By James Agee
James Agee dropped at undergo all his ethical power, slashing wit, and boundless interest within the feedback and journalism that tested him as one of many commanding literary voices of the US at mid-century. In 1944 W. H. Auden known as Agee's movie reports for The state "the so much outstanding commonplace occasion in American journalism today." these columns, besides a lot of the motion picture feedback that Agee wrote for Time via many of the Forties, have been amassed posthumously in Agee on movie: stories and reviews, absolutely the main influential writings on movie by way of an American.
Whether reviewing a Judy Garland musical or a wartime documentary, assessing the influence of Italian neorealism or railing opposed to the compromises in a Hollywood version of Hemingway, Agee regularly wrote of films as a pervasive, profoundly major a part of glossy lifestyles, a brand new artwork whose classics (Chaplin, Dovzhenko, Vigo) he respected and whose betrayal within the pursuits of trade or propaganda he frequently deplored. If his widespread disappointments should be registered in acid tones, his enthusiasms have been expressed with passionate eloquence. This Library of the US quantity supplementations the vintage items from Agee on movie with formerly uncollected writings on Ingrid Bergman, the Marx Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, Vittorio De Sica's Shoeshine, and a wealth of different cinematic topics.
Agee's personal paintings as a screenwriter is represented by means of his script for Charles Laughton's distinctive and haunting masterpiece of Southern gothic, The evening of the Hunter, tailored from the radical by means of Davis Grubb. This assortment additionally contains examples of Agee's masterfully probing reporting for Fortune-on matters as different because the Tennessee Valley Authority, advertisement orchids, and cockfighting-and a sampling of his literary stories, between them appreciations of William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, S. J. Perelman, and William Carlos Williams.
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Extra resources for Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism (Library of America)
Keaton worked strictly for laughs, but his work came from so far inside a curious and original spirit that he achieved a great deal besides, especially in his feature-length comedies. ) He was the only major comedian who kept sentiment almost entirely out of his work, and he brought pure physical comedy to its greatest heights. Beneath his lack of emotion he was also uninsistently sardonic; deep below that, giving a disturbing tension and grandeur to the foolishness, for tliose who sensed it, there was in his comedy a freezing whisper not of pathos but of melan cholia.
Besides occasional bits, spots and minor roles in Hollywood pictures, he has worked on summer stages, made talking comedies in France and Mexico and 30 AGEE ON FILM: REVIEWS AND COMMENTS downed in a French circus. This summer he has played the straw hats in Three Men on a Horse. He is planning a television program. He also has a working agreement with Metro. One of his jobs there is to construct comedy sequences for Red Skelton. The only man who really survived the flood was Chaplin, the only one who was rich, proud and popular enough to afford to stay silent.
He looks like a daguerreotype, not an impersonation. He bears himself like a man of i860, not like a studious actor in a costume picture. He talks like a half-crazy devil. He supplies, in fact, the two primal requirements of the camera, in whose neglect or dilution you might better not use a camera at all: living—rather than imitative—visual, aural, and psychological authenticity, and the paralyzing electric energy of the present tense as against the rest of the show's glossy, comfortably researched reenactment at eight)^ years' remove.
Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism (Library of America) by James Agee