G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

एक झाड, दोन पक्षी...Vertigo of Lynd Ward and Alfred Hitckcok

Today June 26 2014 is 109th Birth Anniversary of  Lynd Ward

I saw Alfred Hitchcock 'Vertigo', 1958  in Mumbai at New Empire or Excelsior during 1984-87. I immediately fell in love with it. I liked its haunting quality most. 

Without reading anything about it, I knew it was a great film. But I did not know three things about it 

…  that it was perhaps the greatest film ever made, 

...that it had come back into circulation only in 1983, and 

...that Kim Novak wears no brassiere in the film.
  
I also did not know that one of the greatest graphic novel too is also named  'Vertigo', 1937 by Lynd Ward.
 
Maria Popova writes about the novel:

" His last graphic novel, Vertigo (1937), was an absolute masterpiece, a pinnacle of this unique art of contrast, of light and darkness, both literally and metaphorically.


Brimming with powerful Depression-era images, it is also ironically relevant today, illustrating this same urgency unrest in the context of our contemporary economic downturn.."


Ward explained why the title "Vertigo":

"(It) was meant to suggest that the illogic of what we saw happening all around us in the thirties was enough to send the mind spinning  through space and the emotions hurtling from great hope to the depths of despair." 

Vertigo tells the story of three characters: The Girl, The Boy and An Elderly Gentleman...The Girl has a dream of becoming a concert violinist...


                                                                       The Girl

When I read the above in September 2013, I said this must be one of the rare examples where two of the very best in their respective fields are called "Vertigo".
 




The Girl and The Boy (Kim Novak and James Stewart)


Martin Scorsese on the film on August 15 2013:

"...For many years, it was extremely difficult to see Vertigo. When it came back into circulation, in 1983, along with four other Hitchcock films that had been held back, the color was completely wrong. The color scheme of Vertigo is extremely unusual, and this was a major disappointment. In the meantime, the elements—the original picture and sound negatives—needed serious attention.

Ten years later, Bob Harris and Jim Katz did a full-scale restoration for Universal. By that time, the elements were decaying and severely damaged. But at least a major restoration was done. As the years went by, more and more people saw Vertigo and came to appreciate its hypnotic beauty and very strange, obsessive focus.

As in the case of many great films, maybe all of them, we don’t keep going back for the plot. Vertigo is a matter of mood as much as it’s a matter of storytelling—the special mood of San Francisco where the past is eerily alive and around you at all times, the mist in the air from the Pacific that refracts the light, the unease of the hero played by James Stewart, Bernard Herrmann’s haunting score. As the film critic B. Kite wrote, you haven’t really seen Vertigo until you’ve seen it again. For those of you who haven’t seen it even once, when you do, you’ll know what I mean. 

Every decade, the British film magazine Sight and Sound conducts a poll of critics and filmmakers from around the world and asks them to list what they think are the ten greatest films of all time. Then they tally the results and publish them. In 1952, number one was Vittorio de Sica’s great Italian Neorealist picture Bicycle Thieves. Ten years later, Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane was at the top of the list. It stayed there for the next forty years. Last year, it was displaced by a movie that came and went in 1958, and that came very, very close to being lost to us forever: Vertigo..."
 

p.s.

If you like Ms. Novak the way I do, you may see another picture of her on this blog here. I also found the following wonderful picture of her on FB in November 2013:

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