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Re: [a_film_by] Re: Movies that take place in Hell

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  • Fred Camper
    Umm, at the risk of sounding schoolmarmish, wake up, people! Cinema does not only consist of films made with crews and sets and union actors wandering around
    Message 1 of 33 , Dec 1, 2004
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      Umm, at the risk of sounding schoolmarmish, wake up, people! Cinema does
      not only consist of films made with crews and sets and union actors
      wandering around talking in lip-sync.

      The obvious examples: "Hell Itself" and "Hell Spit Flexion" by Stan
      Brakhage. These are the first two parts of a four part series called,
      er, "The Dante Quartet." And I can assure you that unlike many
      Hollywood directors who make films of books they've not read, Brakhage
      actually *did* read the book. And they're on the "!" Criterion DVD.

      There are a few stills from "Hell Itself" at
      http://www.fredcamper.com/Film/BrakhageS.html#HellItself

      Following JPC, I'm sure Brakhage would say he was trying to make visual
      metaphors for hell, since his whole oeuvre argues against the idea of
      literal depictions, even when he does seem to be literally depicting
      something.

      Seconding Mike, I would express skepticism about saying that most film
      noirs "take place" in hell. There's a difference between having
      references to a descent (as "Force of Evil" does), or references to
      darkness, or echoes of "The Inferno," and an artist actually trying to
      depict hell, even metaphorically. It seems more useful to say of a film
      like "Detour" that it has allusions ot hell, or echoes of Dante, or that
      on one level it can be seen as a dreamlike descent into hell. "On one
      level" is different than "take place."

      Fred Camper
    • Michael Brooke
      ... Jan Svankmajer s Faust , definitely - and on a number of levels. I haven t seen it for ages, but I recall both a deliberately hokey depiction of the
      Message 33 of 33 , Dec 3, 2004
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        On 1 Dec 2004, at 12:36, a_film_by@yahoogroups.com wrote:

        > From: "Robert Keser" <rfkeser@...>
        > Subject: Re: Movies that take place in Hell
        >
        >
        > Murnau's Faust?


        Jan Svankmajer's 'Faust', definitely - and on a number of levels. I
        haven't seen it for ages, but I recall both a deliberately hokey
        depiction of the conventional notion of "hell", complete with hordes of
        horned demons, and a much more complex rendition of contemporary Prague
        as a Satanic labyrinth.

        Svankmajer's work in general provides plenty of suitably hellish images
        - the following titles spring to mind:

        The Garden (1968) - a man lives in a house surrounded by a wall made up
        of imprisoned human beings holding hands;

        The Flat (1968) - a man trapped in a room where literally everything
        contained within it flouts both his expectations and natural laws (taps
        produce rocks instead of water, a glass of beer shrinks to a thimble in
        transit to his lips, and then back again to an empty beer glass, and so
        on);

        Down to the Cellar (1983) - a little girl goes down to the cellar to
        fetch some potatoes, which is transformed by her imagination into a
        terrifying network of sinister corridors and lurking creatures;

        The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983) - a man is trapped in an endless
        cycle of torture and escape by cowled monks;

        Flora (1989) - a human figure made up of vegetables and tied to a bed
        literally rots away while a pristine glass of life-preserving water
        stands mere inches away;

        Michael
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