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."

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Blood-Red Kisses: Femmes Vital, Not Femmes Fatale


Today March 8 2016 is International Women's Day

Mary Ann Doane on the figure of the “femme fatale” which has come to stand for noir’s innovative representation of female desire:

“She is not the subject of feminism but a symptom of male fears about feminism. Nevertheless, the representation – like any representation –is not totally under the control of its producers and, once disseminated, comes to take on a life of its own.”

Mark Osteen, ‘Nightmare Alley - Film Noir And The American Dream’, 2013:

“...Noir does offer its share of amoral seductresses and conniving criminals, but it also gives us wives, mothers, and nurses; businesswomen and writers; secretaries, singers, sleuths, and social workers; psychologists, physicians, prison guards, wardens—and even professors. In fact, most women in film noir work, and their forms of labor closely reflect the actual postwar US female workforce.

Just as important as the women working in films noir, however, were the women working on films noir—the females who performed in, wrote, produced, and even directed the movies. Their presence is one reason why noir portrays so many working women and why the films address many of postwar women’s chief concerns: sexism; the conflict between traditional domestic duties and newfound labor power; the anxieties and possibilities implicit in shifting gender roles; changes in courtship, marriage, and motherhood. The films on which these women worked—which I’m calling femme noirs—furnish complex, critical, and generally progressive analyses of American mores and institutions. While facing the same obstacles dramatized in the films, these female filmmakers nudged Hollywood toward more enlightened views about gender and, in one case, helped to redefine cinematic authorship. Far from femmes fatale, these women were femmes vital: indispensable presences whose creative labor modeled an alternative to traditional female labor—childbearing and -rearing—and injected a protofeminist note into male-oriented genres...”
 

Some of the best Hindi cinema of 1950's has been influenced by American Noir.  No good Indian film director of that period has escaped its deep influence including Guru Dutt, Raj Khosla, Shakti Samanta, Raj Kapoor, Vijay Aanand... 

The poster of a noir film does not often tell you how much wisdom and witty dialogues- apart from great entertainment- they hold. 


courtesy: Wikipedia

 Look at the following snaps from the film. The whole sequence is shot beautifully and sums up the man in general.

below: Cloris Leachman as Christina and Ralph Meeker as  Mike Hammer

based on Mickey Spillane's novel 

screenplay by A.I. Bezzerides 
 
 courtesy: United Artists or the current copyright holders of the feature









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