesting to trace the development of this religion, the government's obvious attempts to outlaw it, the increasing mounting of suicides among the BEST people, the gradual brutalization of the world, and some sort of apotheosis where the world goes up in flames, the "bad" actually dying, the "good" living on in their glory.

2) Listening to a baby cry across the hall from John's: baby ANIMALS don't cry, but maybe it's because the MOTHER is ALWAYS around, completely devoted, not like the working tired, irritable, competitive mother today. Maybe the Chinese, through Madge's family, HAD the right idea by having a NURSE to watch the baby constantly, attending to EVERY need. Since the baby HAS to be tended, would it spoil a baby to be tended CONSTANTLY? Or might the baby be preternaturally adjusted to living in the world if it NEVER had to cry during infancy. After he could care for himself, he would have to be transferred to a nurse who would symbolize, not eternal care, but eternal practicality, who would teach him how to fend for HIMSELF in a world where the INDIVIDUAL is the only one who will care for the ADULT, opposed to the CHILD'S plight.

DIARY 2838


To start with the last first, I thought the stupid girl's observation that "I'm really the idiot," was marvelously perfect. What an incredibly complex layering of characters and characterizations: starting with the incomparable trio of Kameda, played by an unknown who was probably typed as a fairly unreacting saint for the rest of his film career, Akama, played fiercely by Toshiro Mifune, young and rough and cute all at the same time, and the protagonist girl, so suffering; continuing to the second girl who made the above observation, then the marvelously frank mother who butts into everything, Mr. Ono, played by the familiar big-lipped guy, the relative of the "Idiot," the brother in love with the girl, his sister, another younger sister, another set of parents, all rather confusing, but ultimately well done. True, there were terrible flaws, one of which the audience pointed up with laughter as three people changed from one shocked tableau to a second shocked tableau during a revelation scene. The coldness of Hokkaido was marvelously used, with dripping icicles, skating, snow sculptures, drifts and storms against windows. He was dealing with such ULTIMATES of emotion, culminating in the impossible-to-film as it would be difficult-to-feel finish where the idiot has to choose between the hurt one and the possessive one, and the camera endlessly flashes from torn, to hurt, to possession, to torn, and back and back and forth and forth. Yes, it wasn't well done, but the IDEA is stupendous: if he'd succeeded, it'd be one of the greatest movies ever made; because he failed, it's merely enormously interesting. And EVERYONE was so reprehensible: the woman hurting herself MORE by not wanting to make her loved one suffer with her presence. Why wouldn't she GIVE IN to him, and let HIM decide if he'd suffer or not, and if he DID, THEN leave, but don't leave BEFORE the fact? The young stupid fool, wanting him and wanting him for her own purposes, thinking nothing of what HE might want. And the idiot, not forcing things to a head himself, and NOT taking her when she finally offered herself to him. And then the terrible touch of gayness: when the two women finally meet, they appear almost as lovers; the two men, huddled under the blanket in the cold to preserve her knifed body, almost kissing in their nearness---incredible film.

DIARY 2841


I started taking notes in the paperback I carried with me, finding the movie so rich in detail that I felt I had to record some of it lest I forget. Though oversized, there's a great shirtless fellow in the generator scene, with a lovely square-cut face and hair-tracings on his chest, coupled with an intelligence of movement which is quite winning. The surprise to see a quick swishy character in the jail: second viewing showed only a quick glimpse of him eating with delicacy two down from Chaplin, but it stuck out during the parade out of the dining hall, where his hands, perpendicular to his arms and sweeping parallel to the floor, sashayed out of the room, and then, with hand perched on the rear of the hip, he sauntered into his cell while the stoned Charlie turned the other way. [Slang dictionary has "nose candy" as cocaine in 1939, but nothing of "nose powder."] Cocaine in salt shaker in jail when the con on his side gets rid of "nose powder." Paulette Goddard is a pretty gamin. Factory "nut-twisting" (with its offshoot of button twisting on rear of secretary, tit-twisting on his coworker, and the pursuit of a fat lady with two hex-buttons on her breasts) and the force-feeding machine was the best part of the film. Speed was perfect, print had very few flaws, and the use of titles in 1935 must have been to some great effect. But the sounds that were there, such as the Chaplin music going simply but comically down and up the scale (doodly-oot-do-do-do-dodo---da da da da da DA) and the marvelously real stomach sounds with the minister's wife and tea, were great. The blindfold roller-skating toward the repaired edge of the department store balcony was a real kiddy-scream. And his skill on skates was enormous. Stoned on cocaine, and drink on rum in the store. Song: "Smile, even though your heart is breaking." His nonsense song in the cafe is fun, but the waiter-bit of being whirled through the crowd with his tray above his head was a bit overdone. And a 1933 Silly Symphony of the original Walt Disney "Three Little Pigs"! 90 minutes in all. But "Modern Times" lacked any unity at all, though many of the parts were good, but it's hardly one of his greatest features of all times.

DIARY 2850


This might be a world-famous classic, but it struck me much like "Le Grand Illusion," much fuss about an overly-lengthy film about not much action and no great ideas. I got the same idea from Renoir's portrayal of Octave as I get from Diane Boardman's choreography: some people will do anything to make some other beautiful people act, however momentarily, as if they were in love with them: simply EVERYONE in the film was obliged to praise, make love to, laugh at, and cajole Octave, and it was impossible to separate the character from the director of the film. His appearance in the critique at the end of the film, with his awful vagueness and his French manner of saying nothing of merit, didn't help any. And, if he seemed to be saying that SOCIETY people had their stupid rules, the servants had the rules to an even greater extent, though possibly his study of "society" applied to ALL classes, and not merely to the upper ones. And the whole series of activities were so FOOLISH: the woman not going to the airfield to greet the flier because "it wouldn't be right." The fops and fat ladies with their eternal rounds of pinochle and bridge; the awful charade of the homegrown theatrical production with everyone in costume and Renoir as the big, furry, lovable bear; the inane shooting of the flier, mistaking him for the husband going after the wife of the gamekeeper (was this somehow a comment on "Lady Chatterley's Lover," being made in 1939, not too long after 1928?), and then having the "man of the house" (strangely played as a Joel Grey part by a pencil-eyebrowed Dalio) excuse the shooting of a person as an accident. The rabbit-shooting scene was quite good, showing how stupid all the classes were, and how stupid the world still is. I suppose the acting was good, too, since all the people seemed absolutely created for their parts, and it may have caused quite a scandal at the time, but viewed for the first time (even though uncut and uninterrupted on Channel 13) it seems hopelessly dated and archaic and French (maybe terms for the same qualities), and it's a film to see once, in the hopes of seeing a masterpiece, and then filing away that once seen, never to be seen again.

DIARY 2851

Also 3/16/72

Though I was certainly tired after watching TV for five hours already today, I think there was more than a share of boredom in the production itself, which struck me as exceedingly amateurish, not much better than some of the productions that Mr. Varian put on at Akron University, though Ron Rifkin as the part of the agonized father of the daughter's bastard child was quite good. But it seemed to be made in the same mold as all the plays of the family during that period: a very vociferous and strong (though inwardly still seeking love and appreciation, though it could never come across) Jewish mother, the weak father, some in-law (in this case the grandfather who keeps reading Marx and jumps off the roof to give his life insurance to his grandson to enable him to "awake and sing"), and a whole string of boarders, in this case the Jewish wealthy uncle stereotype who loves to eat his sister's food while giving out with none of his money, and the heel-hero, awkwardly played by Walter Matthau, who must have been hard up to act with this company, though not necessarily to accept this part. It all seemed so familiar, and one gets so TIRED of the mother constantly running through all the clichés: hanging up on the girlfriend of the son, excusing the father for his weaknesses, making life miserable with her requirements that people be dressed right, eat right, keep the house looking right, and constantly reminding everyone of how hard she works and how much she sacrificed to keep the family going through all the hard times. One could scream oneself at the constant barrage of filth from her narrow lips, and even the obligatory scene where she shows she once had her own dreams, and still would like to be treated kindly, comes off so flat and embarrassing that it would be better to have it cut. It seemed a perfect role for the perfect Jo Van Fleet, but she didn't seem to be available to do her role again. The Depression, the depression, depressing in more ways than financial, and how much better to see it, colorfully and in close-up, on TV than being subjected to it on the tedious stage, where it would creak even more from the stiffness of the years since it was written.

DIARY 2859


For a movie that everyone raved about, in the ads at least, it was a remarkably uninteresting movie. Sure, the parts played by the Mother and Father and assorted sons and daughters in law and widows of sons were very well played, but there was nothing to strike the eye by the camera work or the characterizations, and even the death of the Mother at the end was handled very stiffly and awkwardly, so that there was hardly any opportunity to get INTO the family. It may be that he told a lot about Japan, but I thought of Arnie's comment that it could just as well have been about a family in Brooklyn. The idea of a "classic" film comes up more and more as they seem to be coming around: maybe they're good from a historical point of view (and it seems that the same females who played in this also played in Kurasawa's "The Idiot" made about the same time), but as viable ENTERTAINMENT they fall far short of interest. There were too many periods when just NOTHING happened, and I would get impatient waiting for something to happen. There was little physical beauty in the piece, even Atami looked rather smoggy and polluted. There was a bit of humor to liven things up, but of the same gentle-smile type that would occur in a family---which is fine in a FAMILY, but not terribly interesting in a theater. He couldn't seem to figure where to end, showing the river, then children, then the river again, then the father, then the daughter teaching school, then back to the river, then a passing train, but he didn't even take the obvious of echoing the OPENING passing train with a CLOSING passing train, and the ending went on and on far after I'd lost interest and just wanted to get OUT of the theater. Even "The Idiot," though certainly more technically flawed and emotionally imperfect, was more likable for the AMOUNT he attempted to do: I'd rather see a BIG attempts fail than see a very SMALL attempt succeed, even if it succeeds perfectly. It just becomes perfectly small, not a perfect masterpiece. So Ozu seems to be a person to avoid, since Arnie says he ALWAYS deals with the family, is ALWAYS understated, and he should know, since he saw most of the ten at MMA in 1970.

DIARY 2883


"Byron" is simply boring and awful, a good example of how to make an inherently interesting biography completely ineffective, even though the Italian flavor was good and one of the characters was swarthy and certainly gay, even to a bare-chested cremation of Shelly "Shiloh?" on the beach. "Intimate Lighting" I'd thought I'd seen, but I was confusing it with some OTHER Czech film, but this one by Ivan Passer of a cellist who returns for a concert, staying with his conductor and wife and children and father and mother-in-law, Zdenek Bezusek, being quietly sexy at all times and a marvelously understated actor, and Vera Kresadlova reminding one of a Slavic Rita Tushingham. The finale was one of the best ever, and I was laughing aloud for minutes at a time as they toasted each other at breakfast with the eggnog which had been made too thick, and they all stood for minutes around the table, glasses tipped into the air, heads thrown back, waiting for the white paste to move down to their lips, but nothing happened, and the camera gently stole away from the house with the six of them still with their glasses raised to the heavens, necks craning to get a drop---beautifully understated, complete believable, unsayable funny. "Between Time and Timbuktu" was the quintessential trip, and should be seen again stoned completely, with Bill Hickey being blasted into the Synchronoplastic Infidibulum (or time-warp) and coming back in Bokononian society, filmed on Long Island, with chesty guys and leggy gals lazing it up in hammocks, at the World's Fair site for the scene from "Wanda June" taking place in heaven, an ironic juxtaposition if I ever saw one, and other Hitlerian fantasies and space-suited wanderings and TV distortions and at some moments his face was DISTORTED into one of incredible clear-eyed beauty, and he's such a funny-looking guy that THAT would be a blast if it were watched stoned. Bob and Ray are very funny as typical launch commentators, and his mother was properly frantic, and some of the Missile Center shots were quite priceless: a great and varied evening of viewing on Educational Television.

DIARY 2988


Still silent in 1931, it had no really memorable melodies, except that the themes were easily recognized, and it seems that he used the SAME dance-floor music, a zappy horny number, and the fight-music over and over again. The starting "statue-unveiling" is a classic, better in FULL form than in the cut version on the Academy Awards, AGAIN he had a gay reference when he tried to "make" the rival boxer so fruitily that he went behind a curtain to change. The "erasing" of the rabbit's foot magic when the boxer was knocked out, the "whistle-hiccups" when he swallowed a whistle at the party and interrupted the singer, called in the dogs, etc, and the attempted suicide of the drunk by drowning and shooting were all very funny, and the pathos of the blind girl selling her flowers blended perfectly into the classic sequence where he's staring with love at her and she dumps the first water from the faucet on him. There's a guy who SEEMS to be cruising John then me in the last rows, but nothing's done, and he seems VERY strange! They also had a classic 1931 "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" somewhat campy, along with it. Whoever says that the film is "more unified" would have to stretch it some to think that the robbery sequence, the boxing match, and the watching of the elephants and donkeys pass when he's a street sweeper were really CONNECTED with the plot. The laconic car-driving over the corners is priceless, the switch from drunkenness to sobriety hard to take, and the two bits in the ring: the pug's knocking out someone who razzes him, who then runs and later returns, very quickly at the end, and then when Charlie comes back after going off, to have his gloves removed, and then he only takes a drink of water, looking meaningfully at the camera, seem to be COMPLETELY missed by modern audiences. There's a poignant part, mirrored from his recent reception in NY and LA, when he says "I'm going away" and she says "Will you be coming back?" and he very wistfully says, "Yes, I'll be back." The ending is far more UPBEAT than I remember, she KNOWS it's him, is REACHING OUT to him, when the camera ends on his face, but it's a face more of HAPPINESS than anything else, it's almost CERTAIN that she'll accept him, even with her lovely new store which came from nowhere.

DIARY 2991


(1) "The Spy (The Bridge)" by Charles Vidor (1931, 10 min) had the look of something from 1918, with an overly romantic type hero who looks like he never could have been a spy in the Civil War. Pretty awful as art. (2) "Dementia" by John Parker, music by George Antheil with the voice of Marni Nixon, and SHE must have felt strange vocalizing for a movie. A VERY strange looking woman kills her father, stabs her fat lover and cuts off his hand, and "it's all a dream" in her hotel room. She does one of the most CONVINCING mad women ever. (50 min.) (3) "Salome" is 30 min, too beautifully and decadently well-known to be discussed. (4) "Lot in Sodom" is 30 min, and anyone who says it's full of "subtle imagery" is full of beans: it's as explicit as possible, but the ARTISTRY comes through after I have my fill of the naked male body, and it's a good FILM. (5) "Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra," by Slavko Vorkapick, filmed by Gregg Toland, had nothing to do with "Citizen Kane," and is pretty awful, even to the plastic models used for heaven when he dies and becomes an angel on a string. 25 min. (6) "Fall of the House of Usher" is a puff-piece by Watson and Webber, almost as bad as "Lot in Sodom" is good. Mrs. Watson and Mr. Webber played the awful leading parts, and it was overly obscure and multi-imaged, and it sort of burnt out at the end, to no satisfactory conclusion: maybe the theater had a bad print. 10 min. (7) "Blood of a Poet" was last, 30 minutes, and I wish they wouldn't change around their scheduling to fill in with films that they've shown before, and the Elgin USED to be reliable, but now I have to call them on the DAY the films are shown to be sure: they're far too responsive to their audience, or what they THINK their audience would like to be trusted. I'll be glad when this series is over: hardly have there been so many films I haven't seen, would think I would want to see, and ended up wishing I hadn't taken the trouble to see them. Oh, for their old-style series which plays something for a week, and I can choose when to go, and go maybe twice a month, except that I'm getting a lot of distance out of my student card, paying only $1 for a movie, almost unknown in this time of extravagance.

DIARY 2999


"Fantastic Voyages" lives up to its title, though I miss Zecca's "Down in the Deep" which starts it, though I'd seen it many times before. Jordan Belson's "Cosmos" is colorful but too diffuse, with no clear starting, ending, or DIRECTION: sometimes you're seeing the sun, sometimes the earth, sometimes the universe, sometimes inside a cave, with no logical transitions. VERY unsatisfying, with pretentiously ponderous music. "Cosmic Zoom" for the National Film Board of Canada is too impressionistic, not to scale, not precise, too "fuzzy" there aren't even any PROTONS in the atom's nucleus, it's merely a black sphere. The "mathematically oriented one" is by far superior, though this certainly could have given him the idea. "K-9000" (for a dog) is a riot: from the BOOK, not the movie, since it's CLEARER than the movie, but it's really too far out: buffo, rather than funny. "La Jetee" by Chris Marker starts from the "jetty" of Orly Airport, with him as a child watching a man be shot "a few years before third world war." He survives in the underground, gets sent forward and back in time, and there's an ELECTRIFYING MOMENT OF MOTION as she blinks in bed, and then he's sent BACK in time to find the woman he saw as a child, and it's only as he's shot that he realizes HE'S the man he saw being killed. Too long, but quite effective in its use of photographic montage. "Around the World in Eighteen Minutes" by Hector Hoppin and Anthony Gross from 1939 was MARVELOUSLY whimsical and well-done; I even know I've seen it ages ago, and it's still very beautifully (and Britishly) done. "Castro Street" by Bruce Baillie is jumbly-busy, overcrowded, too much going on, but maybe this IS Castro Street: if so, he made it worse rather than improving it into art. "Necrology" by Standish Lawder is an effective backward filming of people on NYC down escalator, followed by a whimsical CAST which is half the film. "Walking" by Ryan Larkin is five minutes of fabulous, great, funny, WELL-DONE charm with water color sketches and wash drawings. "The Immigrant" by Charles Chaplin was cut from 90,000 feet to 2 reels in 4 days by Chaplin, and has a cocktail-shaker analog of opening: over rail, you THINK he's being seasick, but he pulls up a FISH. The ending, his carrying a "struggling" girlfriend (Edna Purviance, pretty) into marriage bureau, is unusual for him.

DIARY 3007


Got in at 6:50 for essentially the beginning of "The Sex Garage" and SURE the guy the gal was blowing was cute, and his cock stood up admirably and his chest and blond hair were nice to look at, but he didn't come in her mouth, and ended up fucking her on the seat and then on the floor, where her petulant sounds of orgasm made the audience laugh at their cuteness. Then the cut-in guy jerks himself off in the shower after a nice pre-scene, but he's almost soft when he levers out the come. After interminable shots of Continental hood ornaments and motorcycle parts and garage props, there's an unsavory threesome in a john, two boots pushing a head into a flushing toilet, and then the motorcyclist jerks off onto the seat of his scooter, rubbing the come in to make the audience guffaw, and the two CUTE ones: the guy being done and the guy in the car, didn't come at all: the guy in the car didn't even show himself HARD, unless he'd (as I think it was) come in the shower unsatisfactorily already. That lasted 35 minutes, and I stayed to see it again. Then "L.A. Plays Itself" started with too much car-cruising and neon-sign looking, segued to a stair-beating scene which was unconvincing with red-painted hand-marks on ass, though the beater had a lovely body, and then he fist-fucked an obvious double, which isn't my idea of great fun, though for lubricant he used his own come, pumped out in a nice scene about 25 minutes into the picture, for the best of the lot. Then there was a lot of flowers and fields and bees and flies for a duet in the woods, and two guys went at it in various positions, but AGAIN one of them never got hard, and finally one guy jerked himself off, and the whole film was only 55 minutes. Now, SURE it was $3 as opposed to $5, and SURE it was a benefit for GAA (and they passed the hat around and I dropped in another buck), but for a movie reputed to be so GREAT it was very disappointing, and I've got to write a review for the Mattachine Times saying this is STILL a form of rip-off, and doesn't ANYONE out there know how to make GOOD films of guy balling, to give us needed relief from this DREK we're seeing?? And no MORE transvestite films, please---just good shooting SEX, yes?

DIARY 3112


Since I'd seen it 14 years ago, I didn't remember much of it: not the preliminary war scenes where he's in charge of firing Big Bertha, and one shell plops out to fizzle and follow him around in a circle when he tries to defuse it, his rescuing of the pilot, Schultz, and the funny scene of flying upside down, and Jack Oakie as "El Digaditch" from Italy with his plump wife. The balloon scene, the barber-chair scene, and the speech scene are well-remembered from publicity. Paulette Goddard consistently acted woodenly, and I felt that he might have SEEN that she was unsatisfactory in her part, but kept her in his cast out of a somewhat misguided loyalty. Some of her speeches were so embarrassing I couldn't even watch her, though her expression when she was fixed up in his barber's chair was good. He was marvelous in the shaving-to-music scene, remarkably agile in his skillet-dance on and off a high curb, and in his balloon-world ballet, but still there were areas of problem: the use of Wagner's music during her "apotheosis" after his speech, and the sunlight and glazed-eye effects, were quite awful to watch, though his conviction (and sweat) through the shorter-than-remembered speech were perfect. I thought the Jews were awfully stereotyped, though the "coin in the pudding" was fun. In parallel with his gay prisoner in "City Lights" were the almost-too-quick-to-be-read SUB-headlines beneath his Tomania headlines: such as "Plane flies without tail with perfect control" and "Herring tests ersatz food" and some others which went past much too fast. The audience seemed puzzled in some places, too, but John said he was way ahead of his time in 1940 to talk about the different KINDS of people in the world (he said that politicians STILL think that everyone's alike today), that air and wireless communication would so unite the world, and the fairly revolutionary idea that it is the SOLDIERS who have to revolt if a war is to be stopped: let the politicians and industrial leaders man the guns THEMSELVES. The sets were grand and pompous, he had another of his traditional ballroom scenes, and even resorted to pie-throwing and spaghetti-pulling in some of the more overdone sequences.

DIARY 3193


At last a pornographic film that I can see the charms of. Though the "straight" drug-man with the girlfriend (who was surely one of the current females-as-furniture objects in recent films) was pointy of nose and angular of face, the black-bearded fellow with large dark eyes was satisfying to look at, even though the cock of the other was the one that did most of the coming. The emphasis on smoking grass to the exclusion of ANY use of poppers was interesting. For once the scenes of the countryside seemed to fit into the film: taking place in Woodstock and environs, with a quick sex scene on a running stream. The inevitable use of telephone calls to further plot seemed strained as it does in any film that uses it (any since "Sorry, Wrong Number"), but the music seemed pleasant (most so during the most unconnected part of the show, when the fellow wanders buoyantly around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for no discernible reason) with its business of left-handed love, and the hand that's best for love is the hand that's at hand. Then onward to left-handed lovers and left-handed dreams in this left-handed country. If this is meant at a left-handed compliment, I've only gotten carried away. Color was nicely used: the reds of the mescaline weekend, the colors of bricks and wood through the snows. The apartment in the Ansonia was striking up under the eaves, as was the old coot looking at the masturbation scene through binoculars. Again the guy didn't come during sex with the girl: is that thought of as being a turn-off to a gay audience? The orgy scene seemed strained, and by far most of the orgasms in the films WERE by hand, which is only reasonable, since fucking doesn't show anything at all except swiveling asses, and sucking can show, at most, the cascade of come down the cock that this one featured. The shots of his last come during the orgy seemed to completely ignore his first shot that cleared his body and hit the rug, and there wasn't any of the absolute ADORATION and GLOATING over the hard cock that I'd still consider perfect in the cock film: if that's what it IS, it should be GLORIED in. But the NUMBER of orgasms was an improvement, there DID seem to be SOME editing done, and the people were pretty enough.

DIARY 3379


"A Dog's Life" has a remarkably talented pooch as side-kick (and one wonders what kind of respect for cops came from Charlie's incessant kicking and fear of and belittling of cops), and I'd seen the whole thing before, but didn't remember the tail-wagging through seat-back, nor the stormy-crying-to-sad-song episodes, and the prolonged artistry of the cake-eating at the hotdog stand was quite remarkable. "Shoulder Arms" seems to start before the war sequences in "The Great Dictator," and his feet underneath the skinny leg wrappings of the WWI uniform are ridiculously funny, as is his adjustment to the shoulders when he's forced to walk in any way except toes-apart. The contrast between the huge German recruit and the tiny German officer, whom he finally paddles, is funny, but the capture of the entire trench by "surrounding the 13 Germans" is rather off. "The Pilgrim" is the one I remember least, with Charlie funny in a frock coat with his inimitable shoes underneath. His standing and sitting after the congregation, his sermon about David and Goliath, his scrabble after the money for the mortgage that a jail-pal of his (a poor opening, when he's an escaped convict, without in the least trying to justify why he HAD been in jail) is trying to take, the charade in the hallway to stop him from going down after the money is marvelously orchestrated, but I couldn't say that I was happy with his constant leading lady through the whole series. His little introductions and middle-comments added nothing to the film, but his music was incomparably good, tinkly and suspenseful and jovial in all the right places. The theater was too hot and I tended to nod, and the audience shouting out subtitles got on my nerves, and all in all the series wasn't among his best work, and I was always conscious of the slowed-down flipping of the film, which permitted each frame to show its "swishes" of slowed-down action. His scene getting the meat away from the dogs in the first one was funny, too, as was the hat-covered bomb covered with cream. And they're advertising "Limelight" as their next attraction, so I guess they ARE going to continue with the rest of the films in the announced series.

DIARY 3427


See the end of "El Topo" until 8, then "The Last Movie" comes on. It's so strange it's hard to be TOTALLY disgusted with it: the Peruvian scenery is absolutely OUT of this world with lush greenness and neat-stoned walls, but there's no way to USE it, until a "gold hunt" is plastered onto the center of the mish-mash of movie-making within movie-making, and one powerfully affecting (whether positive or negative I can't figure out) scene had some priest accusing Dennis Hopper of ruining his countrymen, but he says he only WORKS for the company, yet in real life, he IS the company. What a statement about the Germans, about Vietnam, etc. Then such people as John Phillip Law are seen only as corpses in a gun battle which wildly fluctuates between day and lensed-tricked night, and Russ Tamblyn, Bob Mitchum, and some other "names (Peter Fonda) aren't even seen at ALL until the credits roll endlessly by. Obviously, for Hopper, it WILL be the last movie, unless he gets off whatever horse he's on. Then "El Topo" goes at it again, and it's even most masterful the SECOND time than the first: the bizarrerie of the double-man, one without hands, one without feet; the eerie cries of the bird-mother, the plight of the rabbits, and the strength of the old man who's not afraid of death. The whole FILM is about death, and a great one. By midnight the theater is absolutely jammed, so crowded that there's no hope of sex, unless John gets it in the dark right corner. I cruise a few cuties, but nothing comes from it. Then "Reefer Madness" starts after a few cartoons and an unintelligible "Betty Boop" that the undiscerning audience goes wild for, and it's SO overplayed, SO heavy-handed, and the irony of the whiffs of grass floating up from the audience is SO strong, that it's impossible to get caught up in it: and the woman who leaps from the window (to NOT go splat, as Arnie described it), as the man who so dramatically goes mad, with darkened eyes and stark, quick camera angles of sidelong glances, are such bad actors that there's amazement how the audience of those days didn't laugh at it THEN. But, then, maybe they DID. So many of the seats are broken, I hope they're not going out of business. Pick up dull programs for future shows.

DIARY 3551


Notes: "Chung Kuo" (China) permits him to film in (1) Peking, which is in the district of Lin-Shan); (2) Hunan Province, with wheat and corn farming, foreign travelers never come here; their homes and tombs are their ONLY possession. 500,000,000 people in China FARM: five people work to provide food for 6. Villagers react in EXACT way as fish fleeing Cousteau's cameras! The interlopers aren't going to be there for long, but we don't want to be around them, stared at, infringed upon, for no matter HOW short a time they're here. What are they doing here in the FIRST place??? (3) 450 miles south of Peking to Soochow, the ancient capital built on canals, quiet and green and ancient looking. (4) Nanking, the city of schools, where they show kids being indoctrinated just as WE could show kids being indoctrinated in the US. (5) Shanghai, city of contrasts, where 10,000,000 people live in the "second largest city in the world" after Tokyo and before New York, I'd suppose. But there's absolutely NOTHING about museums, night life, entertainment, ANYTHING for the tourist OR the inhabitant to do except work, go to school, practice Tai Chi (pronounced Tie-GEE)---NOTHING of color or interest, except sparklingly bright markets of abundant food, live fish and fowl, and acres and acres of bicycles. I'd like to see it but I guess there's nothing to really SEE. Then Cousteau forces air into the sea bottom to investigate something he never finds, saying that "this refreshes the sea-bottom" along with destroying countless millions of organisms. He fools with fish, torments and captures Nautiluses, and shows the filled bottoms of the chemical plants in New Caledonia by showing how the animal life manages to survive ANYWAY, making the whole ecological point worthless. Who SAYS a snake is less desirable than a coral reef? I'm getting tired of his pompous rightness, his destruction for the dilettante science, and all the sights of muscled tanned men with the skimpiest bikinis who won't let ME on board. Speak of SOUR GRAPES. His son seems to be grooming for taking over when he dies, and his experts are universally boring---why can't they SHOW things while some ugly expert tries to articulate his inarticulateness?

DIARY 3575


A more perfectly matched pair of comedies could hardly be imagined: we came in at the end of MAM, John cruised the John, and then I joined him in the audience for "Taking Off," which started with awful auditions for something, in which I got vaguely angry with Milos Foreman for using these poor gals, but the interspersed "Fuck" song with the amusing BOOP for the naughty words, and a marvelous "Even the Horses Had Wings," by maybe it was Carly Simon, were gems of humor. That's what the DAUGHTER took off for, but then the parents were introduced to pot by the loyal order of run-away-from parents, in one of the better grass scenes in movie history, though the effects were a BIT overdone, and the parents got to "taking off" during a strip poker game with some of the most hideous people imaginable. Not much on connection, but a great running series of funnies. Then "MAM" introduced Seymour Cassell as an Al Capp-mustached frenetic free aging hippy with a knack for parking cars, what looked like a beautiful body though they didn't show much of him in his skimpy blue bathing suit, a great bit by the director, John Cassavetes, as the lover of Minnie, and some Russian-repertory-good parts as the museum co-worker of Minnie, the parents of both, mostly of the Cassavetes family, and some marvelously funny lines in the middle of some rather tragic goings-on. I don't remember any comedies which dealt with such SERIOUS topics so SERIOUSLY, and then enlivened the film with such FUNNY shenanigans. Without being stoned, it seemed to portend a new aim in films: not the slapstick of "Candy," the antiquity of L&H or A&C or Hope & Crosby, or even the sophistication of "What's UP, Doc?" but just a set of fairly simple---no, that was it, the PEOPLE were wacky, not just the situations: it even allowed one of the most beautiful golden love scenes of all times in MAM, and one of the most serious studies of generation gaps in "TO." And the spaced laughs were very effective, though the audience tended to chuckle avalanchily for minutes after the line had its effect, sometimes smoothing out the contrast between the funny and the serious. Oh, yes, and CASSELL looked LOUSY without his mustache, glad he grew it back during the time they had the dozen children that surrounded them at the end.

DIARY 3581


Promptly at 6 the chunky Russian starts narrating about the lost Eisenstein film "Bezhin Meadow" which was destroyed except for the three-frame bits of negative saved by Sergei Yutkevitch. Concerned about the amount of time he's on screen, until they show the clips spread out, and there are between 15-20 of them only, it seems, though there seemed to be far more photos that may have been saved in some other way. Sadly, they have no program, so I must note here that he'd made it first with a cast that included a Jehovah-like father and a blond son with a girlish face. Later the critics blasted the acting in the film, and the use of the church as a club, so he refilmed it with a gentler father, and the peasants burned the church instead, and the clips seemed to include portions of both films. This is the LAST of the Eisenstein films that I've seen (though conceivably "Thunder over Mexico," since it included so MUCH footage that I'd never seen before, might REALLY be considered the last---assuming that the 8 shorts edited by Kruse and Mausthner contain only fragments of the incredibly tedious 3 hour and 40 minute Eisenstein's Mexican Film: Episodes for Study), and the story is an follows: the Father kills the Mother, and after idyllic "gold sun-filled" scenes of the meadow, the son mourns under the sternness of the father, and then there are scenes of carousing in a bar, showing the beautiful male faces that Eisenstein liked so much, where the son TELLS everyone that the father killed the mother, and there's a trial-like scene with many old ladies and stern old men judging the case, and the two children are dispersed to different families. More shots of grain and rivers, then the peasants start tearing out the insides of the church, with magnificent shots of men and the plump Russian women surrounded by the Byzantine halo of the icons, and with the great image of Samson pulling down the pillars. Then the fire is set, marvelous rushing up the hill, and the son sees the imprisoned pigeons in the cupola, climbs up, frees them in a cloud of white against the sky, and jumps into the arms of two beautiful men. The villains are caught and thrown into jail, then escape into the woods, and get their father on their side by saying that they're going to collectivize everything, so it's hard to tell WHICH side the sympathies are on---NO, the villains want to RETURN the Boyars to power, so they're double-villains---never any difficulty of telling the good (blond) from the bad (fat and sweaty and dark). Children are set out to watch from towers, and the Father shoots the Son, who falls from the tower, is surrounded by grieving people, and who dies very melodramatically, except that the lovely kid didn't really seem to know how to act. The most muscular of the villains is shown flexing throughout, and in the end he's run down by the parading tractors of the collective which crushes his most beautiful chest. Little doubt where Eisenstein's desires lay. "Time in the Sun" was the film I'd seen twice before, but I took notes to be able to distinguish it from the other two which I was planning to see on the 31st. It lasted one hour ("BM" lasted only a half-hour), and started with scenes from temples, Mexican faces, and the old-style funeral (it had a speaker throughout, with only introductory long titles to read). Then it had, in no recognizable order, scenes of bullfighting and an elaborate dressing ritual for the matador, long sequences of buxom nude washing her hair in a river from a canoe, and ending with a man in a hammock with the palms making patterns over her breasts, people crawling up to church on their knees (actually in a crouch) on either side of three men with faggots stretching their arms into a cross going to a top of a hill where they stood as a crucifixion group, a bunch of kids running naked up another flight of stairs, a peasant's wedding where the wife was taken by the head of a hacienda, which led to a revolution that ended with three men in ANOTHER crucifixion scene being buried up to their lovely chests and trampled by horses, then there was a flurry of festival activity, a fireworks horse burned in a barn, and then there were people in masks brandishing swords, spinning around, girls with pleated skirts on their heads, and the climax with grinning skulls around amusement park rides, on dancers, on grandees who would take off skull-masks to reveal actual skulls below, and the mélange was then over.

DIARY 3589

Also 2/3/73

Notes taken in Updike's "Olinger Stories": "Limelight" is a 2 hour 15 minute film! "Life is a DESIRE, not a meaning," is one of the quotes he throws to Claire Bloom, who follows in the Paulette Goddard footsteps of being rather plain, but very attractive at the same time, but at certain times overacting shamefully, maybe to put him with his enormous naturalism in an even better light. "The meaning of anything is only another set of words for the SAME thing." Chaplin goes back to a rather seedy clown, though he's effective when seen from a distance with his tiny mustache and tinier mouth, for his Calvaro flea number, and his "love, love, love, love, love" song-dream. "That's the trouble with the world, we DESPISE ourselves," is one of his quotes I DON'T agree with. He seems to have gotten more argumentative, more conservative, as he went along, and feared rightly his losing his audience because of it. His speeches were too long and unrelieved, as were her constant repetitions of "I'm walking, I'm walking, I'm walking!" The song "Eternally" came from this, though it wasn't used fully until the composer, played by his son, Sydney Chaplin, looking like a younger Joe Easter, played it for her "impromptu" ballet audition as Melissa Hayden. Funny that Melissa was also a name used in the film for a ballet dancer. Andre Eglevsky looked very young and fabulously leggy as her partner, managing to get billing even above Melissa Hayden. "That's all we are, amateurs; we don't live long enough to be anything else," is a very nice line, though his latest films are hardly the work of a professional. Great scene with Buster Keaton at the piano, almost stealing every frame his marvelous face was in, even more naturalistic than Chaplin, and Charlie on the violin with the uproarious (hard in an empty theater) leg-snapping-up-step-on-it-to-pull-it-down-and-it-slowly-draws-up-again routine. His CHILDREN were in the film: the girl who said that the landlady wasn't home was CERTAINLY Geraldine, and the youngest girl and the boy sort of looked like they were from the same family. More tragic than comic, with his dying at the end while she dances on, "Eternally." Only "Verdoux" and "King in New York" to see yet---wonder what reception the last one will get.

DIARY 3590

Also 2/3/73

Come in the middle of "Bijou" so I don't understand the flashback to the gal getting run over with a car when he's jerking off in the shower. The theater is JAMMED (compared funnily with the one other guy in the Chaplin film just previous to this), but there seems to be no action at all, though I sit in the middle, though there's more than a little looking. His cock is a marvelously long and quite thick thing, and when he finally goes to Prince Street and up the stairs to the "Bijou," taking off his clothes, and gets to fuck someone, his cock is truly extraordinary in the length of lingam between his balls and his ass, so that it looks like he actually has a DOUBLE-EDGED cock from the same set of balls, one of which is fucking HIM in the ass while he fucks the guy lying passively on the floor. Then the music gets dramatic and people detach themselves from the shadows and join the crew, and the effects are marvelous, especially when the magnificent specimen used so well by Colt enters with his whip, but throughout the whole film he doesn't even get a TINGLE of a hard-on, though his body is absolutely eatable, particularly when the lights are behind him, haloing his hair, and he raises his arms into a circle looking absolutely like an incarnate god: if God had to choose a body, it would be this one, with the cock of the lead fellow, who was cute enough in his slender blondness. The four-screen sequence of four guys jerking off, dripping come, was exciting, but during the orgy itself only Ed Sims, or someone like that, actually came by his own hand over someone, and that was it. That huge cock was never actually SEEN spitting semen. "Boys in the Sand" had a truly erect Casey Donovan, looking great in his definite tan, and he and Sims BOTH came enjoyably in the first sequence, the cute Italian didn't seem to come in the second, and the athletics with the black "telephone repairman" in the (Moore) final scene were some of the hottest on the screen, with the doing scenes looking like they MUST have been fun, and Casey playing with his engorged cock in a relaxed teasy way that was fun to watch. It WAS a good double feature, but they still have a LONG way to go to make a COMPLETELY SATISFYING male film.

DIARY 3597

Also 2/3/73

Like the TYPICAL Eisenstein Film: the young strong good handsome hero vs. the fat old oily-faced sneering villain. Then I'm out for an awful fried sole dinner on 8th Street, buy Coriciden over a body lying on Second Avenue, and back at 8 to 11:40 for ENORMOUSLY LONG excerpts. Silent film, LONG subtitles, enabling me to write. Starts by studying his shots of an idol, short, then longer shots of Indian pilgrims to Guadeloupe with feathered hats. Music to have been composed by Shostakovich. The entire film was to portray the "unity of life and death": with a prologue, 4 stories, and an epilog. PROLOGUE: "Eternity" a LONG sequence of the Maya funeral---to 8:35. MANY casket carries, moving, up and down, back and forth, standing and moving and traveling on a cart. Post-Prologue, Pre-1: Spanish Philosophy: Fear of Death: short shots of monks and skulls. Easter ceremony: climbing stairs, carrying crosses. ALL fades made IN Tisse's camera. Crowd crawls UP broad Guadeloupe steps. VERY long. They DID climb old pyramid steps to a church on the top. FIRST STORY: "FIESTA: (to 9 pm) Jealous husband, faithless wife, picador, bullfight and Church. Filmed in Mexico City and Merida, Alexandrov holding handheld camera. NO goring, NO kill of the bull. Forgot that some false bull shots are "posed." (A) Veronicas, (B) Butterfly passes. Eisenstein liked it: "because it was like ballet, or because it was Liceaga's specialty"---OR because it showed his CROTCH to best view! (C) Banderillas (accented on younger brother's crotch). (D) Dedication of bull (E) Kill, without the kill. (F) Picador shots (G) Audience, MANY, including gay old guy, young kid, many shots with marvelous eyebrow lift to 9:55! SECOND STORY: SANDUNGA: Teguantepec marriage (Matriarchy and matchmakers. Bit of Eisenstein's head, hands, body turn up here and there. (A) "Girls daydreaming of marriage" (B) hammock-men scenes (Matriarchy); (C) Matchmaking [faintly EFFETE boys] to 10:20. Lovely image of pendant gold necklace to boy in hammock---though NO nudes in canoe or hammock---used ALL the footage in TITS? THIRD STORY: MAGUEY: the story excerpted into "TOM," he was intending to progress from simplicity and ease to complexity and great FORCE. (a) Start with peon's dawn service---NOT realized in final film (the intended progression). (b) Parents present Marie to Sebastian, "footage cut for use in BOTH TITS AND TOM. (C) St. James converts Moore (symbolized in dance) much MORE footage of festival. LONG and big white priests masks. Churches, masks, Eisenstein's SHOTS are as repetitive and maniacal as a bikini-fetishist! Lovely shirtless sweaty boy being STRETCHED by horses. To 11:13. Maria finds Sebastian's bloody body, and a MARVELOUS shot of him against sky (beautiful breasts sadly BREATHING shallowly) while she's prostrate before him. BEAUTIFUL chest. FOURTH STORY: SOLDADERA: Women who followed their men in the revolutionary army: no parts filmed, Eisenstein finally decided to finish film WITHOUT this fourth part, but they took it away from him. EPILOG: Day of the Dead, November 2, "Not in sequence, but a chaotic flood of images" is what he wanted. (a) Dawn: women before candles, in tomb yard, in front of magnificent cloud-capped volcanoes. To 11:22. (B) Group before Church to 11:26; (C) Graveyard picnic vs food in Mayan funeral in prologue (11:32); (D) Carnival dances and skulls, and amusement park rides, to 11:40. Then it was followed by a catalog of Eisenstein and Alexandrov caught in Tisse's cameras. So this was exhaustingly boring, and on the basis of it, I decided NOT to cut class tomorrow and see the LAST of the four programs on this film: "Conquering Cross, Death Day, Idol of Hope, Land and Freedom, Mexican Symphony, Mexico Marches, Spaniard and Indian, Zapotec Village, 1941-42" (Produced by Bell and Howell Co.; Edited by Kruse and Mausthner, from the Museum of Modern Art. Since these are the same people who edited the 1933 Upton Sinclair production of Thunder over Mexico, I assume these are the parts of the film NOT seen in TOM, but seen at LENGTH in the other sections of Eisenstein's Mexican Film, which must contain MOST of the unused shots from all the films. So I staggered out at about midnight, waited for the train, too eye-weary even to read my book, staying awake only to flop into bed after only cleaning my teeth, hair filthy, unwashed, nose running with cold.

DIARY 3687


Surprising in that it's 100 minutes long, starring "Billy Joe" who's Mr. Stevens, a sexy, uncut-long-cocked bad actor with brown hair, and "Gary Lee" who's Mr. Danials (does everyone have FIRST names in porno films?), a flat-stomached, big-cocked blond who's even a WORSE actor. The Experiment itself is striking, because it shows both cocks coming with only rubbing against the other's body, which is a better way than the WORST way, which is to see minutes and minutes of furious soft-fucking, followed by jerking off onto the ass of the other guy, or the usual way, which is sucking leading to orgasm. Then there was a long stretch of STORY of the unhappiness of being "queer," and I thought it was a rip-off until the end, when the boy's father said he KNEW the kid was gay, but he was his kid, so he loved him, which was great. And the other sex scenes were marvelous, too. Everyone got HARD right at the beginning, no twiddling soft cocks for hours, and seemed to get to the point of orgasm quickly, at which point they started playing: tonguing the tip of the cock, eating the balls, or one marvelous fucking sequence where he went in and out just as slowly as he pleased, balls tight against his yoni, obviously enjoying it, obviously feeling the sensuality of that cock in that asshole as is seldom conveyed on the screen. And the SIZE of the cocks was gratifying, even to the VERY humpy fellow from way back showing off his muscles (though he didn't come), and the continual coming of Mr. Stevens was nice, too. And some of the unidentified shooters in the "acid scene" were great, one spewing off-camera in his enthusiasm. The audience was small and for the most part awful, but it made up for it in openness, guys openly jerking off, someone went down on someone else right in front of me, in the second row, center section of the balcony, in full view of everyone, and no one said anything. Someone sat next to me, I ignored him, he left, someone fairly interesting sat in front, but he wouldn't move toward me, and then finally someone sat next to me and started the feet and knees contact, but it was 8 and I had to leave. MISS "My Uncle and I," "Creation," and "Light from Second Floor Window," but be sure to SEE "Four, for the Money," and "Black Light," FABULOUS previews with GREAT people. "The Naked Stripper" was horrible camp, UGLY fat transvestite: UGH.

DIARY 3706


Brood, brood, brood: about not being able to get it up to give myself to the pretty young things last night; about the hurt in Joan's (at work) face when she said, "Every time I leave, they take something of mine," after Dror took her CHAIR; about the help the people who come to Mattachine need; about how I work ONLY for the money I need to keep me going. How WISE was Krishnamurti; THINKING about doing does NOTHING BUT HARM; WE MUST ACT. SO STOP THINKING! But it's as if I have a tender pustule in my brain, which I have to squeeze in order to EXPRESS the words onto paper, so that I can be satisfied and LEAVE IT ALONE. SO much to write; how many ideas, SO little time. Finish the trip diary, write letters, finish the Harper and Row test, finish Income Tax, rewrite 10 diary pages and xerox them for 85 agents. DO IT; DO IT. But I see movies and plays and mime theaters and opera and TV, go to orgies and dances and restaurants. Read books. Write notes to myself.

The ten episodes from "Ten from Your Show of Shows" included: the Bavarian clock that went out of whack when she threw the water on Sid; the interview with the Cherman professor who contrasts the speed of sound and the speed of light with Carl Reiner; the sewing machine girl doing her ludicrous Jackie-Gleason-type dance before dying of tuberculosis and being hoisted out the window with white wings; the Big Business lunch with him finally demanding 51% of the sandwiches; the soprano recital interrupted by his shoes, knees, cracking fingers, rattling brains, scratching pen; their lengthy take-off on "From Here to Obscurity" wherein she breaks up and HIDES in his shoulder to recover; "This is Your Story," the funniest of all, with that rare helpless laughter from the whole audience, with Howard Morris clinging, sobbing, grateful, to Sid's leg during the life-story; the overdone movie theater fight between Reiner and Caesar over Coca; the marvelous "I wrecked the car / of COURSE, I sent in the insurance check" Coca-bit; and the Cherman Morris dressing the elegant General Caesar who turns out only to be a doorman---this will do until the SECOND 10 from Your Show of Shows.

DIARY 3731


Decided to keep a list of what happened to hang off the cliff: got these:

1) Building collapses (spectacularly---with applause): he jumps to next roof.
2) Run over by tractor---jumps out of the way---they CHEATED on this one.
3) Trapped in burning box---shoots off side-supports and hops out.
4) Car with bomb into garage---he jumps out before it hits (ho-humsville)
5) Gail under guillotine---he pulls the switch (what else would he do?)
6) He falls 300 feet down well, BOUNCES, bucket on top---rolls into side tunnel.
7) Factory blows with Nitrogas---he's already walked out the back door.
8) Her plane explodes in midair---she bails out (again, what ELSE?)
9) Barn explodes---they leave---by this time I'm QUITE ready to leave.

Chapter 10 is entitled the RETURN of Captain America, so I'll have to watch out for THAT. INCREDIBLY stereotyped final battle: to be repeated, thankfully edited, at the beginning of the next sequence to get the kids' adrenalin up: two men against hero, they throw things that miss, he has one kick from the wall, one rollover kick from the floor; they break chair or table or stool or SOMETHING breakaway on something hard, so that it shatters all over the set; SOMETIMES they pull gun, but he always hits them, they never hit him, though he at least once pretends to be hit and falls to the ground. The hero's not really very attractive at all, showing absolutely no arm or chest development, and his middle has definitely a laced-in, corseted look. His legs aren't bad, but I suppose the tights could be padded, though with the matte blackness of them, they could do ANYTHING and nothing would show. The plot was DREADFUL; the Mayan jewels being given over to the "wrong" fellow, the villain OBVIOUSLY the villain, and I had HOPED that they might get to Mexico, but I'm sure they were too cheap to do that. Obviously it was shot only once, because facial expressions were NIL and artistic endeavors were slipshod. "It's Captain America" is something ELSE that should be added to the stereotype. How can kids grow up NORMALLY when they're subjected to strains and emotions of this sort? Well, it was something that I wanted to do, and so I DID it!

DIARY 3874


Kept notes of the good and bad quotations, since it's a sort of a "first":

GOOD: Gary: "Right now I just have a personal problem and I'm overreacting," when he snipes back at his brother-in-law saying he can "bring his friend to dinner." Doug: "I should have talked to him [his son], helped him out." At least he REALIZES it. Wife: "If you were a women, I'd know how to compete with you." The BITTERNESS of this statement is a marvelous EXPLANATION of the feelings of women toward gays. Doug: "The hardest time I had was accepting it myself." Good honesty, again. Wife: "Give him [the son] a little time." At least a chance to do something. But the bad was worse.

BAD: Doug: "What's the point of confusing him [the son]." Actually, it would have been LESS confusing had it been out in the open. Doug: "I don't see why I should force the issue," but he INVITED his lover OVER with his son there. Like MANY movies, if the father or the mother had been HONEST, there's been no PLOT. Like the stroke of finding the watch: "To Doug with love, Gary." Wife: "Like any woman in that situation [marrying gay], I thought I could change him." Just perpetuating a horrible myth. Doug: "If there was any way for me not to have this conversation, I wouldn't." That's what caused the whole problem in the first place, if he'd had a conversation when it was NEEDED, when Gary was first introduced to the son, it would have been QUITE a different thing. Maybe the son would have been hurt and dismayed, but he wouldn't have known that he was constantly being LIED TO and CHEATED OF HONESTY. Doug: "If I had a choice, it's not something I'd pick for myself." How much better and more HONEST for most gays it would have been to say "THIS SOCIETY, which hates gays unreasoningly, is not the society I'd pick for myself." THAT'S where the problem is, in SOCIETY, not in the gay! And then the kid surely DOES OVER-REACT! Gary: "You all right?" Doug: "Yeah," when it's obvious that he's NOT. What a chance THAT would have been to show some understanding and love on the part of the two men, but they didn't TOUCH one time, they didn't even seem to be very good FRIENDS. So it was loaded THAT way, too.

DIARY 4125


By far his bitterest one yet, the ending is staggering with his greeting the priest with "Can I help you?" His statements that ONE killing is a murder, but the killing of MILLIONS is the act of a hero. He talks unconvincingly about evil being the shadow cast in the light of good, which doesn't quite come across, but his observations that we don't KNOW what makes a crime are good, and his response to "God have mercy on your soul:" "He should, it's his anyway," is a CLASSIC. The MOTIVATIONS at the end were foggy, there was no NEED that he go back inside for the police raid to catch him, except that he was so READY to die that it FIT, it just didn't seem all that PLANNED. He had almost NO set speech, as had so marred "The Great Dictator," but he STILL seemed to be plagued with awkward female-casting: the woman he befriended to poison and then poured out the poison when he heard "I'd KILL for the person I loved," which is what he was doing for his crippled wife and his blond son, was BEAUTIFUL enough, and NATURAL enough, but she didn't seem QUITE convincing when she told him that she was the mistress of a munitions manufacturer, and "we're going to be rich." The look of the Tango was strange having just seen "LAST Tango." But some of the CLASSIC scenes of his dealings with his stingy wife who drew all her money out of the bank to be killed by him; the boat-scene with Martha Raye that was broken up by the yodelers on the shore; the LOOK on his face when he finds HE was drinking the wine he thought was poisoned instead of RAYE; the DIABOLICALNESS of his wanting to murder the girl even THOUGH she loved the kitten (and the audience WEPT when she broke down and cried when he gave her money), and the suggestion that the apothecary friend find a derelict and poison HIM; the LOVELY scene of HIS about to drink the wine to suicide when the police detective found out about his crimes, then putting it DOWN when the detective, in triumph that he was going to give himself up, drank it HIMSELF (Exnide and C2HC and ethnol), the BEAUTY of Isobel Epsom in a scene when she was falling for him, and the MARVELS of the wedding reception when he hears Raye's LAUGH, gets the cramps, and William Frawley leads him to the house, which he dashes through and jumps over the fence, and the MARVELOUS poker-faced sister of his FIRST wife fainting!

DIARY 4150


Wanted to finish this LAST Sunday, but I wasn't here, so I type up only the brief note that I HAVE: from 10/7: his first three films were amateur films: One) peep show, fantasy on bums, even HE said it was poor. Two) Cecile, a rip-off of the "Red Balloon" a girl goes looking for wings for a play. Three) Lourdes to Britten's music, and he gets caught up in the idea of portraying a PERSON by showing images along with MUSIC which goes along with him, a GREAT idea. Did a number of sight/music films for Monitor BBC-TV arts show in 1959 on, then 6 filmlets of London, spoken by Betjeman, 15 minutes total, then Henry Moore et al Artists' series, then Prokofiev music to Eisenstein's films, then he did Debussy and Elgar, one hour pieces, for the 1961 second anniversary of Monitor. Rossetti, Delius, and Richard Strauss followed for TV, and then "Women in Love," after his first, the "Million Dollar Brain," then "The Boy Friend," "The Music Lovers," "The Devils," which they say has NEVER been show uncut ANYWHERE, which sounds like something to see, and then, finally, "Savage Messiah." It reminds me that I read an article about Robert Crumb, and HE wants to do great things with cartoons. Already with "Fritz the Cat" and "Heavy Traffic" he's done marvelous things with New York photography and cartoon characters, including a scene impossible to film in real life, and THEN he goes to say that he wants to do a 9-part "War and Peace" and I think again of a CARTOON Niebelungen Ring, and THIS is an area which is going to get MORE important in films: the MUSIC and the SIGHTS all the imagination of people, regardless of what's in the world---"Fantasias" unlimited, and I've GOT to wire up the tape recorder for the tape to Bill and to record my own ORGASMS as take-off points for my NEXT orgasms, to prolong BEYOND the beyond and see what happens. And now it's JUST 2 minutes to 11, and I've got to stop typing, but I'm STILL held by the tyranny of finishing to the end of the page. So STOP.

DIARY 4218


"On the Fringes of Indian Society," goes first to the Bondo tribe in India: they eat cows (and can't be found in Encyclopedia Britannica, sadly, nor can any of the OTHERS). They're in the mid-India jungle hills, it SOUNDED as if he said the Jaipur Hills in southernmost Orissa State, taking a number of hours on a truck and a clamber up a hill for six hours. The nearest town is Munli-pada and Crisem-pada, with the market where they sell their brooms at Munda-Guda. [They say there are 500 million people in India, so 80% (who live in villages) are 400 million; and the 570,000 villages would make an average of 700/village, a fairly good size.] Their deity is the sun, and they have fertility cults which worship an earth mother-goddess. Later they say "nearby, in Andra Pradesh," something happens, so that's where it is. Then to Kerala, to Krangeno, which Francis Xavier founded in 1582, and to Cochin, where India has NEVER prosecuted the Jews), and to Pondicherry for "Mother's" voice, and the ashram of Sri Aurobindu, who was BURIED rather than burned, and his "Synthesis of Yoga" had "answers so that no questions remained" for one of its readers. It's currently the biggest (tax-free) business in Pondicherry, and they're planning to build a Utopia: Auroville, where everyone comes with anything they wish (or nothing), figure what they WANT to do, are trained to do it, and live happily ever after. Well, THAT'S where we can go, except that they're sexually abstemious (except the narrator said, "but not everyone" with a rather smirky voice). Then to the Tota Tribe in the Nagiri Hills, the "Ideal Society" with total sexual freedom, total happiness on the faces of their children, and beautiful people that anthropologists can't decide were descended from Sumer or from Alexander the Great. But they're about to be wiped out, as most of the hill tribes are, by the encroachment not of BUILDING but of industry: for a dam or a plantation of turpentine trees or a road. But I'm sorry that John didn't see it, would be happy to see it again (except that it conflicts with the third "Apes" film on Friday), and they even show part of the LAST part, on Bombay, as a bonus.

DIARY 4222

Also 11/17/73

Starts with "Reluctant Dragon" excerpt, with NOTHING from the film itself. Disney org has decided that it's "Too old-fashioned to be shown commercially," and 8:05-8:30 is taken with the Baby Weems sequence, drawn from the boards, hailed as a breakthrough in technique. 1942 "Saludos Amigos" featurette was such a success that he made "Three Caballeros" in 1945 for the South American market that replaced the European market killed in the war. He remarks on Dumbo's "Pink Elephant" scene as being a high point, "3C" was shown at a science-fiction convention, and he evaluates "Robin Hood" as being too rooted in reality, no whimsy, nothing memorable. He extols the excellence of the TECHNICOLOR film print as opposed to the current blander process. "3C" NOT shown in the Disney retrospective at Tully Hall this summer, either. 8:45: Package from South America 1) Aves Rara: a) Penguins (Pablo), on Galapagos at end [movie camera] b) BEAUTIFUL birds; c) Araquin: ala pappa pappa Ia. D) Panchito hunts condors and finds flying donkey and wins race. 2) 9:07: Joe Carioca: BAHIA from 9:08-9:12: surreal SUPER real, red, pastely, water and coast, but REAL. [pop-up book] b) GREAT train---live woman, Aurora Miranda, cuchee yemmy ya ya; KISS fantasy, confetti, and cock/man fight with shadows CARTOONED in back of REAL scenes; dancing furniture and the entire CITY, with an instant of Donald Duck in DRAG. 1st reel over at 9:23, whole thing 70 minutes. 2nd reel: balloon from finger-blowing SURREAL; "You kill my head," 3) Mexico; a) "3C" sound track guitar, viol, horn, and INCREDIBLE DISTORTED DONALD DUCK on sound track: fantasy. B) Pinata, pastel, Xmas story, NOT animated; c) Mexico City in paintings, watercolors, films on magic serape: 1) Pasco, fishermen; 2) hat dance; 3) Veracruz: Longo; 4) Acapulco, girls on beach; 5) NIGHT life of Mexico City "You Belong to My Heart," Dora Luz, STAR fantasy, animated; flower-bee fantasy, BRIGHT lines, "as a star" Pat Ast HUMS disgustingly. INCREDIBLE dewy dream-flower, girls, colors and cactus and Busby Berkeley, head show, a real TRIP; and incredible sunset-cactus-dancing women, Carmen Molina "Jesusita" and false bull and MULTI-People, to fireworks finale, to 10 pm, done AFTER "Gang's All Here" banana number, and some of the work is the most incredible Disney's EVER done.

DIARY 4233


Starts with Goofy (hundreds of them) in "Double-Dribble" from 1946, from 8 pm to 8:08, and it's killed to DEATH by the discussion about it afterward. UU vs. PU, with violence, silliness, and a tiny VERY willing Goofy aching to get into the game and, of course, saving it. In 1949 Mr. Toad's ONLY fantasy was his EYES rotating with the motorcar, gloves and feet running after Toad Hall deed after the weasel was knocked out of them, and the GREAT final chase ending on chandelier and trapdoor in wall. Funnily caricatured weasels, and Wimpy was pleasant, and Eric Blore's voice was pleasant from 8:35-9:10. Then 9:30-10:05 was Ichabod, and how I REMEMBER the crotch of the sexy, handsome Brom Bones. And the MAGNIFICENT torso of the Headless Horseman, even sexier because you couldn't quite see anything in the black costume. The best part by FAR is the ending 10 minutes of the chase through Sleepy Hollow, which must have TERRIFIED kids in its time. The class ended with a 1947 cartoon of "Donald's Dilemma," another 8 minutes from 10:06 to 10:14, where a falling pot makes him a great crooner, and finally Daisy, after consulting a psychiatrist, bops him on the head again to get him back. But I so remember the SEX-laden scenes of his crotch, animated fantasies from Captain Marvel and the fellow in green who NEVER showed his crotch coming back distinctly. It seems so CLEAR that the individual brings so MUCH to his viewing of something, even though it might not enter into any kind of review itself, but the individual predilections, likes, and dislikes must be VERY hard to get rid of when viewing something for reporting to a GENERAL audience, but then possibly they think EVERYONE who reads them is like them, so they're, like the cartoon Goofys, writing to THEMSELVES multiplied in the world. But movies are SUCH an influence in my life (though I have trouble remembering if I've SEEN some of them, or remembering VERY GOOD details about VERY GOOD ones) that I feel good when I can see some from the distant past, if only to see if there's any new connection made between nonsense phrases, or music, or images that came to me during my LSD trip, now so long remembered from the past.

DIARY 5404


Third New York Film Festival. "The Wedding March:" academically interesting. Maude George: composing. Hughie Mack: enormous. Matthew Betz: spitting, Hitler-haired, yet he does marry her, disgraced though she is.

"Yeats Country:" Sligo County---fantastically beautiful, poetic travelogue.

"Les Vampyres:" tossed off train, poisoned by pen, poisoned by pellet in ear, shot by own side, kidnapped by cabbie, strangled by poisoned man, split screen phoning, blanks in pistol, mad robber captured, hypnosis, flashback, movie within movie, bullfight, chloroformed audience, hotel robbed, head in briefcase, escape in well, sliding picture, moving panel, false back safe, men through fireplace, note on brick, lassoed out window, basket falls downstairs, bat girl killed by ring scratch, woman thrown out window, inter-blanket, gassing of whole party, mother captured by cabbie, man shot by hypnotized woman, poisoned spike under glove, body into river, cannoning a party, twice shooting at someone stooping down, another woman snatched off street, Ben Turpin type comedian who acts to audience, rips phone out and puts in pocket, cannon explodes the ship, paralyzing potion on hand spike, two women are carried off in a sack, man dragged into truck by a priest, boy gives audience "Fungu," jump out window into car, hat bomb, peephole in mask in wall, kid shoots guy, guy throttles kid, and cops rescue everyone, kid a real scene stealer, secret writing on wet paper, poison on note when eaten, amazing rooftop scenes, she sprays car, he gets out of trunk and attacks her, other girl attacks him, and she sprays him, another girl carries him off, and she gets into truck, fantastic sequence, poisoned champagne, jump from bridge onto moving train, running gunfight on train top, fellow shoots vampire gas girl, hundreds of revolvers, wife shoots vampire man in his last suit and falls out of window, woman winds rope around waist, and falls eight stories to ground, falls and stumbles into horse manure, dozens die from house fall from balcony, and finally, Irma is shot.

Geraldine Fitzgerald appears at showing of "Of Human Bondage" to present "three of Bette Davis' best scenes," all women of "guts."
1. Julie in "Jezebel:" "Pres is coming home. He had to come back to me. We'll be married. I'm going to beg his forgiveness. I hated myself, I'll humble myself." Henry Fonda, and he's married.
2. "Dark Victory:" Judith Traherne telling Ann how wonderful life is and Ann knows Judith is dying. Robert Preston. "Darling, poor fool, don't you know I'm in love with you." Prognosis negative scene.
3. "All About Eve:" Margo Channing: written for Claudette Colbert. "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Scene in car, miss train. "Peace and quiet is for libraries." "Vampires" lasts from 5:07 to 9:00 pm and 9:50 to 12:28 am. Six hours and 31 minutes.

SECOND NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL. "HAMLET:" not a sellout, rather amazing. Less chic opening crowd than last year. Lights dim at 9:10 and Schuman introduces Kozintsev, who reads short speech about Shakespeare. Movie starts past beginning of play, with glorious surf and Shostakovich music that promises to overpower the rest of the film, and the promise holds true. The Russian translation by Pasternak might be poetic, subtitles are pure Shakespeare and the necessity of reading titles
for 147 minutes means much is cut, and a line may indicate an entire speech. Acting is made difficult by having many soliloquies mental as "stale, flat, and unpleasant" and "to be or not to be." Some transpositions are great, as having portrayed the scene where Hamlet "peruses my face as if he would paint it," and in cutting Ophelia's narratives. Some effects great, particularly, the ghost, done marvelously with music, slow majestic movements, great shadowy lighting, and marvelous flowing cloak. Only surpassed by "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Follies Bergere." Ophelia's drowning is sketchily done and Hamlet's father reappearing in bedroom is so done as to necessitate knowing the play. Much good music, as he writes a Bacchanalian revel, stately throne music, comic play scenes, a regal processional, a dirge after "let the soldiers shoot." By far the best is the music and the photography, with touches like Ophelia in billowy black and plucking dry twigs out of the fireplace for "and Rosemary" are good too. In two exactly equal parts "Go," has no title except (Hamlet in Russian) part 2. Acting is nondescript, but look on Hamlet's face as he sees his father in mother's room coupled with excellent "ghost" music is potentially chilling.

"LA HERENCIA:" Theater only about 3/4 full and movie is very disappointing with the longest titles in the world. Merely an aunt who stipulates her inheritance only if he has a child.

Joseph Kilian: Czechoslovakia: On this first five minutes, so "he" is trying to tell Joseph Kilian "someone died." Stop motion film on "understand" is interesting, and the Rental is cute, and the huge files are impressive, but the film really goes nowhere. Locales are properly there.

"Le mani sulla bitta:" Terribly boring - almost fell asleep innumerable times. Didn't know Steiger spoke Italian. Good aerial shots of Naples, but terrible loudness in the stupid counsel chamber. Everyone who wasn't completely unpleasant was communist, and even they weren't drawn as individuals.

"One, two, three:" Hungary: Cute bit about counting - clever and funny in parts but hardly went anywhere. Durer gave the PRESENT NEWSREELS.

Warhol's "Kiss" brings the point of a repressed lesbian? The female avidly licking and picking the moustache of the man she is kissing. How wet and messy and cunty.

DIARY 5509


Just watched "Long Day's Journey into Night." Just gotten over a long cold, and I decided on the movie just on the spur of the moment. Watched the first act, and when intermission came I was too enervated to move out of my seat. At the end of the show, I sat for awhile, simply not thinking, walked out of the theater, out onto the street, past people, walking slowly, looking up at the fog-ringed moon and cloudy stars. I walked automatically, like a little walking doll down a gentle slope. I placed one foot in front of another, balancing from foot to foot, down 70th Street between Third and Second. At first I thought of nothing but then I thought of the movie. But my first thought was not of the ideas that were placed before the audience (except a brief thought about the mother's faith being lost, and only then was she subject to human ills) but the main thought was the theatricality of the movie, the satisfyingness of it, the four main characters speaking in turn, one to the other: the father with the mother about their love, the father with the older son about the way they suspect and watch the mother, the father with the younger son about the father's early life, the younger son with the father about his sea experiences, the younger son with the mother about him causing her sickness, the son with the brother (amazing scene) about the brother's jealousy and hate and love. It was the satisfaction of seeing these stark emotions paired, the satisfaction of each of them shrieking his emotions, shouting at God, calling down God's damnation, loving and hating each other in quick dizzying turn in a second, intensely. This was impressive. The tearing of the purple passion to tatters. And the simile to myself, walking down the street immersed in the movie, yet conscious of the picture I was giving those who might see me, walking very slowly down the street. The consciousness of myself, and the consciousness of the degree to which I love theatricality, to which I loved being watched, listened to, being on a stage, that I act, even with myself, as if I'm being watched, being appraised, being appreciated. Certainly the watching and appraising bring up God, who hasn't come up in a while. The Incessant Watcher, the Constant Appraiser. Life itself is only a drama, performed in his eyes. For his approval. He's the playwright, and the director, and the sole critic, yet the characters roam in search of the author, and the question arises, is GOD subject to surprise? Is he a humorless God, can anything we do amuse and amaze him? Is God jaded? And so I walked slowly with the feeling which I could not say was fatigue, which I could not say was thought, which I could only say was theatrical, and dream of the time when I could put on paper the trails of words, yet, learn never to call on the name of God too much, because it pales, not to scream too much, because it pales. It's the one use of the shouted, "GOD!" that had the effect. It's the one scene of nerve-bared emotion that carries the entire story of build. I criticize the father for being too theatrical, even though the critics liked him; I like it so much, I'm repelled when I see it? Critic of son's sea passage, write not of poetry unless the actors will be perfection itself, or the poetry dies.

DIARY 4261


It's only one floor of mostly huge paintings, so "Extraordinary Realities" goes quite quickly from 3 to 3:30. "Mescaline Forest" is not terribly real, OR terribly extraordinary, or even particularly far out. Four Edenic rivers coming from a rock in Bill Martin's 1971 Bohrod-like detail is the best of the show. Virginia Johnson's "Doorway #11" with a wall-upholstered sofa is neat. Others use phalli and trips as I would like to, with bright acrylic colors and LOVELY fantasies. WHY don't I TRY? Because I should be doing it in WRITING, in which I have more PRACTICE and more SKILL, that's why!! Charles J. Magistro (b. 1941) lives in Richmond, Virginia, did a bright Manchester Bridge, 1972, lent by the artist. "A View of a Holstein Rock Farm" is fun. Marvelous Jim Franklin 1970 "Quake" plain of armadillos split open to show another plane of armadillos split open to the horizon, which is a SKY split open with ARMADILLOS BEHIND IT. Fabulous execution! Michael Miller's 1972 "Pinnacle" is very sexy, like squeezing a pimple that's a nipple and getting a cock rising from it, with cuntliferaft afterbirths into the bargain. Robert Warren's "Moby DICK" blue and coming. Then it's 3:30 and I'm in line for the film, "My Girlfriend's Wedding," by Jim McBride, with Clarissa. McBride AGAIN hit by the "observed ceases to be what it was BECAUSE it's being recorded," but I hate him because when HE wants the camera off, it goes off, but when SHE wants it off, it stays on. One shot: three people in City Hall: One wanted a FILM (regardless of the people), one wanted to be MARRIED (regardless of the people), and one wanted to BREAK the SYSTEM (regardless of the people). All of them stupid, ego-tripping, mis-informed about themselves and the world, puking over the emulsion. PART OF MY HATE OF THESE FILMS AND THESE PAINTINGS IS THAT I COULD DO BETTER BUT I HAVEN'T!! Lee Krassner is soft-edged, and Someone Zox is hard-edged, both on the fourth floor, and there's really nothing more to say about them, except: WHY? Read for a bit to pass more time, then catch an interesting Fifth Avenue bus downtown to 14th, feeling ALMOST that I've wasted the $1.50 admission price to the Whitney Museum of American Art.

DIARY 4272


Too-molded crowd scenes show the revolution, the empty palace, and the empty treasury, and Chaplin's exit from the plane used in the previews is his debut in the film, but he's just SO goody-goody, with his Prime Minister stealing the money and Chaplin insisting it wouldn't do ANY good to say that he's innocent---though there's NO reason mentioned why there should be a revolution if SUCH a saint is king. Then there's a scene with his queen, looking like an old Claire Bloom, trying to be touching but merely looking stiff, who might be loving him now that there's no need to stay together. Then a TREMENDOUSLY awkward scene where Dawn Addams gets him into her bathroom by speaking "Help" and then demands to know what he's doing there. Awkward Ambassador, too. There follows the absurd scene of him in the dinner, interrupted by her deodorant and toothpaste ads for the hidden camera, which records his "To be or not to be" which no one could decide was serious (which HE seemed to make it) or slapstick (as he DIRECTED it, with hands in mousse and clanging platters). Then the horrid little boy with the autocratic finger-waving and overly-enunciated speech giving his "all" for communism, and the painful bean-shooting at ears by the boys, the funny nose-picker making cookies, and the messy sitting on creamed-hat finale. The only FUNNY scene was where he was being VERY serious with her, then she says "But I'm REAL" and he LEAPS atop her, and the audience laughs as much at the INCONGRUITY as at the humor of the situation. His choking on the Royal Velvet whiskey is good, but the idea that they'd LIKE it is absurd, just as his being cited for contempt, and THEN showering them with water from the fire hose, and INSTANTLY being proclaimed a star witness by the papers is TOTALLY ununderstandable. And then the well-played pain of the boy, rescuing his parents from jail by ratting on their friends, leaves the audience in such QUESTIONING state that I CAN'T be sure he really knew exactly WHAT feeling he wanted to give the audience. And then he flies back to Paris while his luggage is being sent "by freight" to his wife who may love him, leaving Dawn, who likes him very much, and they fly off over New York, for the applauded end of a quite unapplaudable film by a slipped Chaplin.

DIARY 4297


This Yugoslavian animation company (which couldn't get ANY American cartoons, so they had to start EVERYTHING for themselves, undoubtedly for the BETTER), is NOT the Jiri Trinkla Czechoslovakian company I was thinking about, but as good.
1. "Ceremony" (1965), Dovnicovich, 4 min, has a "photo aligning" for a FIRING SQUAD.
2. "Tup Tup" (1972), Dragich, 17 min, Tup-tup sounds drive one person to DESTROY THE WORLD---cataclysmic finale of outstanding artistry and power.
3. "Tamar of Wild Horses" (1966), Dragich, 7 min, indestructible little man INSISTS on taming an iron horse, that finally sprouts wings and takes OFF with him. "Man trying to harness Industry," the book says, but WHO wins?
4. "The Flower Lover" (1966), Dovnicovich, 30 min, Man develops flowers that "boom" and EVERYONE loves them and they DESTROY the city! Orgasm? Grass? War? Strange! Photos of flowers for a REAL mixture of media.
5. "Elegy" (1965) Dragich, 4 min, Man in jail, flower grows, he loves it, gets out, stretches, crushes it unknowingly, and walks happily away. Ende.
6. "Largo," black and white, 1 min, Fat gal swims to island to lost man and SINKS it. This is part of the ad-work, filling in time for their art-work. "Letting them wet their feet without going in the hole," as he punnily puts it.
7. "Mask of the Red Death" (1969), Stalter, 10 min, ALL different, beautiful paintings "come to life," but clock STOPS in castle when the gates CLOSE, he LAYS a woman disguised, who is Red Death (hmmm), dies, and the clock STARTS UP AGAIN. It took two years to make, but resembles not at ALL the story, not even using the marvelous colored-room idea of Poe.
8. "Ersatz" (1961), U.S. Academy Award for cartooning, Vukotich (who did a full-length "Seventh Continent" that I hope I see on TV someday), 10 min, and it's one I SAW before (at the NYC Film Festival) of the inflatable car, tent, woman, surfer, and hero, and world, and everything else, with the funny sounds and humming and giggles and drawings. 93 minutes of film for $3.50, not THAT bad, but not that good, either. "The Making of 'Shinbone Alley'" that STARTED it from 8:14-8:23 was pretty awful, horrible lip-synch, rudimentary drawings; "The Fourposter" has animated TRANSITIONS he thinks are good, but I wouldn't care to see "Shinbone Alley."

DIARY 4373


"Cambodia: the Angkor Mystery" is done in moving stills, ending with a note of mystery on why the "sleeping city" was abandoned by its conquerors, poor.

"Kaleidoscope Orissa" talks of flour-painting, drawn on earth with brown-rice flour, pot-baking, silver-remelting for larger ornaments, cloth-weaving with tye-dying, canopy-making in ONE village for the state, stone-carving, wood-carving, card-painting, patachitra-painting for a festival. Krishna appeared to Arjuna as a "new animal" to test his courage, embodying NINE components. Jagannath is armless and legless, with his brother and sister, an incarnation of Vishnu. Showing "God's alien serene indifference to man."

"Ukiyo-e" is pronounced you-key-OH ai, going back to Edo when it was the largest city in the world, up through the last, Hiroshige, in 1858.

"The Sword and the Flute" says that Akbar, a Muslim, introduced figure painting to India, producing the production of miniatures which were either Mogul, showing court life---the sword, or Rajput, showing everyday life, religion, and the love affairs of men and the longings of women, the flute.

"Bali: Art and Religion" is in lush color from Xerox Films, telling us that the soft volcanic-rock ornamentations must be recarved every generation, keeping their carving arts alive. Paintings formerly limited to five colors: red, blue, yellow, black and white, and then Roger Spies, or Speese, came in 1922 and started colorful art-deco type paintings which changed the direction of the whole thing. Many of the current artists "charge astronomical prices saying they are their children, and does one sell children?" where obviously you DO if the prices are high enough. They probably think of themselves as Rembrandts and want to get $5 million for each of THEIRS, too. But it's still impossible to capture the flavor of the island, even though they showed lots of bare breasts and made it obvious that the man washing his daughter's hair in the stream was cock-bare, and showed some Legong dancers just as I was forced to leave at 2, and I don't even know if they showed the funeral of a king after the festival at Peliatan or not. The auditorium was fully charged with unpleasant people.

DIARY 8176


"Miracles for Sale" is directed by Tod Browning, which is the name that drew me to the movie in the first place. The whole crowded (even in the snow!) auditorium ignores William Everson's commentaries, and I'm too stoned to follow and too enjoyment-oriented to care about his "rarity of a period film during the Depression" and "other films at the same time or by the same people or the same author." The first is VERY confusing, with people with VERY blue eyes looking like beings from other planets, and Henry Hull acting an escape artist who is either the killer at the end, or the killer is DISGUISED as him, and Gloria Holden has a marvelous bit as a medium who conjured up a dead man who surprises even HER. Robert Young is snippy as a "medium-buster" who respects the mystical. The "trick opening" WAS obvious, with a Japanese shooting a coffin in half before an OBVIOUS set for a movie sequence, and the movie-camera assisted tricks were a marvelously underplayed sequence in a restaurant where he "vanishes" two sugar bowls through trick photography. The IDEA that he'd produce a cigarette out of the air ANYWHERE is preposterous---you can't go around wired ALL the time! Then there's "Trouble for Two" with Rosalind Russell gotten up in flowing dresses trying NOT to look like a comedienne NOR like someone playing Elektra, and doesn't quite manage to do it. Robert Montgomery must have been America's answer to England's Leslie Howard's foppish pretty-boy who gets out of all the scrapes perfectly all right. But it's perfectly clear that she's Princess Hilda, or whoever, of Caronia, and they'll be married in the end. But it WAS charmingly scary with the Suicide Club drawing of cards---well, it was the FIRST that had the sliding sofa into the cellar, the "bullet missing the heroine who feigned blood gushing from mouth to terrify disguised killer" gambit, and other B-movie goodies. Gratified to see that others in the audience would tell people to stop smoking, that I could go through the whole list of upcoming movies for the semester and (except for being tempted by "Saludos Amigos" for the cartooning again [Feb. 19 at 7:45 for $3.50, in case], and worried to find that my teeth ACHE through the bologna and eggs and home-fries and fruit---this is ANOTHER curse of old age!