MAGIC IN THE DARK

“When the lights go out in the cinema, the dream begins…” Rainer Werner Fassbinder

I suppose Fassbinder is my favorite film artist. His work is endlessly interesting, provoking and much of it retains a meaning that few films from other eras retain. Crazy with ambition and creation — he made more important films in his all-too-short-life than any other of whom I can think!

And, I do so love that quote. The darkness of a cinema is my favorite place to be.

The first movie to fully pull me in and show me a way to lose myself in the magic on that screen was Ken Russell’s fantastical and strange interpretation of The Who’s TOMMY. This movie was all I talked about from the time I was 8 until I was about 10. The original (and highly valued!) movie poster hangs proudly in my home. I can watch it over and over again. …And, I do. And, I do so enjoy a bit of mad Ken Russell.

But, it would be in my 30’s that I would find Fassbinder. THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN and his adaptation of Genet’s QUERELLE are his most known works. But, I think his best is VERONIKA VOSS.

Still, sometimes I will go into a cinema and get lost. I love that feeling. I got it last night. And, tho the film was very flawed and very dated — the images, music and ideas filled the screen and absorbed me into the flow for the full two hours. From 1969, Marxist film Italian filmmaker, Elio Petri’s A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY, is about as noisy of a movie as one could imagine. Essentially, the film follows a sort of story of an artist losing his mind. Or, is he? Tied up as both an erotic trip on artistic creation, relationships and the odd power of memory — the film is a big old mess. But, so gorgeously shot that one can forgive it. And, let’s face it. Who would not want to find a 1969 version of Franco Nero tied up and waiting for them in a ultra swinging mod pad?!?! And, Vanessa Redgrave was soooooo beautiful. And, they both wore incredible shoes!

I got lost.

And, for that I am ever so thankful.

“I’d like to be for cinema what Shakespeare was for theatre, Marx for politics and Freud for psychology: someone after whom nothing is as it used to be.” …Fassbinder

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April 25, 2007. Uncategorized.

12 Comments

  1. Josh Williams replied:

    You know I never even saw Tommy.I know some movies but damn, I hang my head in shame, a new low for me…

  2. matty03 replied:

    Commander Josh! No! Say it isn’t so! You simply must get out there and rent it! I mean, you’re missing Ann-Margret rolling about in beans, chocolate and bubbles!!!! Not to mention Tina Turner altering all our senses as The Acid Queen — and Elton John (when he was still cool) in his giant platform shoes! A must see viewing experience!

  3. joe replied:

    ken russell is wacked. but then again, I watched him in the 80s. Fassbinder, on the other hand, I must see more of. you are a man of films, matty!

  4. ing replied:

    Oh, I WISH I could have seen that movie last night! But I suppose it’s best that I went to bed. Work is kicking my ass!

    Tommy — I remember the first time I saw it. I must have been 12 or so. I was AMAZED!!!!

  5. Daniel replied:

    Oh, I had forgotten about Tina Turner as the acid queen. She’s so marvellous.

    Franco Nero, all tied up. Soooo hot.
    I haven’t figured why it is that Italian films just look more beautiful. Do they have special magic dust that they sprinkle on the cameras?

  6. matty03 replied:

    Joe! Yes, he is wack’d, but that’s why we love him! And, TOMMY is a great film. Would we have gotten MTV without it? Hmmmmmm… I ponder this. Yes, you MUST see some Fassbinder! Start with his two most popular! And, let me know what you think!!!! I think you will find his work interesting!!!

    Ing – I wish you had been able to be with us! We missed you! Like Mary Tyler Moore, you turn the world on with that smile! Did I remember to tell you how very much I love you? Because I do! You so rock, Ms. Ing! The movie was interesting, too! Next time! It takes a while to adjust to a new job — I bet in another month or so you will start to feel more comfortable playing on the occasional ‘school night’!!! …TOMMY in any form is amazing, but I do so love Ken Russell’s vision of it! And, Pete Townsend did an amazing job with the score and being open to Russell’s vision(s). …And, Roger Daltrey was so cute in 1975!!!

    Daniel – Yep! And, this was back when Tina was still sporting her mid-70’s look and that obnoxious Ike. But, man, she rocks in this movie!!!! And, I think you would enjoy looking at Mr. Daltrey circa 1975!!! Franco Nero was sooooo cute! Tho, I feel a bit of wax on the back would have been nice. Still. I actually find French films to be more beautiful than Italian — however, some Italian directors really seem to be steep’d in art and love of decor. Beauty. So very subjective.

    I have magic dust that I use sometimes to make me look even more fab than I already do! …but, no one seems to notice.

    …and, this saddens me.

  7. ing replied:

    Thank you so much, sweets! I’m SOOO stressed out right now! Could you tell on the phone?

    I’m going to run to the bank. I’m too worried to leave it ’til the morning. What a pain!

  8. Josh Williams replied:

    Yep I need to rent it or find it on dvr and record, but I need , I need service that will tell me when and where a show will be playing and I can say, record for crying out loud I am tired of being left out! Then the service notifys me with some sort of non irratating notification that the movie has been recorded and it will instruct me in a soothing voice which buttons to push to access the desired movie…Not that I’m lazy its just that I like to conserve my energy.

  9. ginab replied:

    gawd he looks sad and I wonder why a woman never appears to know what to do with a man once he’s tied up, at least on screen. what’s so interesting or fantasy-driven or dream-scape about it?

    TOMMY kind of made me queezy and I’m a jab older than you (by just a jab). You know who is turning in nov, yeah?

    I just got ripped off for plane tickets ended up with “better than botox” bs. but that’s america and has nothing to do with films. sorry!

  10. matty replied:

    Gina! Yeah, I think Fassbinder was a little sad. …but, driven!

    I don’t know, but I suspect that the world would be much better place if women did know what to do when finding a man tied up in their home.

    Oh, we are the same age. In November I shall be 41. …and I find this a bit worrying, but much better than the alternative.

    For the life of me, I can find no logic in cost of flying the friendly skies. It is like a crap shoot.

    Was it the camera work , story or re-invention/interpretation of TOMMY that made you queezy? I just love it.

  11. matty03 replied:

    Commander Josh — Are you time traveling again? I’m confused? Your TV speaks to you? I own TOMMY (The UK double disc set, of course) but you can get it from Netflix. If your TV speaks to you again — I don’t think I’d answer or anything.

  12. matty03 replied:

    Gorgeous Ing! I could tell! B and I could also see as we drove past you honking, calling and waiving and you were in “the panic zone” — We need to hook you up with some new age higher powers to calm your nerves! So, you can groove in the hood vs panic!

    Tomorrow, we rock the New Age world! …one booth at a time!

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