Whorehouse charades, “outside it’s death.”
Precursor of The Ruling Class (dir. Peter Medak).
“Your eyes the color of alley cats.”
The television monitors are from Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (dir. Fritz Lang). Stravinsky, Craft conducting. Screenplay Ben Maddow (Bernard Frechtman’s translation). The finest actors in Hollywood. “We sell dreams.” Matters are quickly brought to The Rite (dir. Ingmar Bergman) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (dir. John Cassavetes).
The rebellion of Roger (“Liberty and Chastity”), put down by George (“this national nation”).
“Patriotism, particularly in tropical countries like ours, spreads like a contagion... if I’d known what fools people were, I’d have entered the primaries a long time ago. I’d have risen to the heights of the legislative, instead of the judicial. I’d be a millionaire, with deposits in a Swiss bank, of course, money in my wife’s cousin’s name, that’s how it’s done nowadays, subtlety, indirection.”
The Madwoman of Chaillot (dir. Bryan Forbes) shortly follows. “Rise, go, and dissent no more.” John Osborne has the secret files in The End of Me Old Cigar, the veritable ruler in The Blood of the Bambergs. “I’m the one man in this country that appreciates these fine distinctions.”
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, “a ribald and hollow mockery”. Variety, “a recognizable logic.” Brian J. Dillard (Rovi), “arty political satire”. Halliwell’s Film Guide, “surrealist groping,” citing TIME for and The People against.
The Greek wanderings come out as koine, there is an echo of Handel in Dublin, Messiah.
This great work should have met with a Wake after the Portrait, but Strick waited a score of years to make a documentary of Criminals.
Bosley Crowther was so chuffed in his New York Times review he made a very funny joke, which never happens.
“A pleasant enough literary exercise” (Halliwell’s Film Guide).
John Simon thought it was making “boodle off ‘culture’”.
Variety’s hope for more of Stephen Dedalus’s past was gratified perfectly ten years later.
Dave Kehr (Chicago Reader) laments Strick’s lack of “cinematic know-how”.
“A disappointment” (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian).
Tropic of Cancer
The surreal language of Miller is cunts and pricks in the void.
How articulate it is, the wife who goes, Whistler’s qui dine dort, les établissements, occupations and professions, the writer’s life if you can call it that, in a nutshell.
“Vire will wind...” as another Parisian says.
Botched and “boring” (Don Druker, Chicago Reader), “incredibly tedious” (Tom Milne, Time Out Film Guide), “reprehensible, vulgar, sleazy” (Pamela Bruce, Austin Chronicle).
Strick is censured in TIME for “insufficiency of imagination.”
Interviews With My Lai Veterans
Sam Fuller’s CO shot a man for doing this, in North Africa.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A great work of analysis by Strick is practiced on the novel to make a film of it, and how oddly it resembles Nichols’ Catch-22 in the long observation and departure (Hitchcock’s Juno and the Paycock for the stout-drinkers in the pub while Dedalus and Davin treat of motherhood).
You couldn’t ask for a finer, more acute film. Canby (New York Times) said it was all surface and no water and Dedalus at the last was “a bore”.
“A coffee table movie” (Time Out Film Guide).
Halliwell’s Film Guide ignores it.