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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Wenders’ STATE OF THINGS RV Scene (9’58″)

Somehow it comes back to this. Appropriate at the end of one year and the start of another. The State Of Things, the strange missive Wenders eked in the delay, delay, delays of Hammett, indulging in all sorts of anachronism and present-tension. Black-and-white, you motherfucker, indeed. How much did Garfield improvise in his Coppola stylings in that rackety Winnebago Silverfish? Like some of the rat-a-tat-tat of John Garfield exsanguinating Abraham Polonsky’s corpuscular vernacular in Force Of Evil. Garfield’s may be more impressive a feat of off-the-cuff character legerdemain than Brando telling us he swallowed a bug in Hearts of Darkness. “You can’t build a movie without a story. Have you ever tried building a house without walls? It’s the same. You can’t build a house without walls. A movie’s got to have walls, Friedrich. It’s gotta have walls. Y’know?”

“Why walls?” mutters Friedrich. “The space between the characters can carry the load.”

“You’re talking about reality, Friedrich. Fuck reality, Friedrich, when are you going to wake up? Cinema… is not about life going by, people don’t wanna see that.”

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“Chad Harbach spent ten years writing his novel. It was his avocation, for which he was paid nothing, with no guarantee he’d ever be paid anything, while he supported himself doing freelance work, for which I don’t think he ever made $30,000 a year. I sold his book for an advance that equated to $65,000 a year—before taxes and commission—for each of the years of work he’d put in. The law schools in this country churn out first-year associates at white-shoe firms that pay them $250,000 a year, when they’re twenty-five years of age, to sit at a desk doing meaningless bullshit to grease the wheels of the corporatocracy, and people get upset about an excellent author getting $65,000 a year? Give me a fucking break.”
~ Book Agent Chris Parris-Lamb On The State Of The Publishing Industry

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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