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March 1995, Week 1


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David Bryan Teets <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Mar 1995 16:58:53 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Better late than never.
        While I support the auteur theory, I can sympathsize with one's
awareness of "over-analysis." I have included two excerpts from William
Goldman's ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE(1983, Pgs. 103-106) that
illustrate what I mean. The first is from Ernest Lehman regarding the film
FAMILY PLOT(1974). The second is text by Goldman himself regarding the one
TRUE american auteur.
        "By mistake a propman had two pieces of wood set up so that they
looked vaguely like a cross, and the car goes downhill and crashes through
a field, goes through a fence and knocks over the cross. Some learned New
York critic commented: There's Alfred Hitchcock's anti-Catholicism coming
out again. When I was at the Cannes Film Festival with FAMILY PLOT, Karen
Black, Bruce Dern and I attended a press conference, and some French
journalist had the symbolism in the license plate all worked out: 885 DJU.
He had some ELABORATE explanation for those numbers. When he got through
explaning it, I said 'I hate to tell you this but the reason I used that
license plate number was that it was my own, and I felt it would be legally
safe to use.'"
        "Is there then no American auteur director? Perhaps there is one.
One man who thinks up his own stories and produces his pictures and directs
them too. And also serves as his own cinematographer, Not to mention he
also does his own editing. All of this connected with an intensely personal
and unique vision of the world. That man is Russ Meyer.
        I can't wait for Truffaut's book about HIM...."
[log in to unmask]
David Bryan Teets
Instructional Communications Technical Operator 1
Office of Instructional Resources
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
******************"I have stolen more quotes and thoughts and purely
elegant little starbursts of writing  from the book of Revelation than
anything else in the English language-- and it is not because I am a
biblical scholar, or because of any religious faith, but because I love the
wild power of the language and the purity of the madness that governs it
and makes it music."
                                Hunter S. Thompson