1925 - 2008
When You Travel Far
by William Johnney
Always a damn cigarette ...
Lung cancer killed my father, too. Two years ago.
Stuart Rosenberg, director of Cool Hand Luke, died in March 2007.
I don't care if it rains or freezes ...
Long as I got my plastic Jesus ...
Sittin' on the dashboard of my car ...
What a movie ...
What a kick in the balls ...
Exhausting to take in ...
Near apogee of the movement to bring theater's capacity for realizing tragedy and social psychology to the screen.
The movement to bring postwar New York to Hollywood, one might say.
The hustling bustle of the French New Wave somehow washed it away.
The New Wave was mostly merely a youth movement. (And that's fine.)
But also something of a move against logos, supplanting dialog, drama, even stories, with motion, montage ...
The worship of The Image.
Could marketing professionals be far behind?
The anti-logos movement encompassed more than French movies:
All the world briefly celebrated Robbe-Grillet's doctrine of the New Novel, in which psychology and exposition were left behind in favor of the appearances.
Today however we call this a film treatment.
And Derrida's ingenious Deconstruction was little more than exuberant
... to Become something else and better.
Nihilism being no less creative than death.
France, you see, in 1960 was still entranced by her first glance of Hegel, who for no good reasons (Bonaparte, Bismarck, Flanders Field ...) was snubbed in Paris until the cycle of Franco-Fritz nationalist wars had ended with the nazi regime.
Indeed , the brilliant heart of the matter,
The rest of the world, meanwhile, had already digested that boggling ball of fire before the first war.
The youthful revolution of postwar France, then, with its fascination for negation, was something of a throwback. But burst upon the local thinkers, and then the world, with the energy of an unpent reservoir streaming through a dam.
Hence some of the power and insurgent feel of the New Wave's naive aneantissement createur, which overwhelmed movie makers and theorists alike, and snuffed New York's stagecrafty approach as stodgy.
(Revenge, perhaps, for hustling Modern Painting from Paris during the war.)
Not that great American films were not to come, or that the New Wave is not
But something humane that I miss was left behind.
The loss weighs heavier than one would have thought.
Perhaps something to do with the peripherals ...
His loyal, persistent practice of politics.
His wonderful wife and their modest private life -- exemplars ...
... for wayward American well-to-do's raised on frontier thinking and greed.
An admirable man all around.
Hard to find ...
I don't care if it rains or freezes
Comes in colors, pink and pleasant
Index of photographs.
Comments are welcome and may be posted here.