Notable Film Links--October 3, 2008

The House Next Door continues to reissue excellent essays. Check out Robert Cumbow's "Altman and Coppola in the Seventies: Power and the People."

David Bordwell considers film titles in his Observations on film art blog. As he writes, "Titles can be explicit, but they’re often metaphorical, associative, and oblique. Sometimes they’re downright obscure. But as Drew Goddard says, they can be cool."

For City Journal, Stegan Kanfer celebrates black and white cinematography, especially for younger viewers who may not know any better:

"Screenwriter Daniel Fuchs wrote of the B&W era: `An excitement filled the theater, a thralldom. People forgot they were sitting on the seats; they forgot themselves, their bodies. They lived only for the film.' Gregg Toland, the greatest cinematographer of his generation, never shot in color. He and his A-picture directors, including John Ford, Orson Welles, and William Wyler, preferred to give audiences the sense that they were watching a suite of etchings. Who needed color when the haunting landscapes of Wuthering Heights materialized on screen, as if photographed in Emily Brontë’s nineteenth century? Or when Citizen Kane’s deep-focus montages breathed life into the story of a fatally ambitious press lord? Or when The Best Years of Our Lives made an American epic out of the interrupted lives of three World War II vets?"

Meanwhile, the ever-insightful Movieman0283 of The Dancing Image finds that 3:10 to Yuma "is not black-and-white morally. It belongs to that breed of postwar westerns, not as explicitly revisionist as The Wild Bunch but poking and prodding the genre's conventions and bringing to the fore its fundamental themes."

In Offscreen's special issue about French cinema, Daniel Garett claims that
"Catherine Deneuve helps to make up for a world that is not balanced or beautiful enough, pleasing or profound enough, a world in which we are not brilliant or kind enough, perceptive or joyous enough."

Lastly, the prolific T. S. of Screen Savour is in the midst of his month-long retrospective of Hitchcock's career. Given that Dead Pan has also written about several films by the master, Alfred should be pleased.