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: Last Book You Read  ( 343666 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #1005 : December 12, 2013, 03:41:38 AM »

Final post on  Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe:

9) RE: the French New Wave (pp. 186-187)

I was very friendly with Louis Malle, and I knew Truffaut. The whole bunch of them, I knew them. That was a thing, they thougt they had found something new. It was not all that new, but it was very good. For instance. Mr. Truffaut's picture Day for Night [1973]. That's a real masterpiece, I think. Really funny, and really good. I told him so. Just before he died, fortunately. I don't know, it was just a new way of making pictures, but it was not quite a new way, because certain pictures were already nouvelle vague before them. I don't like Godard. I think there behind the mask of the sophisticated man, there hides nothing but a dilettante. Wilder goes on to say, "Breathless, that was the only good one."

10) As a young reporter in Germany, Wilder walked into Frued's house and tried to interview him. Freud, who hated reporters, took a look at Wilder's press credentials and said, "There is the door!"

11) Crowe asks about Mike Nichols and Carnal Knowledge.
Billy says:
Mike Nichols is a very fine director. I like him very much. I miss the days when there were more directors of import like Nichols. You looked forward to their work. Carnal Knowledge was a good picture..."

12) Crowe asks Wilder about his famous statement at an AFI interview, "I don't do cinema, I make movies."

Yeah, that's right. I make movies, for amusement. That's the difference between a bound book and a thing to be continued every week in the Saturday Evening Post. In other words, you just do it for the moment. It is not to be bound. There are only a few pictures [worthy of that], here and there, from other people – Eisenstein, or Mr. Lean, David Lean. I just do not like to think in kind if inspired language that we're not making pictures, we are making [with grand accent] CINEMA!

13) (p. 223) I liked Jaws very much... The Godfather was a first-class picture, one of the best pictures ever made.

14) And finally, Crowe says that for many years "there was lots of popular culture in Wilder's films," he was "very connected to popular culture.. there's jazz, there's 'hip' dialogue, all very current, and he asks, "I wonder when you staretd to feel that popular culture was parting company with you.

Billy responds:

It was the end of jazz. It was always that I was a guy who was trying to speak to as many people as I possiblyn could. I was not a guy who was writing deep-dish revelations, or writing a play like Waiting for Gadot. That did not interest me. It interested me to life the taste of the average person, just lift it a little bit. With some pictures, people leave the theater and it's forgotten. If people see a picture of mine, and then sit down in a drugstore in a neighborhood or have coffee and talk about it for fifteen minutes, that is a very fine reward, I think. That's good enough for me."

« : December 26, 2013, 02:47:07 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #1006 : December 12, 2013, 03:42:17 AM »

So you wouldn't watch other Wilder movies because these are mostly comedies?

correct


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« #1007 : December 17, 2013, 04:39:47 AM »



I wonder if this book was subsidized by the Italian Tourism Council, just as The Broker might have been. Anyway, I can't judge what an american "american football" fan  may find here that might interest him. Maybe the description of the field actions are excellent but I'm not a fan and so I just skipped over them. Anyway, as to plot this is as unimaginative as can be, lacking a dose of humour (except in the description of the first approach of a NFL player to Italy) which might render the reading memorable. Grisham knows though how to keep a good plot rhythm but you don't want to read this stuff again. Just use it as a travelogue if you plan to visit Parma. 5\10


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« #1008 : December 18, 2013, 10:50:24 AM »



Originally published in 1968 and last reprinted in 1982 (the paperback edition I read), this would be an excellent collection of essays mainly composed of excerpts from books were it not that the truth about most of the cases discussed was brought to light only in the last two decades. For example, it would look as "Cicero" was really a British double agent. So a visit to wikipedia after reading some of the artcles is mandatory.  But the reading was engrossing, as some very interesting cases I had never heard before of were discussed: the Noel Field family's disappearance, the Zimmermann telegram, the Gouzenko almost failed defection, or the most incredible of all: the Ievno Aseff double crossing of czar's secret police and the would-be czar's revolutionary assassins. Not to talk of Alfred Redl. 8\10

« : December 18, 2013, 02:39:57 PM titoli »

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« #1009 : December 25, 2013, 07:23:25 AM »



These notes on the modern american way of life are sometime funny, sometime perceptive and sometime sad as compared to Bryson's experiences in his own country 20 years before and in Great Britain. It makes an amusing reading anyway, though apparently some american readers took it as an anti-american attack, which is not. 8\10  


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« #1010 : December 25, 2013, 07:29:40 AM »



A third of the book is about the legal feud and it's the part that is narratively compelling, as usual with this author. the rest is padding, this time of the preachy kind, about the D.C. homeless. But if I want to read about them I buy some essay on the subject. 8\10 for the first plot, 3\10 for the padding.


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« #1011 : December 26, 2013, 06:42:09 PM »




I liked this, as there was less padding and preaching than usual, though I think that this stuff should go beyond 200 pages instead of the roughly 500 of the paperback edition I read. The "class action" theme from the lawyers pov is something  I had no idea before and the catches it might involve (though I saw them coming ) make the reading compulsive. 8\10


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« #1012 : December 26, 2013, 07:35:46 PM »

The New York Yankees: An Informal History, by Frank Graham

great book on the early history of the greatest baseball team of all-time. Was first published in 1943 (with results through the '42 season), then published again in 1947 (with results through the '46 season). It was re-printed in 2002, but I got an edition from the '40's on Amazon (11th impression of the 1947 version).


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« #1013 : December 29, 2013, 06:56:37 PM »



Bogdanovich is not a film critic of the obnoxious kind, the one who searches for hidden meanings and (gay) subtexts: he lets people talk and he had the fortune of being able to let some great ones do it. It is always interesting and you get a wagonload of otherwise unavailable infos. The pieces I prefer are the ones on Dietrich and the party at Camp David. 8\10

« : December 29, 2013, 07:03:05 PM titoli »

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« #1014 : December 29, 2013, 08:43:18 PM »

Trevor Howard: A Gentleman and a Player - Vivienne Knight - More interesting than the Michael Munn bio I read awhile back. But as the authorized biography it's obviously geared to paint a positive impression, even in circumstances that don't flatter the subject. Here I learned, albeit through winks and nods, that Howard was an inveterate womanizer and Helen Cherry tolerated it for decades. There's a woman - clap her! That leaves Terence Pettigrew's 2001 bio, which I understand is more critical.



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« #1015 : December 29, 2013, 08:45:14 PM »



Originally published in 1968 and last reprinted in 1982 (the paperback edition I read), this would be an excellent collection of essays mainly composed of excerpts from books were it not that the truth about most of the cases discussed was brought to light only in the last two decades. For example, it would look as "Cicero" was really a British double agent. So a visit to wikipedia after reading some of the artcles is mandatory.  But the reading was engrossing, as some very interesting cases I had never heard before of were discussed: the Noel Field family's disappearance, the Zimmermann telegram, the Gouzenko almost failed defection, or the most incredible of all: the Ievno Aseff double crossing of czar's secret police and the would-be czar's revolutionary assassins. Not to talk of Alfred Redl. 8\10

Titoli, have you read Peter Hopkirk's stuff? Something tells me he'd be up your alley.



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« #1016 : December 30, 2013, 05:23:01 AM »

Titoli, have you read Peter Hopkirk's stuff? Something tells me he'd be up your alley.

No, I didn't. I'll check him out.


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« #1017 : December 31, 2013, 11:41:36 PM »

STUNTMAN !
Hal Needham

car crashes - plane jumping - bone breaking
death - defying - hollywood life  
the show must go on

 O0

« : December 31, 2013, 11:53:24 PM sargatanas »
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« #1018 : January 02, 2014, 07:34:01 AM »



The movie follows quite closely the book, not only in the main plot but also in some dialogues and details. But there are some relevant differences, inevitables considering that the book, in the paperback edition, is more than 500 pages long. The narrator has a knack for explaining all the procedures of a trial and he never refrains from commenting whatever move his trial adversary makes. So I wonder how many readers made it to the end. Actually the last 50 pages are the least dramatically effective as the include the final arguments by the parts and the reading of the defensive instructions by the judge. To skip them though would be a pity, as the defensive plead explains something that in the movie isn't clear, i.e. that the victim had set the scene expecting the murderer to arrive and kill him, being thwarted in his scheme by the fact that the Lt. was left-handed.  The character played by Stewart is younger, so much so that he finally gets the girl Mary Pilant who here is not the daughter of the victim. Here the lawyer plays the drums, not the piano.  There are no "panties" lost and so all the Mary Pilant decisive revelation  (especially on a dramaturgically pov) is not there. I think that, on the whole, the book is better than the movie, though the bulk may attract only non casual readers. 8\10


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« #1019 : January 02, 2014, 03:40:33 PM »

Since when are books better than films?


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