Posts Tagged “Val Lewton”

Lessons of Darkness: Jacques Tourneur’s The Leopard Man

02.21.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

It’s axiomatic that people go to Hollywood movies in search of unsubtle thrills. The last three decades have seen the stripping away of the grace and mystery previously characterizing American commercial filmmaking at its best. The false gods Television and Internet bestride the ruins of that pagan temple complex from which once issued a stupendous, all-consuming body of work, a 20th C. Renaissance every bit the equal of the first. Instead, we are now treated to an Orgy of the Obvious, in de-sacralized space, by which our emotions are less manipulated than informed of their proper deportment, and in which every character, rather than being as guarded as necessary for survival in daily existence, reveals him or herself an open book, a puppy panting for comprehension and acceptance. Works bearing the influence of the more hifalutin’ corners of academic postmodernism often reveal a sub-variant weakness: characters as paper-doll cut-outs, programmed by social forces, cast adrif... More