“Punch-Drunk Love" is a film, but it is also something else: It creates for itself a new space to exist, in between cinema and painting. It is literally a moving painting, because of Jeremy Blake’s color-field interludes and also because of the way these interventions into the film space seem to haunt the non-painted imagery. But it is also in the same class as a Rothko or Newman or Kandinsky, in that it visualizes the invisible and the intangible, in a way that transcends narrative and forces us to engage with its space and its presence within our space. It is a moving painting — it’s a painting that moves the viewer.”—Karina Longworth - Salon.com
Ever since its release in 1951, a steady stream of eager producers, directors, screenwriters and actors have unsuccessfully attempted to bring J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye to the big screen, all falling at the first hurdle when confronted with Salinger’s resolute refusal to sell the rights to his novel. The letter below, written in 1957 in response to an enquiry from a Mr. Herbert (and currently for sale here), is a perfect example of the opposition faced and provides an entertaining glimpse at the author’s reasoning.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around."
I’m obsessed with finding the connection between the film’s that influence filmmakers and their films. Lately, I’ve been checking out the filmographies of Truffaut, Bergman and Goddard to name a few and in watching their work I’m experiencing film in a whole new way. It may sound silly, but with the old stuff I feel like I’m solving some sort of cinematic mystery the moment I make a connection.
For example, I recently watched Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf, a gothic horror, the film paints a portrait of an artist, his love and the demons that haunt him. The couple in love, the eccentrically off neighbors, and all the sensual and sexual imagery - it screamed Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. I was alsorecently surprised by the opening of 400 Blows, a scene where Woody Allen definitely drew inspiration to create the intro scene in Manhattan, a longtime favorite of mine.
Anyway, an article in The Independent shares the movies that mattered most to some of today’s great directors including Martin Scorsese, Lars von Trier, Danny Boyle and Mira Nair to name a few. I can’t wait to watch some of these.