Daily Archives: May 7, 2021

A Letter to Evergreen Review (1969)

From Evergreen Review, April 1969. –- J.R.


Now that Cahiers du Cinéma in English is no longer with us, it is good that Evergreen Review will be filling in part of the gap by translating and publishing “those articles from its pages which we feel are of greatest interest to our readers.” But already with its first selection —“Death at Dawn Each Day: An Interview with Ingmar Bergman” (No. 63) –- I am led to wonder how carefully, or thoughtfully, Evergreen intends to handle this task. If the last part of the interview is to be chopped off, one might at least hope that Evergreen would acknowledge this in some way, however euphemistically.

In addition, despite a translation that reads better and seems more accurate than most of the ones in Cahiers in English, the same problem of translating French film titles instead of using their American equivalents is bound to create confusion in the minds of most of your readers. For the record, Le Visage is The Magician, not Faces (which, as your translator apparently doesn’t realize, is a recent American film by John Cassavetes); Les Communiants is Winter Light, not The Communicants; and L’Été avec Monika is just Monika. Read more

8 Mile

8MileThis energetic and often exciting feature from Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys), set in Detroit in 1995, aims to be the kind of showcase for Eminem and hip-hop that Saturday Night Fever was for John Travolta and disco, and in most respects it succeeds. Hanson depicts a far grungier world, brimming with aggression and homophobia, and one might argue that his version of the working-class “success” story is a lot more honest about the racial and sexual undercurrents of its music and milieu and at least as frank about the desperate need for some kind of transcendence. The movie has some of the braggadocio of its white-trash hero, building to its competitive climax as if it were a gladiatorial sporting event. With Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, and Brittany Murphy; Scott Silver wrote the well-honed script. 118 min. Burnham Plaza, Century 12 and CineArts 6, Crown Village 18, Ford City, Gardens 1-6, Golf Glen, Lincoln Village, Norridge, North Riverside, River East 21, Village North, Webster Place. Read more

Sweet Movie

From Oui (October 1974). — J.R.

Sweet Movie. Get this: Miss World of 1984 (Carol Laure), a virgin, gets married to the richest man in the world, a vulgar Texan named Capital who’s hung up on hygiene, has a golden phallus, and celebrates his honeymoon by pissing on the bride, leaving her wet but intact. She’s whisked away to the inside of a giant milk bottle, where she confronts Jeremiah Muscle, a black specimen with bulging biceps in the service of Capital, who zips her into a suitcase, which he sends to Paris — still with me? – where she turns up on the Eiffel Tower. There she falls for a campy Mexican named El Macho (Sami Frey), who takes her cherry — only their bodies get stuck together in mid-fuck, and they have to be towed away by a crowd. While all this is going on, Captain Anna Planeta (Anna Prucnal), who is sailing down a canal in Amsterdam on a boat called Survival, picks up a sailor (Pierre Clementi) from another ship called Potemkin. Anna gives him a bath, screws him in an enormous vat of sugar, and then cuts him up with a knife, which he seems to enjoy. Meanwhile, Miss World has been adopted by a commune whose members like to scream, slobber, vomit, piss on each other, and shit into plates. Read more