Monday, November 27, 2006

Robert Moses Fiorello La Guardia

from The Power Broker Robert Moses and the Decline of New York City by Robert A. Caro published in 1974. (page 453)

Jack Madigan, a Moses assistant, is talking of the tumultuous relationship between Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses the public works commissioner for both the state and city of New York who did the most to shape the development of that city from the 1920s to the 1970s.

"Other people dealt with personal feelings and emotions, got emotional about personal feelings, see, but these two fellows here, they dealt with subject matter --- that was what they got emotional about --- and when the subject was over, they could be friends again --- unless one of them brought up the subject matter again."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Roberto Rosselini on imagination and reality

In a interview on the Criterion DVD release of The Flowers of St. Francis, Father Virgilio Fantuzzi quotes the director Roberto Rosselini as saying:

Imagination is a part of reality.


Isabella Rossellini on her father Roberto Rossellini

from the Criterion DVD for Roberto Rossellini's The Flowers of St. Francis. The interview with Isabella Rossellini.
transcribed from about 15:00 into that interview.

A lot of people try to explain the essence of human beings. Freud might say sex. Somebody else says survival, fear of death. For my father, it was knowledge. He said that the way for me that is a man -- the essence of a man is that we have a brain. The brain needs to be nourished. I see the man as a human being on his tippy-toes looking further into the horizon -- and that was the essence of humans. And that is the essence of his cinema.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Neil LaBute on Eric Rohmer

from the Criterion DVD for Eric Rohmer's L'Amour l'après-midi ("Chloe in the Afternoon.)

Neil LaBute in an afterward to that film speaking of Eric Rohmer' films
at about 10 minutes into that afterward.

"Yes, they are what one would call motion pictures, but his [Rohmer's] are emotion pictures."

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Jean-Luc Godard supports Claude Autant-Lara

from "Godard : a portrait of the artist at 70 "/ Colin MacCabe ; filmography and research by Sally Shafto (page 132)

"Godard in a restaurant overhearing a man denouncing Vivre sa vie and going up to offer him the price of a cinema ticket 'so you can go and see an Autant-Lara.' "

I kind of wonder if that man did not take the money and go see Le Journal d'une femme en blanc a film that Autant-Lara made in 1965 (roughly the same time) which Godard put on his ten best films for 1965 list.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Renoir's Last Day

In his memoir of his father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the film director Jean Renoir wrote movingly of his father's last day. From Renoir : my Father; by Jean Renoir ; introduction by Robert Herbert ; translated by Randolph and Dorothy Weaver (page 431)

"This profusion of riches which poured forth from Renoir's austere palette is overwhelming in the last picture he painted, on the morning of his death. An infection which had developed in his lungs kept him to his room. He asked for his paintbox and brushes, and he painted the anemones which Nénette, our kind-hearted maid, had gone out and gathered for him. For several hours he identified himself with these flowers, and forgot his pain. Then he motioned for someone to take his brush and said, 'I think I am beginning to understand something about it.' That is the phrase Grand' Louise repeated to me. The nurse thought he said, 'Today I learned something.'"