Archive for the ‘Art Appreciation’ Category

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The Man from Calanda (An Inevitable Bit of Discussion)

March 5, 2007

A screenwriter named Jean-Claude Carrière once stated that if Luis Buñuel had been born in a different time, he still would have been the same Luis Buñuel. Fortunately, for us, Buñuel was born in a great time that seemed suited only for him. The time of the Surrealist.

From the moment he showed the slicing of young girls eye by a straight edge razor on screen, we knew that he was to be the czar of all filmmaking oddities. We also knew that he was to be a giant of controversy. His general dislike towards the message of Christianity was a constant theme in his films, and was never subliminally brought across; it was in the open for all men to see.

As odd a man he was, and fundamentally disagreeable to myself, he is one of the most influential giants, of whom’s shoulders I stand upon. His work contains a sheer magnetism that cannot be surpassed (especially by the filmmakers of today). The fact that he openly stated his beliefs and disgusts towards society, and was not afraid to do so, is quite inspiring.

His work wasn’t always dealing in the sanctity of religion, but sometimes in the throws of sex. It was his second most talked about subject. Another inspiring aspect of the man’s work; the ability to talk about the taboos of “S” word in the time 1920s-1970s world.

The funny little bastard would have never survived the Reagan era. I guess that’s why it seems so appropriate that death came to him when it did. When he died just before the “dark years” of cinema, he left a note in his work that said he would never be tied down, never be stopped. Not by the church, not by politics, and not by the weak stomached. Sure some of his work had been once banned, but not by the likes of which the 80s would have dealt. It shows that it was not meant to be.

It’s safe to say that Luis Buñuel was born at the right time and he died at the right time.

Kyle W. Sutton

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Ode to the Tale of the Over-Coddled (The Work Considered Second Best)

February 28, 2007

“The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their midland town spread and darken into a city.” – The Narrator

The magnificence of Orson Welles began in 1941 with a film (in and of which he starred, wrote, produced, and directed) about America’s own Kubla Khan; a man who bore the name Charles Foster Kane. A film tender, radiant, and poignantly beautiful was Citizen Kane. An exciting piece of artwork that took the toll of 150, 000 dollars upon the company of Radio-Keith-Orpheum. But no matter was the commercial failure of Kane, for it opened the gate to the new standard; the one of avant-garde beauty.

Following the beauty of one, The Iconoclast (we will call him) crafted the beauty of another; the story of the well-to-doers, who fell from their grace with the evolution of society and industry (the low and poetic dialect of Welles pushed the tale forward with a delightful narration). The second film was as beautiful as the first, but this was something society could not and cannot see.

How ignorant that the film known as The Magnificent Ambersons, is overlooked by the society of now. How truly sad that so much poison can seep into the cracks of the mainstream Hollywood, while this film goes unnoticed by the so-called lovers of art. It’s an exceptionally odd act to portray a man’s first film as the greatest ever made, and not give mention of his equally incredible second.

I can truly say, of The Iconoclast’s film, that it exceeded my hopeful expectations and expanded my thoughts on what I considered “the best films of all time”. I also say that it’s quality was on par with the greatest aesthetics I’ve ever known. A tender, lyrical, yet topsy turvy illustration of a defining era of America. I find it necessary to hereby rate this among my top films and top works of art, thus granting it a place in my heart and ever-expanding mind.

From myself and all the others, who know: To Orson Welles, The Iconoclast, we salute.

Kyle W. Sutton

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Mr. Sure Footing (The Lack of Respect)

November 14, 2006

Plague of the Philistines See him here, the man called Mr. Sure Footing. He casually strolls down the street, whistling In the Hall of the Mountain King to himself. Does he know that Hans Beckert, of Fritz Lang’s M once whistled the tune? Probably not, for what would it matter? He can still make the trek down to the Friday matinee, only knowing the world to which he has grown accustomed. To him Newton’s words have no meaning. Just fading discourse of an old fool with an apple.

He doesn’t know anything that should be known. He doesn’t know that Fleming left Oz for the destination of Tara, and came with the order to replace Cuckor. He could care less. To him Willis H. O’Brien and Marcel Delgado never made the island’s king with foam rubber, rabbit hair, and dental floss. “Todd Browning,” He scoffs. “The man doesn’t scare me,” To him Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó was a unknown man from Lugos, Hungary. And the man from Calanda never made L’Âge d’or.

He stands on every street, he lives in every home. He is the ignorant gnat that stomps his feet upon the giant’s shoulder, buzzing into it’s great ear. He doesn’t care and doesn’t appreciate. He doesn’t watch films from distant lands, for he cannot read. He will rest his head on sheets of fine linens this night with no fear of Shreck’s Orlock leaning over him, while he sleeps. He is of Philistines. He doesn’t understand that if the giant were gone, so too would be his sure footing.
In the words of J.D. Salinger, “A person deprived, for life, of any understanding or taste for the main current of poetry that flows through things, all things.”

Kyle W. Sutton