Tuesday, September 27, 2005

P to the Oh-Lanski

Serenity isn't the only movie opening this weekend that I'm geeked about; Roman Polanski's take on Oliver Twist is high on my list of priorities as well. He gave a rare interview in the fall music issue of Entertainment Weekly and speaks, perhaps unsurprisingly, eloquently about himself, his notorious troubles, and his take on contemporary cinema. While the videogaming of American movies is not necessarily an original or even wholly accurate complaint, I nonetheless found myself deeply moved by this quote last night:
I think that most films now, you forget over dinner. Because your head does not want to go back to them. In other cases, you do go back mentally to it, and run it again. That's what I would like to be the case with my films.... Most of this stuff on the screen is not cinema anymore. It's a videogame. Any geography to a scene, it doesn't exist. You're in limbo. By showing a constant deluge of special effects and crashing sound, people are getting too used to it. One of the reasons of doing Oliver Twist for my children and for children in general is I want to teach them again what cinema is.


DS said...

Though I would only be dragged to a Joss Whedon movie if bound, gagged, and at gunpoint, and the gun shot metal hornet ninjas, I do wholeheartedly agree with you on Mr. Polanski. I love the weird moral shuffling that goes on in acknowledging his genius, both within myself and within the marketplace--and I love seeing him rise to challenging projects (some might say impossible) such as this. His own demons, as public as they are, clearly fuse with his aesthetic in wondrous ways...plus he's a bastion of the Old Guard, clucking his tongue at the medium's decline.

allison said...

D, just you wait and see--you're going to become the biggest Joss Whedon fan of us all. Experience has shown me that the harder people protest at first, the harder they fall in love with him in the end. (And I include myself in that tally.)

And the thing that, to me, sets Polanski apart even from the rest of the Old Guard is that I'm usually genuinely excited to see his new movies; I find that I don't go to them just for form's sake the way I do with guys like Scorsese and Altman. He doesn't seem to be resting on the laurels of his past glories.

DS said...

Ah, you're right of course--I'm ordering eggs and ham of only the most verdant variety. I'll walk in with an open mind. (replace "walk in" with "tear open the netflix envelope while aimlessly whistling after work" to get a more accurate pic, but still)

I did see both 'The Aviator' and 'The Company' in the theatre, so I think I still hold hope for all those bad boys.

Which reminds me: there must be a good book out there about women filmmakers in the 70's--and if so, I'd like to read it. It was a great but phallus-swingin' time, if history is to believed at present.