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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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DENNIS COOPER

The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.

INTERVIEWER

What was the final ingredient?

DENNIS COOPER

Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

The whole world within reach.
~ Filmmaker Peter Hutton

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