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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping dark is HATEFUL a Draft from December 2015

Before there was Quentin Tarrantino's Hateful Eight there was Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen.

As the Hateful Eight went rolling along toward its intermission I thought I saw a shift in genre from John Ford's Stage Coach western to Agatha Christie's locked house mystery, and I was excited by that.

After 12 minutes running around the East 12th Street City Cinema maze during intermission (an architectural mystery of the now and forever Yiddish Theater), I returned to my seat and watched the final chapters unfold, saw the script roll forward by time-shifting back to reveal events from a different perspective.  By the end all I could think of was Ma Grisham in that other Robert Aldrich movie, The Grisholm Gang, and that Walter Goggins looks like Kenneth Anger.

Waking up the next morning I am left with a mixture of dreams of additional scenes for the claustrophobic movie. I'm pretty sure there was no nuclear device detonated in a movie theater by the clown man, whose delivery resembled the tour guide delivery of the death proof aukland visitor (Rose McGowan?  no it's ZoĆ« Bell, I think... I have no memory of why I wrote this paragraph)..

I suggest that the movie could be even more meta by showing the cast arriving at the theater for the opening. And though a movie is fixed in time, perhaps next time it runs Bruce Dern can answer Samuel Jackson by saying, "I don't see anything.  It's you who is visualizing your description.  I'm not following..." falling asleep instead of becoming predictably activated.

Ennio Morricone's score has some low register bassoon that is great.  His other credits include the Mario Caiano horror movie,The Faceless Monster, and a movie called Bugsy, as well as the things he's famous for... .

The Hateful Eight is a carefully assembled chess game.  I imagine I will fragments of it again on cable and will enjoy it more in snippets because it is so artfully plotted and so well acted and so well framed around beautiful characters (such as Ma Grisholm).  Oh, I want to acknowledge Jennifer Jason Leigh's great work in general.  As always I base my blanket statement on having seen her in another movie, Ulu Grosbard's Georgia.

I also want to acknowledge the necessity of using reversal film for images of snow.

Right now I'm trying to resolve the resemblance between the movie and the dreams that followed.   Is the last chapter actually called black man white hell?  And does the sudden narration draw from Mark Madsen's journal?

As the remaining two guys string up Ms. Leigh in the most meaningless hanging ever, while they lie dying, coupled on the bed, I realized the arbitrary nature of the entirety of the prior 7 movies.

Whether it's the third reich or the belle south, or misshapen expressions of love as control, we're activated, but no longer because this movie is the key and the cure.

Now back to long term contributions to cinema... I think, as they may be found in Steven Spielberg's road movie, Duel, we'll find them in the Tarrantino road movie, Death Proof, (particularly in the overhead shot of the rain?  I'm not justifying my suggestion here.... however...)

There is a distinct narrative in Death Proof.  It's divided in two parts.  Some terribly shocking thing happens the first time, we go on the same trail a second time, with some kind of more satisfactory vengeful outcome.

Or in the case of Run Lola Run, we go down the same path several times until we get it right...
Psycho takes us down the path twice.  Follow the path of Janet Leigh for part 2.  Going down the same path twice also happens in Horror Hotel/City of the Dead, and in the Vanishing... I think....
In Death Proof we follow the path of another time with a cleverer group of gearheads, making the advice Serge Gainsborough gives in his song, give up the chick habit, as the credits roll, somehow supported by the denouement.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Question of Solitude, some back story....

In A Question of Solitude there are verbatim re-enactments.  A nurse (Mortimer?) really did leave a message on my apartment phone, which I promptly returned.  She was asking if I was related to, and could therefore consent to treatment for, Peter Dizozza, my long lost uncle, who was hospitalized in Houston for stress fractures from a sidewalk fall.

My father's youngest brother, a red head who had been named after their own father, my grandfather, Peter Dizozza, was living at the Coach Motel, an SRO near Hobby airport, and he wanted to go home.  Nurse Mortimer did not advise that, however.   She said he was well funded and asked if I would approve extended rehabilitation in a nursing home (where he was to die... he refused to eat so they inserted a stomach tube.)

While I was there visiting him some months later, yes, as in the Q of S script, he asked for "a hamburger, make that two."   By the time of my visit to the nursing home I was writing A Question of Solitude, so when we left him we went to The Gulf Greyhound Park to watch the dog races.   I was accompanied, thank you, Kim, by Kim who did accompany me nto the nursing home.  She stayed for many seconds prior to my uncle turning to her and saying several times, actually, "I want to eat your face."  I suppose you could say he sounded crazy when he said that.  What happened to his records?  Why was he well-funded?  Why had he been on disability all these years?  I think I know why, but no the records were lost..  Only the funding was there.

The departure from Gulf Greyhound Park that ends A Question of Solitude's Act 1, includes the favorite dialogue from the Peter Sellars Casino Royale ("What are your movements for the rest of the evening Mr. Bond?"  "I thought we'd get a late dinner, go back to the hotel and turn in for the night.".. something like that...).  It also depicts my understanding, honestly, of what I determined was the murder of my grandmother at the age of 100 years and 97 days...

Seriously, the undertaker let me examine her body.  There were no bruises, not on the hands or anywhere, except of course the single blow to the left aorta that opened up the cable of blood to the brain, which, when cut, filled the skull and herniated the brain into the brain stem, not a bad way to go in 7 hours.  In her lifetime she had no downtime other than that.

My grandmother within the first 30 minutes of this blow needed an emergency craniotomy... so she's found in her 68-37 Yellowstone Boulevard hall, my mother found her, in a pool of blood, only from that single bruise... if you don't act fast it kills anyone.

Just briefly, at 1PM Tuesday, June 20th, 2005 my grandmother lay on the floor of the first floor hallway leading from steps to the elevator.  She always took the stairs from her second floor apartment.  She and her husband  had lived there since these president apartments were built.  She had to slip back and cut the lower left back of her neck on the edge of a step, then move to the middle of the hallway... and there was no blood from the steps to the place where my mother found her.

Look my mother is dead, too, amazingly going through the same manner of passing because a stroke and an infusion of blood thinner created the same problem in the bruised area from a clot of the aorta leading to the brain.  Yes, the doctors managed to squeeze in a craniotomy procedure at a rather late stage in her treatment, this over the course of 12 days, Monday, February 28th to the morning of Saturday, March 12th, 2011 when she passed away.)

I acknowledge that other examples of the slow coma/death from impact to the back of head are clearly accidents.   A boy sliding into home base, a woman resting from a fall at a ski lodge.... there's a gradual loss of consciousness.   They needed an emergency craniotomy.

So in A Question of Solitude at the Gulf Greyhound Park entrance, after they win big, Jimmie awaits Fremda, who went looking for her daughter.  A valet brings them her Nissan Mazima.  The Valet, one of Blofield's lacky's, clearly strikes James in the lower left back of the neck.  He continues speaking until he falls.. this was rather amazingly performed by Zach Pethoud and Mike Allen Hill.   Mike is definitive in the role of the Young James Bond.

Then a misfiring of Blofield's new heart tempers his exuberance, so he needs to return to his hospital for an emergency transplant..

Act Two opens with the two bond girls (Mortimer and Fremda) performing upon the younger James an emergency craniotomy, using one of those manual crank drills creating the perfect sound of surgery.

The young James Bond is saved, and he has the added benefit of a plug in the back of his head so he can release future pressure therein.  Unfortunately the bond girl, Fremda, holds the key that can open that pressure plug....

So there are three James Bonds in a Question of Solitude, Senior Bond, Uncle James, and Jimmy, because there are three Peter Dizozzas, me, my uncle and my grandfather.

Anything else?  There's a line in an old song, Trailing, "She's sunning at a dog race, where dogs are killed if they catch what makes them run,"

That's true because it's just a mechanical rabbit whipping around the race track.  It's really nothing for the dogs to get excited about and, when they realize that, they let it go by without chasing it.

The artist, Faith Palmer-Persen, took me to a kennel where we met and helped care for (during one afternoon) some of the rescued ones..

So the last line of A Question of Solitude is "No one leaves here without taking home a retired greyhound."
Jimmy:  Return to Goldeneye!
Fremda:  And guess who is waiting for us there?
J:  Who?
F: Suzie?
J: Who's Suzie?
F: My daughter.
J: Who's been taking care of her?
F: The bachelor next door,
J: Noel Coward?

George Ferencz, who helped develop this project at La Mama, helped me discover that Ian Fleming wrote less about James Bond, who is, after all, the orithologist who wrote The Wild Birds of Jamaica, than on cataloging species of birds, fish and plants...