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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Mike Wallace Interviews… Rod Serling, Frost/Nixon, Ayn Rand, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Seberg, Dali…

And also Frank Lloyd Wright, Salvador Dali, Jean Seberg, Aldous Huxley and Ben Hecht (transcript only). (And many more from the Harry Ransom Collection at University of Texas Austin.)

With Mr. Hecht:

WALLACE: When you say – you talk about almost as good as keeping you young body – do you mind very much growing old Ben?

HECHT: It’s horrid – sorry to say everybody grows old and you’ll answer that question yourself some day. But we already experienced….

WALLACE: We’ve interviewed other older people… Older than you … Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright…. They don’t seem to mind the passage of the years because all of their adult lives, they have been engaged in meaningful work – work which they still do. It … could it be that you engaged in mostly carefree, adolescent work … like writing for Hollywood still … and therefore old age comes as something of a menace to you?

HECHT: No … I haven’t engaged in meaningless work… I’ve written about eight books in the last eight years which I personally like very much … and people who say they don’t mind growing old are just telling sad little lies to you… everybody minds growing old … and when I look back, I don’t only see my youth, as better, my bankbook was better, everything about me was better, and work was easier … you ask any prizefighter whether he minds growing old, … everybody loses the punch sort of, and the people who thin they’re doing important work … Mrs. Roosevelt has been repeating herself like some parrot with three clichés – for the past fifteen years. I don’t’ regard anything she’s been doing as important. I don’t know who else you mentioned, but …..

WALLACE: Frank Lloyd Wright.

HECHT: Frank Lloyd Wright.

WALLACE: No parrot he.

HECHT: No, Frank Lloyd Wright stopped working about twenty years ago. I don’t think he’s drawn a picture in twenty years. He’s been exercising charm and civilization.

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“I never accepted the term contrarian. I think that’s offensive, frankly. And my response to that is: if I’m a contrarian, what are other reviewers? What I strive to do is be a good critic, not somebody who simply accepts the product put in front of me. I guess it scares people to think that they don’t have any originality; that they don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

“There’s a line a lot of reviewers use that I don’t like at all. They say ‘accept the film on its own terms.’ What that really means is, ‘accept the film as it is advertised.’ That’s got nothing to do with criticism. Nothing to do with having a response as a film watcher. A thinking person has to analyze what’s on screen, not simply rubber-stamp it or kowtow to marketing.”m

“To me, everything does have a political component and I think it’s an interesting way to look at art. It’s one way that makes film reviewing, I think, a politically relevant form of journalism. We do live in a political world, and we bring our political sense to the movies with us – unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the movies and shuts off the outside world. I’m not that kind of person.”
~ Armond White to Luke Buckmaster

“One of comedy’s defining pathologies, alongside literal pathologies like narcissism and self-loathing, is its swaggering certainty that it is part of the political vanguard, while upholding one of the most rigidly patriarchal hierarchies of any art form.”
~ Lindy West