The following was one of a dozen or more profusely illustrated pieces that I wrote for a London periodical in 1982 called The Movie, specifically for issue no. 117; some of these articles were later recycled into a series of coffee-table books devoted to various decades in film history, but not this one, which I’ve slightly revised for its reappearance here.
Even though this short piece is somewhat dated now, I’m reviving it to celebrate Criterion’s awesome edition of Lonesome on DVD (in the best print of the film I’ve ever seen, with a superb audio commentary by Richard Koszarski), along with Fejos’s subsequent The Last Performance and Broadway on a separate disc. For me, this is unquestionably one of Criterion’s most impressive releases to date. (September 2 postscript/update: Having so far seen only the DVD, I wasn’t aware that a Criterion Blu-Ray also exists until Dave Kehr reviewed it in the New York Times….I wish I had that, too!) — J.R.
In a large, lonely city, the daily routines of two ordinary people who do not know one another are shown in parallel development. First Mary and then Jim wakes up, dresses and has breakfast (at the same restaurant).… Read more »
From Cahiers du Cinéma #334/355, avril 1982 (a special issue called “Made in USA”). I wrote this commissioned article (about two of Robert Altman’s stage productions) in English, while working with Serge Daney in New York on a number of other assignments. The French text is all I have now, and I’ve decided to reproduce it here because it’s the only account of these productions that I know about that are written from a filmic perspective, and the recent release on an Olive Films Blu-Ray of Come Back to 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (the Altman film, which for me removes most of the major virtues of the Broadway production) makes this perspective all the more relevant….Reproducing this French text has entailed a lot of retyping, and I hope I haven’t made too many mistakes. (I’ve also corrected a few typos, including “Atlman” for “Altman”.) -– J.R.
Après avoir vendu sa maison de production, Lion’s Gate Films, l’année dernière, Robert Altman a annoncé qu’il avait l’intention de se lancer dans une carrière théâtrale, il a d’abord mis en scène à Los Angeles deux petites pièces expérimentales en un acte écrites par Frank South; dans I’une, il n’y a que deux personnages (chacun tenant séparément un monologue et n’échangeant aucun dialogue) ; l’autre n’a qu’un personnage (qui fait un monologue tenant du tour de force).… Read more »