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Gone With the Wind

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  • Dan Sallitt
    A little while ago I watched GONE WITH THE WIND for the first time since I was 17. It s so incoherent from a directorial point of view that you would think
    Message 1 of 211 , Jan 10, 2005
      A little while ago I watched GONE WITH THE WIND for the first time since I
      was 17. It's so incoherent from a directorial point of view that you
      would think mass audiences would notice. But apparently not. The film
      still feels a bit daring, not just in terms of the sexual mores it was
      willing to flout, but also in terms of the many objectionable traits of
      the protagonists. For a blockbuster, it's really quite quirky.

      I had no solid info on who directed what, so I played the guessing game
      while I was watching, armed only with a list of the many directors. I've
      made mistakes in the past with such games, but I did pretty well this
      time: the two scenes that I was willing to bet were Cukor's (the Melanie
      childbirth scenes, and Scarlett and Melanie shooting the intruding Yankee
      soldier) turned out to be his.

      I like Victor Fleming, too, though less than Cukor. Some decent scenes
      appear to me to be his, like the scene with Ward Bond, where Rhett
      Butler's charade helps throw the army off the scent of the Ku Kluxers. I
      haven't checked the authorship of this scene, though.

      The interesting thing is that I find Fleming's visual style rather more
      distinctive and identifiable than Cukor's. He favors a certain kind of
      composition, with crowding of people and objects in the foreground, a
      slightly low camera angle, and a path of entry or exit leading into the
      background of the shot.

      And the way to tell that Cukor was directing was simply that everything in
      the movie suddenly became more complex and multidimensional.... The
      characters started behaving in counterpoint to their motives, gestures and
      words took on some mystery, the scenes started to have peaks and valleys
      instead of holding on to a fixed rhythm. Reality held back some of its
      meaning.

      This is direction, in my opinion. It pulled everything in the film
      together, like a magnetic field. And yet the visuals weren't as
      distinctive as elsewhere. - Dan
    • LiLiPUT1@aol.com
      Message 211 of 211 , Jan 26, 2005
        <<I think the last two films (and BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, come to think of it) there's definitely a kind of mania surging through, as if Scorsese is afraid that the whole thing will collapse unless he keeps horsewhipping the narrative to keep charging forward.>>

        Not sure who wrote this. But the mania goes all the way back to the 1960s shorts (which I just saw for the first time last night). Mania is his style, no? It certainly surges through CASINO and GOODFELLAS. Maybe even KUNDUN and LAST TEMPTATION on some level, no? And I'm not saying this style automatically brands his films as immature or whanot. I do think that the sound and fury is signifying nothing in AVIATOR and, to a lesser extent, GANGS. But it wor
        ked for me in BRINGING and others.

        Kevin John
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