Wednesday, July 14, 2010

See Time Come to a Halt...For Free!

Director Andrei Tarkovsky looms over the cinematic canon like death, just always shy of some of the greatest lists, but wholly present there. The Russian director is truly one of the most imaginative of the medium, and watching his films is like watching time slowly collapse on itself, ceding to a world of abstraction. Last year, I reviewed four films by Andrei Tarkovsky when the Film Society at Lincoln Center did a retrospective of his work. I unfortunately did not have time to see the final two films in Tarkovsky’s short, but extremely memorable, career: Nostalghia and The Sacrifice

However, now both you and I have a chance to watch all of the Russian director’s works. Thanks to Film Annex, you can watch all seven of Tarkovksy’s feature films. From the wild spirit of Ivan’s Childhood, to the exploration of faith in Andrei Rublev. To the madness of The Mirror, to the complex beauty of Stalker. And of course, Tarkovsky’s most famous film remains his science fiction mystery Solyaris (remade by Steven Soderbergh, which is also one of his best films).

Watching Tarkovsky is to become lost within cinema. He loses you in his narratives with questions you are afraid to answers, shots that seem to bring time to a halt, and performances that can move your soul. His films are by no means easy—they are among some of the toughest films I’ve had to sit through due to the slow nature and difficult dialogue—but they are easily some of the most rewarding films you will ever see.

PS: One of Andrei Tarkovsky’s first films was film school was an adaptation of The Killers by Ernest Hemingway, which was made into a truly great movie by Richard Siodmack with Burt Lancaster in 1946. Tarkovsky’s short is brutally dark, and gives a great sense of the potential of this director. You can see it here and here on Youtube.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How A Lawless Man Became an American: Clint Eastwood at Film Society

Originally Posted at CUArts

There’s a moment in Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino in which the actor and director finally reveals the chiseled 1972 titular vehicle in the film. Eastwood’s character Walt remarks he put together the lavish muscle car together himself. It’s hard not to think of the car not only as a metaphor for Walt, but for Eastwood himself. Built tough and rough, shiny on the outside and hardened on every edge, full of might and capable of anything on a long winded road, and yet the car seems to be destined for greater things and a larger freedom that seems impossible. Damn that car is American.
Although Clint Eastwood’s career may have begun in Europe, he is one of those actors and directors that truly makes American movies that shout “America” from the first word. And while New York moviegoers might be used to the Film Society at Lincoln Center featuring films from the Chinese Communist era or the Hungarian New Wave, for July, they’re bringing it back home with “The Complete Clint Eastwood,” a retrospective of every single one of his films as an actor and a director.
Eastwood ironically started his career not in America, but on the sun burnt plains of Southern Spain with the Italian director Sergio Leone, creating the now epic Man With No Name Trilogy. While the films are more known today for their dazzling camera work in which Leone builds and creates tension, influencing numerous directors like Quentin Tarantino, its Eastwood’s nameless character that centers the film. His persona is not in the tradition of tough but sensitive guy John Wayne, or even the dark Jimmy Stewart performances from his Anthony Mann Westerns. He has the same presence but his morality is absent. In The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (July 22nd) a character tells him, “There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend: Those with a rope around the neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting.”
That quote rings out the standards in which Eastwood’s films has appeared, in which people are put in ugly positions, and the only way to win is to cheat a little. In the trilogy, Eastwood is not the center of American amorality and greed. Coming more from a tradition of noir heroes, Eastwood says little with his mouth, usually filling it with a cigar instead. His squinted eyes suggest a type of misguided disgust for the dying country around him, a new  breed of American justice, so appropriately seen in For a Few Dollars More (July 15th). While Leone is behind the camera capturing it all, it is Eastwood and his character that seems to suggest this new wave of American-ness, based on a shift in culture that, along with the other rebels of the day like Bonnie and ClydeBenjamin Braddock, andCaptain America, suggest that the standard route to the American dream is dead.
However, of these characters, what happens? Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed. Captain America tells us “we blew it” before getting hit with a shotgun And Benjamin becomes just like his parents. Where does the Man with No Name Go? Because he is not a dreamer like the others, and only out for his small but direct goals, he comes back to America and becomes a hero in Dirty Harry (July 15th). Watching this 1971 Don Siegel classic, it’s impossible to see countless detective films and televisions shows with an amoral cop willing to break the rules to win the day. However, Dirty Harry remains a classic because of how willing he is to break the rules. Just like the Man With No Name, Eastwood works for himself and only himself, but instead of greed, the aim is justice, by any means necessary.
As Eastwood has thus moved from in the actor’s chair to behind it, this idea of ambiguous justice and determination of dreams has continued to mark his career as that of a truly American zeitgeist. Eastwood’s characters, whether it’s Francesca (Meryl Streep)and her dreams of a soul mate in The Bridges of Madison County (July 21st), Frank Morris (Eastwood) and his desire of freedom in Escape from Alcatraz (July 22nd), or Jimmy (Sean Penn) in his search for real justice in Mystic River (July 23rd), are searching for something more than the sum of their lives. This American feeling of the lack of satisfaction with the current system and place of the individual has threaded Eastwood’s long career, and it’s the inherent feelings that have also dominated the personas of his characters, who behind their tough shell exterior, are always stuck in an existential crisis of societal placement. Its tough not to choke up at Eastwood’s Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby (July 25th) when Maggie, played by Hillary Swank, tells Eastwood’s character Frankie, “Don’t let me lie here ’till I can’t hear those people chanting no more.” She’s attempting to be something more than she is—a legend instead of a tragedy. So when Bill Munny returns back to the town at the end of Unforgiven (July 18th and 19th) for revenge, the code of the Western is thrown out in exchange for cold-blooded justice.
Clint Eastwood’s career, which now seems to be dominated by his directorial work, has grounded itself in these specifically American values that are not at the core of society, but developed in the frustrations of the 1960s and the view that American is a flawed country. When the heroes return from Iwo Jima in the flawed Flags of Our Fathers (July 24th and 26th) they know the classical values they have lived upon are a lie, as evidenced by the horror in the humanity of the film’s companion piece Letters From Iwo Jima (July 24th and 26th). Instead, only a new breed of American ideals can evolve, one that breaks society’s laws to recapture justice, and reclaim the idealness of the American truth. So whether its for a little more money, to take down the bad guy, fight to reclaim one’s son, or simply dream of bigger things, Eastwood’s career as both an actor and director has truly ushered in what that 1972 Gran Torino (July 27th) represents: a bold and muscular car for a generation that won’t take kindly to weakness.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

All in the Cut: Editing Emotion in New Wave Style of 'Bonnie and Clyde'

            It’s hard to begin to describe the importance of Bonnie and Clyde, the 1967 American classic from Arthur Penn that, along with films like Easy Rider and The Graduate, launched the American New Wave, helping pioneer a new era of American cinema. The film, staring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, is a frankly sexual and violent picture (often at the same time), and is truly an explosive picture. And it was an explosion in 1967. When Bosley Crowther, the long standing critic for the New York Times, dismissed the picture, he was dismissed from the newspaper. Another critic, praised the film: “Bonnie and Clyde brings into the almost frighteningly public world of movies things that have been feeling and saying and writing about” (Friedman, 179). That critic was Pauline Kael, and that review launched her career.

            I re-watched Bonnie and Clyde at a special presentation at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, New York. Not having seen the film in years, it felt as fresh and as bold as ever. However, one thing stuck out to me more than anything. No, it wasn’t the aimless plot, modeled off of the French New Wave style that Robert Benton and David Newman had tried to emulate. No, it wasn’t the bold violence and sexuality, and the relationship of Clyde’s need for violence for his own sexuality. Nor was it the subtle political commentary—an examination of violence and endless, unnecessary killings following a tumultuous few years of assassinations and war.

            It was the editing. The brilliant, staccato-like, discontinuous but not unstructured editing that made this movie. The editor on the film, who died earlier this year, was Dede Allen. One of the many great female editors, Allen’s first film was a strange noir from Robert Wise called Odds Against Tomorrow. While the film, which stars Harry Belafonte, is a strange and sometimes silly noir that attempts to comment on race relations, the editing is certainly avant-garde. However, Allen, whose work includes Dog Day Afternoon and Reds, is a director who has said she cuts with her heart.

            Benton and Newman wanted to make a New Wave film—they originally came to both Francios Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, who encouraged them but ultimately told them to have an American director. And Penn, certainly a director who did not have as many other successes as his colleagues, is certainly a director with a New Wave style. But what separates Bonnie and Clyde from being completely French is Allen’s editing. In Breathless, Godard cuts anywhere and everywhere. For him, the meaning is the cut itself—a break from the establishment. However, this is not how Allen works. She is cutting at beats, though they aren’t the typical beats of Hollywood pictures. But each time she cuts, she reveals something about the characters that’s not in the dialogue. In one of her most dynamic sequences, watch how she cuts. (Click through for the link)

Newman and Benton don’t need dialogue to describe Clyde’s impotence, it’s all in the visual language. Allen cuts between their reactions, getting closer and closer as they becoming more intimate, and then quickly cutting to a long shot after the embarrassment is realized. This allows Beatty, who is simply bigger and more muscular than Bonnie, to assert his dominance over Bonnie again, who simply lies in bed while he stands. 

            Throughout the film, Allen’s work is evident as she pulls into close-ups and long shots that are atypical, except they help reveal the path of these characters. The film is full of moments like the one above where the shot choice says much more than the dialogue. By the time we get to the final bullet ridden sequence—about 100 shots in a matter of seconds—Allen has earned herself as one of the great editors in film history.

            It’s easy to not pay attention to how editing works—great editing is invisible, only helping you become more invested in the story. Godard tried to turn editing into an idea, and Allen helped turned it back invisible, but the emotions of Bonnie and Clyde—her sexual desire, his aimlessness, Buck’s loyalty—only come through with the sensibilities of Allen, because the script avoids making those judgments. If there is one artist that really launched the New Wave from a passing curiosity to the new Hollywood sensation, it was Dede Allen.  

For more on the launch of the American New Wave, Mark Harris wrote an excellent book called Pictures at a Revolution, which examines the five Best Picture nominees of 1967 and the radical shifts in film history at the time.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

New York Film Festival Gives Into Hollywood: 'The Social Network' Chosen as Opening Night Selection

            Perhaps taking to some of the criticism it received last year, the New York Film Festival announced its opening night selection today, promising a big Hollywood-like premiere. This year’s New York Film Festival will begin with none other than David Fincher’s The Social Network. The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and the trials and tribulations to get the website started, including the lawsuit from his former friends (played by pop singer Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, who will be taking over duties in the new Spider-Man film). The choice of Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) is certainly a curious one, but might be a strange gamble that works out for an excellent film. The Film Society also get its hands on a new trailer, which you can see above.

            The film is a swift turn from last year—besides Willem Dafoe (Antichrist) and Penelope Cruz (Broken Embraces), few big names came out for the show last year, and not a single Hollywood film was on hand. A number of critics and fans blasted the Film Society for the selection, and ticket sales were thus subsequently down. With an extremely lackluster Cannes Film Festival this year, one can bet Richard Pena and the rest of the selection committee (which now includes Todd McCarthy) will be turning their eyes toward some of the bigger American releases of the year. The big question remains though: Will they get a chance to screen Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Two Pitch-Black Classics Find Light With New Upcoming DVDs

Since the invention of DVDs, film buffs have had a love-hate relationship with the companies that put them out. You finally getting than amazing copy of that lost Von Stroheim film? Well it might come out on a bare bones release that looks worse on video than it would running a 35mm print. My worst horror story came from Netflix actually—Since DW Griffith’s Intolerance is not protected by any copyrights, anyone who is willing can make and sell prints of a DVD. Netflix owns some unfortunate copies instead of the ones released by silent film DVD giant Kino. The release I received was not only cut by 45 minutes, but the print was literally unreadable.

Classic Hollywood films aren’t as bad, but sometimes you just want a great DVD for your collection, full of commentaries, behind the scenes analysis, and every little tidbit you can get on your favorite films. Two of my favorite forgotten classics of the end of the Hollywood studio though, are finally getting the DVDs they deserve: Charles Laughton’s 1955 noir-horror Night of the Hunter and Alexander McKendrick’s 1957 New York noir Sweet Smell of Success.

If you don’t know either of these films, run to your local art house rental place immediately. Night of the Hunter is the only film directed by actor Laughton and is written by film critic James Agee (if you haven’t read his criticism collection Agee on Film, it is a must-read). The film stars Robert Mitchum as a priest who marries a wealthy widow in order to steal her money and terrorize her kids. The film is a mixture of noir, German expressionism, gothic horror, and surprising warmth. A huge flop when originally released, it is now considered one of the most sublime films ever made.

Even better than Laughton’s film is one that is one of the most quotable films ever made. Directed by Makendrick, and written originally by Earnet Lehman and then re-written by Clifford Oddets, the film stars Tony Curtis as a hungry New York press agent who has to do the most dirty of work for gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker, played with brutal coldness by Burt Lancaster, in what must be considered one of the greatest performances of all time. I recently wrote a good deal of words on why you need to see this classic that also flopped when originally released.

The new DVDs have been announced from the Criterion Collection, who have been restoring classic and contemporary films that have been deemed important. They’ve done extraordinary jobs on making pristine DVDs of films by Godard, Bergman, Fellini, Kuorsawa (including a 25-film set), and many more.

No release date has been set, but hopefully they can stuff your Christmas stockings by the end of the year. Check out a clip from each below:

Friday, July 02, 2010

Theater Review: Al Pacino in 'The Merchant of Venice' at the Public Theater

Originally Published for CUArts

A truth must be told before a review can unfold: I have issues with The Merchant of Venice as a text. One might gasp at the mere thought of questioning the quality of a text by William Shakespeare, or even having reservations about it. Yet here I am, not praising a text that is, by all means, canonical in every way. I might as well throw The Iliad and Pride and Prejudice, along with the rest of the Western canon, on the fire if I plan on attacking The Merchant of Venice.

However, it is my issues with the text that make theatrical productions of Merchant worth watching, often due to the bold choices directors must make when staging. How do you deal with the tonal divergence? How do you convey the mixed emotions of the final act? And what do you do with Shylock? These were just some of the questions that Merchant’s creative team, led by Public Theater veteran Daniel Sullivan (who directed last year’s stunning Twelfth Night production), had to tackle when attempting to bring this year’s Shakespeare in the Park headline production.

The Merchant of Venice is one of two Shakespeare plays the Public Theater is doing this summer, but the performance of The Winter’s Tale has not been as publicized, as the star power in Merchant is quite overbearing: Al Pacino as Shylock. Pacino’s iconic filmography could reach on forever: The Godfather, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Glengarry Glen Ross, and so. Pacino has also had the pleasure of playing the role of Shylock before in the 2004 film adaptation from Michael Ratford. Pacino plays between the line of villain and tragic figure, and while the actor is known for his sometimes larger than life antics (see here) on screen, he spends a good deal of the play by reserving his biggest emotions. This helps Sullivan and Pacino create Shylock as the tragic figure that so many productions strive for, mainly to avoid accusations of anti-Semitism, but also to give the text a profound complexity in which we are not sure whom to identify with.

The tragic side of this comedy occurs not only with the scenes with Shylock, but many of the play’s more comedic sequences are toned down as well. With the riddle of the three chests, Sullivan allows air for only the driest of humor (though there are certain jokes that cannot be made unfunny, and get large laughs). This is wondrously captured through the character of Portia, played by a feisty and energized Lily Rabe, easily giving the play's best performance. Rabe hits the play with a complete dead tone, and acts fearless in her verbal tone, capturing the spite of her situation with her quiet voice but thundering eyes. When Shylock and Portia go head-to-head in the production's climax, Rabe matches, if not overtakes, Pacino.

The serious tone of most of the actors was also supported by the production’s bleak stage design—a series of black fences were used to separate spaces on the stage, while the play takes place around the turn of the century with uses of phonographs and stock tickers. The stark lighting, which fittingly became darker and more jagged as the moonlight came up around Central Park, made the atmosphere into a one of frantic wonders. The characters of the masked ball are less beautiful than grotesque men and women from what looks like Halloween, and in his most evident deviation from the text Sullivan has added a small sequence of Shylock’s baptism, where the man is literally thrown in and out of the water.

In both my reading and watching of theater, one of my main rules is that every play or musical should have a very consistent tone. Don’t get too serious in a comedy. Don’t get too funny in a tragedy. The Merchant of Venice is a problematic text for this reason—it’s fundamentally and structurally a comedy, but the figure of Shylock has become one of tragedy for many scholars and readers alike. The Public Theater has done the best they can to erase the comedy from the production, bringing a height of danger to every scene. And for the most part, it certainly works. We are thrown into a story of frugal spenders, unable to control their own paths, easily deceived, and who none of walk away with a smile on there face, even if there is marriage by the end. Sullivan and his amazing cast have sucked the air out of the theater, leaving us more to ponder than to smile. The crowd walked out quietly into Central Park with many more questions than answers. And for a play that wraps up with everyone getting what they want objectively, it's quite a feat to leave us more confused than ever.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Trailer for Let Me In Could Be Worth Entering

            Since the project was announced in early 2009, a good amount of derision has come toward the American remake of the Swedish runaway hit Let the Right One In. The film, directed by Tomas Alfredson, was a vampire film with Bergmanesque emotion and simple static cinematography explored loneliness and adolescence in a way few horror films could close to doing. The last thing the film need was an American remake.

            However, with Cloverfield director Matt Reeves leading the project, the trailer for Let Me In looks surprisingly fine. It might look a little too intense and unreserved, but that may just be the action packed teaser trailer that has been released. Some of the shots though, look quite interesting and unique, and the film’s cast is one to boot: Kodi-Smitt McPhee (The Road) and Chloe Mortez (Kick Ass) star, while they are supported by Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas. The two child actors have proved themselves more than worthy in their recent works, and seem quite appropriate for the roles.

            However, some reservations are probably in order, because one can’t expect too much Bergman and probably very little silence in an American horror film. We’ll see come October.

Cheating of the Mind: Parallels of Metaphysical Infidelity in Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut

"No dream is ever just a dream."

             Much has been written about Eyes Wide Shut since the film’s release in July 1999. The film has polarized critics, fans, film buffs, really everyone who has ever watched the film in its entirety (as it probably should). More than the other works of Stanley Kubrick, which have led to their own debates, Eyes Wide Shut has perhaps created so much diversity of opinion because on top of the film's cryptic narrative, Kubrick's passing before the film's release meant there would never be any interviews in which he could explain, or at least hint at, the meaning of his film.

But on the surface, as all Kubrick films are cryptic puzzles, just waiting for us to explore.

After re-watching Eyes Wide Shut, and reading some material on it, I’m certain on its place as Kubrick’s most daring films in terms of its cinematic elements Unlike Kubrick’s other films, which deal with science fiction, war, or horror, Eyes Wide Shut comforts itself right in the middle of a very human theme: infidelity. But Kubrick makes it about more, specifically the metaphysics of infidelity (bear with me here). Like all of Kubrick’s works, he centers us in this theme through a distancing of the characters, where we are attuned to, but never involved emotionally, in the central relationship. However, the relationship is crucial to the story—we need to believe in the relationship of Bill and Alice (played by then married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) in order to take a ride on this story.

            This is not new territory for Kubrick—the attack on Kubrick for lacking sympathy toward his characters has been happening since his earliest films. Jonathan Rossenbaum, in his excellent text Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons, writes on Eyes Wide Shut and Kubrick’s work as a whole. He defends, “They’re full of emotions, though most of them are so convoluted and elusive that you have to follow them as if through a maze…He so strongly resists sentimentality that cynicism and derision often seem close at hand” (264-265). Rossenbaum is correct—the only reason we follow Bill’s journey into the night is because we feel that Alice has wronged him, even if it was just telling him a story. Most of Kubrick’s films are about characters driven by emotions, and often the most primal: Lust in A Clockwork Orange, kealousy in Full Metal Jacket, and here, Bill is driven by revenge. The emotions Kubrick pulls with are not as happy-go-lucky as those that his contemporaries could often bring (and a good reason why he turned over A.I. to Steven Spielberg, who bring the sentimentality needed to make the film's metatextual climax even more chilling).

            On the side of the narrative though, Eyes Wide Shut pulls us into its world through its narrative structure, which heads in and out through the rabbit's hole. . As I mentioned before, the film’s theme is metaphysical infidelity, and can be boiled down into one essential question—who has cheated worse, Bill or Alice?

            “But neither has cheated, and Alice did not even leave the home!” you may protest. The film begins at the party, with both Bill and Alice flirts with members of the opposite sex: Bill with the two women, and Alice with the Hungarian. Both are propositioned, but both turn it down, turning to each other at the end of the night. However, when Bill confronts her while the two are high, Alice begins her story about the sailor. One of the simple visual tricks that Kubrick does here is to separate the two actors, never using them in the same frame. In earlier sequences, we often see them together within the frame—close, standing side by side. During Alice’s monologue, she literally pulls away from Bill.

            This is where the fun begins. Alice’s infidelity is based on a thought she had, and one she did not act on. However, as Kubrick brings the camera closer and closer into Bill, the anger on his face slowly registers (very slowly). As the next night continues, and Bill comes closer and closer to his own infidelity, Kubrick intensifies Bill’s vision of Alice and the sailor. He makes it worse in his own mind in order to justify his own actions.

            In similar way, we have to track Bill’s own adventures as a series of more intensified infidelities, even if he rejects them. We start with the widow who wants to cheat on her boyfriend, the prostitute looking for a customer, the daughter of the costume shop owner who hints at a chance at pedophilia, and of course, the secret society that uses sex as a religious catharsis. Much has been tackled about the last of those stops, but it is not possible without seeing each one that precedes it as trying to “top” the situation. Bill needs to assert himself by taking revenge—his manhood is literally put at stake, and the small scene in which the street kids call him a fagot only reinforces the possibilities.

            If Bill fails physically, he does not fail metaphysically. Eyes Wide Shut is all about the thought of doing something, and because the film has us identify with Bill, our thoughts are no less different than his, meaning anything we consider, he certainly considers. So he does commit metaphysical infidelity through the thoughts of the audience. This is Kubrick at his most complex, using the audience as a surrogate for his character. Bill’s own infidelity rest on our shoulders to have thought that he should have sex with one or all of these women, even just for a moment (this is of course is created by the shots and editing that Kubrick so slyly creates).

            There is the side of the reality to Bill’s adventure, which is, even if he see some quite strange stuff, quite tame compared to the dreams of Alice, especially her second dream, in which she has sex with multiple men while Bill watches. Alice’s dream is that most vile infidelity one could imagine, but again, it is only a dream. Bill has created a reality for himself, which is what the second half of the film is about—dealing with the physical repercussions of his attempts at infidelity. Even when he has not actually done anything, Bill is forced to see the actions of what little he has done, or could have done.

            The irony of it all is in the title Eyes Wide Shut. It’s a contradiction. So is the metaphysical aspects of physical lust. Yet Kubrick’s final film has taken on the bold subject, and brought it together in a strange and mysterious way. I have just started to crack open the themes on this film, and there is so much more that I have to understand (to be honest, the entire religious sexual cult is a mystery to me, but I am fascinated by it every time, not for the frank sex, but for the production design and how specific it looks, making me feel that each piece has a specific meaning). We don’t know if there was more to what the film could have been, that may have made it more accepted by those who despise the film. Again, Rossenbaum: “Kubrick recut both 2001 and The Shining after they opened commercially…Undoubtedly, he would have made a few slight adjustments in Eyes Wide Shut had he lived longer” (269-270).

            However, I think Kubrick went out on a film that for him was in a way one that he would have been most proud of, because of the debate. The director’s films are impenetrable by nature, forcing us to dive deep into our own conscious and consider our own morals to understand his view. The film’s eerie lighting throughout feels like a Lynchian nightmare, and which everything is either a little to bright or a little too dark. Kubrick refused to see the world in a straightforward manner—and when the lights finally going off, whether in space, the battlefield, or as in Eyes Wide Shut, the bedroom, that’s when our true emotions are revealed.
A good deal of research for this essay is in debt to the amazing website “Film Studies for Free,” which provided me with not only a copy of the original script but four highly critical examinations of the film, which I read in preparation for writing this. Here are links to the essays here: