Auteurs and Authors, Movie Reviews, Writers I Love

Movie Review: White Dog

whitedog

Written by Curtis Hanson and Sam Fuller.
Directed by Sam Fuller.
1982

I envy Curtis Hanson, then just a young screenwriter who got to sit in a room with Sam Fuller and “co-write” this script. Fuller’s style is usually described as hard-hitting –for reasons literal as well as figurative — but no one talks much about his tender side. Like Kurosawa he seems noted for one thing, relegated to his own brand of greatness. Cigar-chomping, pistol-packing, etc. There’s a great deal of beauty here –imbued with truth — that might go unseen if you’re not watching closely. Hanson lobbied against the window featuring St. Francis, but Fuller knew exactly what he wanted and why he wanted it. That’s greatness among directors.

“You got a four-legged time bomb!” — Roland Gray

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Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Excalibur

excalibur

Written by Rospo Pallenberg and John Boorman.
Directed by John Boorman.
1981.

“On second thought,” the Pythons tell us, “Camelot is a silly place. Let’s not go there.” To the Pythons I answer: but John Boorman’s vision of it is absolutely extraordinary! Like a knight struck by a mace and whirling in circles upon the field, I’m dazzled by the costumes, cinematography, and acting. Performances momentous, among them Nicol Williamson’s Merlin and Helen Mirren’s Morgana. Yes, there is a goofy, sexed-up vibe to the production, but it’s so in-check by the director’s steady hand that Excalibur becomes much more than a sword-and-sorcery epic. It’s a story of forgiveness set against the backdrop of memory. Simply incredible.

“…it is the doom of men that they forget.” — Merlin

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