Re: [a_film_by] Re: Stahl (was: the primordial discussion)
> Rather than just think of Stahl as "sincere" I see him through his styleI like what you did say, Blake. There is indeed a kind of weight to
> as needing a kind of gravity, or weight, a feeling that emotion itself
> deeply roots the stories, though he too is comfortable for them to be
> melodramas. And I find that gravity persists even in the wilder,
> Technicolored melodrama of a LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN. I'm not a Stahl
> expert, and maybe someone else who really knows him could say something
> better than me about him
Stahl's compositions, something solemn and inertial about them that
suggest a sensibility not completely taken over by the drama - as if that
camera and that world are going to be around after all the characters are
I also notice that, when the script arrives at a section that focuses on
an individual character, Stahl will often pitch the camera far enough back
to take in the character's environment - this is especially notable in
those striking reverse tracking shots that often occur at key moments.
Many directors would follow the lead of the drama and visually isolate
characters from their surroundings at these key moments.
In general, I think of Stahl as an "environmental" director, and, though I
don't mean this term necessarily to suggest nature, it's striking how
often Stahl used snow, fog, rain, and other visible natural conditions -
not for drama, but as if they are ongoing, as if they will precede and
follow the appearance of the characters.
Just to tie this to another thread, I saw Stahl's extremely good ONLY
YESTERDAY last year, and was a little surprised to realize that it's based
on the same Zwieg material as LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN.
I so wish I could see WHEN TOMORROW COMES again - my only viewing of it
was many years ago. I thought it was a masterpiece at the time. - Dan