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Friday, March 12, 2004

In the course of the Dielman post, I neglected to give out my free idea, hereby bequeathed to any experimental film/video type who wants it: June Cleaver, 211 Pine Street, Mayville, Ohio [zip?] would consist of whatever sequences can be clipped from episodes of Leave It To Beaver that feature the mother engaged in domestic tasks -- preferably when she's alone in the shot, which will usually be just before another character comes in. Should be as long as possible, which probably wouldn't amount to more than 15-20 minutes. Comic or other effect would of course wholly depend on editing. I can easily imagine this on some experimental-shorts nite, can't you?

(This was inspired by seeing an episode of LITB at Bree's the night before the screening -- June at the kitchen table, Beaver enters, "What'cha doin', mom?" J: "I'm dicing carrots." B: "Gee, why do you have to cut 'em up when they're gonna get mashed up in our stomach anyway." J: "Well, Beaver, don't you want your food to look nice?" B: "No, I just want it to be ready when I'm hungry.")

Skipped CA screening last night; didn't do any honest work until about 2 p.m., then stayed at it (w/ a couple of Dragnet breaks) until 2 a.m. or slightly after. Even did something I rarely do now -- worked in a diner, after midnight. This sounds more desperate and fevered than it actually is; I'm just working on a short but dense concluding section to my penultimate chapter. Getting back to it right after this post and a little email cleanup.

Late start caused by my finding the cheap/rights-expired DVD of Lang's Scarlet Street (1945) that I'd bought months ago and lost under my car seatly. Immediate interest -- kept-woman motif in common with Mon.'s The Captive. Not the tops, but one of those cases where watching a movie at home just means I'll seek out a screening later. Disc is from a pretty bad print -- I got the sense of the expressionist bits near the end, but not the full effect. Not as effective as The Woman In The Window (same director, same leads, same year!), which scrambles the noir structures this embodies. Ed. G. Robinson's performance the best thing in the film (though his wife's back-from-the-dead first husband, played by Russell Hicks has a good casual sleaze, and comes off as an unusual type); I love Joan Bennett (as I've mentioned before) and Dan Duryea, but their characters (and most of the dialogue) her are pre-cut yardage. ("You! Marry me! Ha!") One exchange I liked --

He (complaining): ...And then when I showed up you gave me a dirty look.
She: I did not give you a dirty look.
He: Any girl who waits two hours in the rain for a guy is gonna give him a dirty look.

Also good to see any studio film in which 'modern art' is not automatically a joke -- some of the usual references to "longhairs," but I think you're actually supposed to think Robinson's no-perspective paintings (who did them, I wonder?) "have something." (Flash on the moment in one of the Mabuse films where one character asks another -- "What do you think of expressionism?")

SFJ-ish sight -- arrangement of cigarette butts, Jordan almonds (some wrapped in silver, some partly or wholly unwrapped [white], some cracked open [bits of dark brown]) and a couple of pennies scattered in dirty-white rocksaltish substance at top of combo ashtray/trashcan outside door of Denny's.

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