Thursday, July 12, 2007

Norman Patridge; Anthony Mann

I've seen the remark "Please do not understand me too quickly" attributed to so many different people I won't even try to attribute to anybody.

Howsomever: I got three more off-blog comments about my hypocrisy in writing violent books while putting them down.

A) Yes, I've written violent books and will undoubtedly write more. B) I LIKE many violent books/movie. C) What I don't like is violence for its own sake, the kind of showing off that seems popular these days. D) I don't hate Quentin Tarrentino's movies. In fact I think some of his work is extraordinary and important.

E) If you want to read one of the finest contemporary American writers, one who combines poetry with wry dark insight into our people and our times, one who can be as tough as the best of them, I'd recommend Norman Partridge. His sly dialogue alone moves him to the head of the class. I've probaby read his collection The Man With The Barbed Wire Fists three times over the years.

Here's a Wikipedia "stub" about him:

Norman Partridge is an American author of horror and mystery fiction. He has written two detective novels about retired boxer Jack Baddalach, Saguaro Riptide and The Ten Ounce Siesta. He is also the author of a Crow novel, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which was adapted in 2005 into the fourth Crow movie, bearing the same name. His 2006 novel Dark Harvest, published by Cemetery Dance, was voted one of Publishers Weekly's 100 Best Books of 2006.

His short stories are collected in the volumes Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales, Bad Intentions, and The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists.

He's a major writer and a lacerating storyteller. And yes, his tales are often violent.


Ed here:I've been looking through Cinema Retro and comking across some very nice pieces. He's Dean Brierly's take on The heroes of Telemark. The following are his opening general comments on Anthony Mann.

Our Man Brierly turns his sights on a couple of key films in the career of director Anthony Mann

Anthony Mann’s filmmaking career lasted nearly three decades, during each of which he mastered a different genre. He came to prominence in the forties with a string of film noirs (1948’s Raw Deal and 1949’s Border Incident but two among many) that rivaled Hitchcock’s for style, suspense and hard-boiled atmosphere. In the fifties, Mann applied his noir sensibility to a series of lean, hard-bitten Westerns starring James Stewart, Winchester ’73 (1950) foremost among them. As the sixties dawned, Mann proved himself one of Hollywood’s most adept directors of big screen blockbusters with the likes of El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964). Linking such disparate films and genres was Mann’s trademark blend of narrative-driven visuals and keen psychological insight.

Although never regarded as an auteur during his lifetime, his films were popular at the box office and generally well received by critics, his last two features being notable exceptions. Both The Heroes of Telemark (1965) and A Dandy in Aspic (1968) have long been considered failures. The former is a war film about Norwegian resistance fighters; the latter one of the bleak spy thrillers common during the sixties. Intriguingly, Mann invests both films with a paranoid tone reminiscent of the nail-biting noirs he cut his teeth on during his first Hollywood decade. A close reading of the films also reveals their stylistic and thematic consistency with his previous, more celebrated work. Now that both are available as Region 2 DVDs, it’s time for a long-overdue reappraisal.

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