Download Abraham Polonsky: Interviews by Andrew Dickos PDF

By Andrew Dickos

Abraham Polonsky (1910-1999), screenwriter and filmmaker of the mid-twentieth-century Left, famous his writerly undertaking to bare the aspirations of his characters in a cloth society dependent to undermine their hopes. within the method, he ennobled their fight. His auspicious starting in Hollywood reached a zenith along with his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Robert Rossen's boxing noir, Body and Soul (1947), and his inaugural movie as author and director, Force of Evil (1948), ahead of he used to be blacklisted in the course of the McCarthy witch hunt.

Polonsky expected cinema as a latest artist. His aesthetic appreciation for every technical part of the reveal aroused him to create voiceovers of city cadences--poetic monologues spoken via the city's everyman, embodied via the actor who performed his heroes top, John Garfield. His use of David Raksin's ranking in Force of Evil, opposed to the backdrop of the grandeur of recent York City's panorama and the clash among the brothers Joe and Leo Morse, increased movie noir into classical kin tragedy.

Like Garfield, Polonsky confronted persecution and an aborted occupation in the course of the blacklist. yet in contrast to Garfield, Polonsky survived to renew his profession in Hollywood through the ferment of the past due sixties. Then his imaginative and prescient of a altering society came upon allegorical expression in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, his awesome anti-Western exhibiting the destruction of the Paiute insurgent outsider, Willie Boy, and cementing Polonsky as an ethical voice in cinema.

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Sample text

His spirit, his love of life and gusto for it, his love of beauty and form, of truth pass to Terry. This is what we are made to feel, we know it, we triumph in it, and as they take Calvero away, his shoes turned out, she is alone on the stage in an immense hollow of shadow where the light of his consciousness and ours illuminates her as she 24 a b r a h a m p o l o n s k y : i n t e r v i e w s whirls, turning, turning, posing in arabesques as every work of art does so that we can possess it, going on and on as life must, endlessly flinging up forms in which our desires become social triumphs through the endless change of things.

He is talking with Terry in their little magic mountain: Calvero: Y’know, as a man gets on in years he wants to live deeply . . a feeling of sad dignity comes upon him . . and that’s fatal for a comic. It affected my work. I lost contact with my audience. And then very bitterly: Calvero: I’d like to forget the public. a b r a h a m p o l o n s k y / 1 9 5 3 23 Terry: Never . . you love them too much. Calvero: I’m not so sure . . maybe I love them, but I don’t admire them. Terry: I think you do.

Verdoux about which he is talking. But the failure of any particular work of art, and I don’t think the film is a failure, is not central to Chaplin’s problem. As artists move in their work trying in one way or another to master reality, as they grow because they are working and because life is changing (so sound comes and dooms the little tramp and a whole mode of comment is gone as if part of the brain were destroyed and its powers had to be reorganized elsewhere), as this everlasting change occurs, artists lose a familiar, easy relation with their audience, or any audience, only to regain it more deeply in their time or history.

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