No sé cuántos de vosotros habréis visto la película High Fidelity. Yo la vi en el instituto, en clase de música. Y me pareció maravillosa, claro que la profesora quería que nos fijásemos en la música que menciona y lo que se escucha, pero no yo pude evitar enamorarme de la historia. Y no es una historia terriblemente complicada ni demasiado dramática ni nada por el estilo. Es la historia que protagoniza John Cusack, a quien le rompen el corazón, y hace listas, durante tooodo el metraje no para de hacer listas, las cinco mejores canciones para enamorar a alguien, los cinco mejores músicos de todos los tiempos, las cinco chicas de su vida…
La historia es divertida, es original, pero es cierta, no me ha pasado a mí, pero le podría haber pasado a cualquiera. Compré High Fidelity la primera vez que fui a Londres. La he visto en mi casa un par de veces desde entonces. Pero en ningún momento miré quién la había escrito, ni sabía que estaba basada en una novela.
La novela es de Nick Hornby, y el guión también.
Dicho ésto, os explico la situación: este verano he tenido un trabajo que no me exigía demasiado y en el que podía pasarme entre tres y cuatro horas al día leyendo. Me he leído un media de un libro por semana. Entre ellos está About a Boy. Me lo dejó la mamma, que lo eligió entre cientos de libros de su biblioteca privada. Me leí la parte de atrás en el metro. ¡Y resulta que es el mismo escritor que ha escrito esa peli que tanto me gusta! Devoré el libro, lo ingerí sin dar tiempo a saborearlo. Y fue maravilloso, porque joyas así no puede esperar y olisquearlas. ¿Cuál es la historia?
Tenemos la historia de Will, un adolescente perpetua, encadenado al cuerpo de un hombre que ya ronda casi los 40. Y por otro lado tenemos a Marcus, un preadolescente de padres divorciados y madre depresiva. Y haces un cócktel con todo ésto y sale una comedia de humor negro. Se conocen por cosas de la vida, (porque Will intenta ligar con la mejor amiga de la madre de Marcus) y como el padre de Marcus vive en Cambrigde, él decide que Will va a ser su figura paterna. Por mucho que Will sepa más de moda, de música cool y de la adolescencia que Marcus, que vive un poco ahogado en su vida sin saber muy bien por dónde le da el aire. La historia en sí no es extraordinaria, es cómo está contada lo que la hace única. Ese humor afilado y estilo directo lo que hace que Nick Hornby sea una persona fascinante por escribir About a Boy.
Y lo más maravilloso de todo ésto fue que mientras la novela se iba representando en mi imaginación yo iba imaginándolo todo con la misma fotografía gastada que presentan en la película High Fidelity. Con el mismo tono real en el que no toman nada en serio. Tan irónico como la vida misma.
Para bien o para mal no me he leído los libros de esta trilogía, pero la gente a mi alrededor que se los ha leído dicen que enganchan muchísimo. Sea como sea, yo fui al cine a ver la primera entrega. Y me encantó. Puede que sea algo para chicas, puede que sea todo un poco ñoño en ocasiones o que los personajes no vengan de la HBO, pero a mí me parece una estupenda crítica a la sociedad, y en cuanto vi la primera parte ya sabía que querría ver la segunda.
Pero la semana pasada vi por primera vez el tráiler de En llamas y ohdiosmíos, ¿por qué es tan lejano el 22 de noviembre?
Además durante estos meses me he hecho MUY, MUY fan de la forma de ser de la estupenda Jennifer Lawrence, que no tiene pelos en la lengua y espero que no le crezcan jamás en su vida.
¿De qué va esta segunda parte? (Lo digo para aquellos que nos hemos leído los libros). En En llamas Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) y Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) regresan a su hogar tras haber ganado la edición 74 de los Juegos del Hambre, para posteriormente embarcarse en el Tour de la Victoria. Mientras tanto, el Presidente Snow prepara los 75 Juegos del Hambre, una competencia que cambiará Panem para siempre…
¿Qué os ha parecido? ¿Estáis emocionadas? ¿Necesitáis que sea 22 de noviembre?
Siempre podemos volver a ver la primera parte de la historia…
Tuvimos seis clases con David Muñoz, y yo escribí mi postura antes de la quinta clase. La quinta clase… was a blessing. Si no la hubiéramos tenido, jamás podríamos haber podido tirar para alante, porque teníamos los ánimos por los cimientos. Yo me lo tomé con humor, pero claro, era con humor o con lágrimas. Y éso que soy estudiante, de verdad que hasta que no te pones a ello, no te das cuenta de lo dura que es la vida del guionista…
En dos clases, con tres semanas de diferencia, escaletamos y escribimos el guión. Y aquí es cuando reventamos de alegría… ¡eligieron nuestro guión para seguir tutorizándolo hasta mayo! No fuimos el único grupo elegido, se escogen a dos de ocho… pero oh mon dieu! ¡Han escogido la historia que hemos creado!
Y empalmamos con el módulo de televisión. Y aquí es cuando te quieres echar a llorar, porque un largometraje se escribe con una parsimonia… un año, dos para escribirlo… igual que la tele, vamos, que se tarde una semana en escribir casi la misma longitud. Y ya nos han metido presión para crear dos series en estos tres meses. DOS SERIES. Y mi grupo además tiene que seguir con el guión de largometraje.
Así que así sigue el máster, mi vida social se ha reducido a escribir, y cuando no lo hago, pienso en mejorar las historias que estoy escribiendo. Y seguir viendo series, si alguien tiene pensado hacer el Máster de guión en Salamanca, ya se puede poner a ver El barco, Águila roja, Aída, La fuga y todo lo que se le ocurra.
Éso sí, cuánto me alegro de ser chica de series, porque si lo fuera de cine, ahora me estaría volviendo loca intentando verlo todo. ¡Muajaja joderos cinéfilos! Los seriéfilos gobernaremos el mundo… 🙂
Hasta que vuelva a encontrar un momento para escribir.
Me da la impresión de que este año (quizá porque este año las he visto casi todas, o porque sé algo más de cine) los que deciden lo de los Oscar se han fumado unos porros y han puesto esto. Que Bridesmaid esté en esta lista… en fin… o The Help, que está bien, sí… pero no de Oscar. En fin. No he visto la película de Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close, pero es uno de mis libros preferidos, y la verdad no veo como esa paja mental ha podido ser pasada a la gran pantalla y que yo salga contenta de ver la película. Ya veremos, de momento os dejo con ésto: (en rosa lo que yo voto, en verde lo que realmente piensen los eruditos de Hollywood)
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
- The Help
- Midnight in Paris
- The Tree of Life
- War Horse
MEJOR ACTOR PRINCIPAL
- Demián Bichir A Better Life
- George Clooney The Descendants
- Jean Dujardin The Artist
- Gary Oldman Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- Brad Pitt Moneyball
MEJOR ACTRIZ PRINCIPAL
- Genn Close Albert Nobbs
- Viola Davis The Help
- Rooney MaraThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady
- Michelle Williams My Week With Marilyn
MEJOR ACTOR DE REPARTO
- Kenneth Branagh My Week With Marilyn
- Jonah Hill Moneyball
- Nick Nolte Warrior
- Christopher Plummer Beginners
- Max von Sydow Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
MEJOR ACTRIZ DE REPARTO
- Bérénice Bejo The Artist
- Jessica Chastain The Help
- Melissa McCarthy Bridesmaids
- Janet McTeer Albert Nobbs
- Octavia Spencer The Help
MEJOR LARGOMETRAJE DE ANIMACIÓN
- A Cat in Paris Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
- Chico & Rita Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
- Kung Fu Panda 2 Jennifer Yuh Nelson
- Puss in Boots Chris Miller
- Rango Gore Verbinski
- The Artist Michel Hazanavicius
- The Descendants Alexander Payne
- Hugo Martin Scorsese
- Midnight in Paris Woody Allen
- The Tree of Life Terrence Malick
MEJOR GUIÓN ADAPTADO
- The Descendants Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
- Hugo Screenplay by John Logan
- The Ides of March Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
- Moneyball Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
MEJOR GUIÓN ORIGINAL
- The Artist Written by Michel Hazanavicius
- Bridesmaids Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
- Margin Call Written by J.C. Chandor
- Midnight in Paris Written by Woody Allen
- A Separation Written by Asghar Farhadi
He acertado 4/9, así que ni tan mal…
Quien lleva leyendo mi blog algún tiempo – y con tiempo me refiero a años – sabe que Woody Allen y yo… no acabábamos de congeniar. El otro día Chandler me explicó porqué. La primera vez que me puse a ver pelis de este hombre tenía dieciocho años. Me las recomendó un amigo y me las pasó en un CD…
Me pasó: Todo lo que quiso saber sobre el sexo y no se atrevió a preguntar y Melinda y Melinda. La primera no me acabó de gustar, pero había historias interesantes. La segunda me pareció terrible. Pero era Woody Allen, tenía que intentarlo. Los guiones me gustaban, porque había leído algún trocito que otro y todo estaba requetebien. Y elegí Match Point. Menuda puta mierda. Y ahí fue cuando Allen y yo cortamos. Pensé que quizá lo que fallara sería la dirección… pero no me gustaba. Era el bicho raro de entre la gente a la que le gusta el cine.
– Ui, ui, ui, quiere ser guionista y no le mola Woody Allen… en fin.
Pero entonces Chandler, que es un tío listo y con intuición, me obligó (dejémoslo en persuadió) para que le diera una oportunidad a Woody con la película Midnight in Paris. Algo que yo escribiría. (No me refiero a algo que yo podría escribir, no soy tan arrogante, me refiero a algo que entraría en mi estilo de cosas que poder esbozar y crear). A partir de ahí llegó Misterioso asesionado en Manhattan. Y me gustó. Me gustó mucho. Me gustó como todo era verdad y mentira al mismo tiempo. Me gustó el personaje de Diane Keaton y su relación con su marido.
Así que después de éso, me di por curada, pero aun así quise que Chandler me dijera qué películas ver. Tampoco quería volver a recaer en mi poco aprecio por Woody Allen. Es su primera parte, donde el hombre era un jovencín las cosas que alguien que comienza a ver su cine JAMÁS debería ver. Y lo que hace últimamente parece que tampoco puede compararse a lo que hizo durante su época dorada.
Y entonces llegó Annie Hall. Y Manhattan. Y mi absoluta preferida, con ese metamundo que siempre elijo para escribir (cuando puedo decidir qué escribir) Desmontando a Harry. Fabulosa niños y niñas, él es sus personajes, sus personajes son él… si nada le ocurre, es incapaz de inspirarse, todo el mundo le odia pero aún así siempre le quedarán sus personajes… Me encantó.
¿Qué me queda? Practicamente todo. Chandler insiste en que vea Hannah y sus hermanas. Pero primero quiero leer el guión y luego ya me pondré con el film.
Pero lo más importante es que estoy curada.
– Eh, hola puede que en un futuro sea guionista, y me mola Woody Allen. Encantada.
|Los descendientes (5 nominaciones )|
|Criadas y señoras (5 nominaciones )|
|La invención de Hugo (3 nominaciones )|
|Los idus de Marzo (4 nominaciones )|
|Moneyball: Rompiendo las reglas (4 nominaciones )|
|War Horse (Caballo de batalla) (2 nominaciones )|
|Michel Hazanavicius||The Artist (6 nominaciones )|
|Woody Allen||Midnight in Paris (4 nominaciones )|
|Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Ras||Los descendientes (5 nominaciones )|
|Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian||Moneyball: Rompiendo las reglas (4 nominaciones )|
|George Clooney, Grant Heslov||Los idus de Marzo (4 nominacion)|
|Peter Kinklage||Juego de tronos (Serie de TV) (2 nominaciones )|
|Paul Giamatti||Malas noticias (Too Big to Fail) (TV) (3 nominaciones )|
|Tim Robbins||Cinema Verite (TV) (3 nominaciones )|
|Eric Stonestreet||Modern Family (Serie de TV) (3 nominaciones )|
|Guy Pearce||Mildred Pierce (TV) (4 nominaciones )|
|Jessica Lange||American Horror Story (Serie de TV) (2 nominaciones )|
|Kelly MacDonald||Boardwalk Empire (Serie de TV) (3 nominaciones )|
|Maggie Smith||Downton Abbey (Serie de TV) (4 nominaciones )|
|Sofia Vergara||Modern Family (Serie de TV) (3 nominaciones )|
|Evan Rachel Wood||Mildred Pierce (TV) (4 nominaciones )|
Esta semana un profesor del máster nos ha pedido que salvemos cinco películas Norteamericanas y cinco Europeas suponiendo que se acaba el mundo. Nos ha dicho de hacerlo con el corazón, y mis decisiones han sido la mayoría películas de mi infancia.
- Toy Stoy
- Star Wars
- Amigas para siempre
- El club de los poetas muertos
- L’ultimo bacio
- Love Actually
- Los edukadores
- La ola
El profesor ha dicho que fatal. Que así no se hace, que hay q votar con sentido común, no con sentimentalismos. (Yo la verdad prefiero verme Star Wars mil veces a Las uvas de la ira). Y como el resultado me ha parecido interesante, voy a hacer un resumen de las pelis que han salido votadas.
- Pulp Fiction V
- El club de la lucha IV
- Pequeña Miss Sunshine III
- El apartamento III
- Toy Story III
- Centauros del desierto II
- Wall-e II
- Parque Jurásico II
- El club de los poetas muertos II
- Desmontando a Harry II
- Casablanca II
- El crepúsculo de los dioses II
- El padrino II
- Blade Runner II
- El rey león II
- El golpe II
- Gladiator II
- La bella y la bestia II
- ET II
- La pequeña tienda de los horrores
- El Gran Lebowsky
- El gran dictador
- El nacimiento de una nación
- La soga
- Con faldas y a lo loco
- Annie Hall
- Big Fish
- Érase una vez en América
- Los Goonies
- Apocalipse Now
- El último boy scout
- La conspiración del silencio
- Reservoir Dogs
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- La princesa prometida
- Qué bello es vivir
- Pesadilla antes de Navidad
- Crimen perfecto
- Entre copas
- El caballero oscuro
- Cisne negro
- Muerte entre las flores
- Malditos bastardos
- Un tranvía llamado deseo
- Ciudadano Kane
- Luces de la ciudad
- El hombre que mató a Liberty Valance
- El sueño eterno
- Sed de mal
- American Beauty
- Malas calles
- Violentos años 20
- La milla verde
- No es país para viejos
- El silencio de los corderos
- Grupo salvaje
- El buscavidas
- Toro salvaje
- La bruja novata
- Leaving Las Velas
- Efecto mariposa
- The Man from Earth
- Sueños de un seductor
- El hombre que nunca estuvo allí
- Amigas para siempre
- Star Wars
Y ahora las europeas…
- El verdugo V
- La vida es bella V
- La Naranja Mecánica IV
- El bueno, el feo y el malo III
- Trainspotting III
- Cinema Paradiso III
- Metrópolis III
- Amélie III
- 8 1/2 III
- Banda aparte II
- Stalker II
- Slumdog Millionaire II
- La vaquilla II
- El ladrón de bicicletas II
- La vida de los otros II
- El pianista II
- Love Actually II
- Billy Elliot II
- Goodbye, Lenin! II
- Fresas Salvajes
- Bienvenido Mister Marshal
- Los olvidados
- M, el vampiro de Düsseldorf
- El secreto de sus ojos
- La mirada de Ulises
- El fotógrafo del pánico
- Funny Games
- La cena de los idiotas
- La piel que habito
- 24 Hours Party People
- Match Point
- Notting Hill
- Hasta que llegó su hora
- Déjame entrar
- Amanece que no es poco
- El profesional
- La vida es bella
- Belle de Jour
- El sur
- El extraño viaje
- The Full Monty
- Vals con Bashir
- La vida de Brian
- Death at a Funeral
- Los otros
- Un condenado a muerte se ha escapado
- La rodilla de Clara
- Calle Mayor
- Una jornada particular
- Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios
- Quiéreme si te atreves
- El resplandor
- Los amantes del círculo polar
- Canciones para después de una guerra
- Midnight in Paris
- La leyenda del pianista del océano
- Snatch, cerdos y diamantes
- El limpiabotas
- Los 400 golpes
- Sweet Sixteen
- L’ultimo bacio
- La ola
- Los edukadores
¿Y qué películas salvaríais vosotros?
No había oído hablar de esta película hasta hace dos semanas. Primero ved el trailer y luego comento lo que ya es obvio.
Protagoniza Johnny Depp, junto con Amber Heard (que es la chica rubita) y Aaron Eckhart. Dirige Bruce Robinson a partir de la novela de Hunter S. Thompson, y el guión ha sido escrito y reescrito por Robinson también. Este largometraje cuenta la historia de un norteamericano que baja a Puerto Rico a vivir como periodista y huye de la ruidosa Nueva York. En este nuevo país, el personaje de Depp se hará muy amigo de las botellas de ron y de la prometida (Amber Heard) de un malvado millonario que encima es corrupto. Llega a EEUU el 28 de octubre, a Francia llega el 30 de noviembre para que os hagáis una idea… así que aquí llegará en Navidad seguramente.
There are three major characters who find themselves alone confronting completely different situations. Will Kane tries to make his friends and neighbours help him kill Frank Miller, none of them seems interested in risking their lives for the former sheriff who has saved them several times. There is also Terry Malloy’s case, who tries to do the correct thing by talking in front a jury and sending Johnny Friendly out of the Union, but Malloy’s revenge is different, his motivation comes from his brother’s murder, and all he wants to do is find justice. The third character is Henry Drummond, who shows up in a town where no one wants him to defend a man he does not know, only to make freedom of speech and ideas a right all the citizens should have. And not a right which would be lawful to use depending on the occasion and provided that those who rule agree with it.
All three of these characters are a different side of the same coin. Kane stands for those blacklisted who saw their time had come to talk to the HUAC, or those who had already talked with them and knew they would not find jobs anymore. They had to face the situation on their own, friends who had been there supporting their career had suddenly disappeared. The word Communism produced fear among the population. Communists were something very bad, which had to be removed from the ideas of the citizens. Terry Malloy represents the opposite side of Kane, although the result seems to be similar, as both characters end up alone, with no friends. Malloy needs to speak to find internal peace, because he firmly believes he is doing the right thing since Johnny Friendly was oppressing the longshoreman. In the first part of the twentieth century, Communism was actually the only political party that apparently was doing something for its supporters, maybe what they did was not the right thing to do, but at least they tried. Terry feels unfairly treated, for he thought his actions were taking the right and only path one could take. In the movie, Friendly was clearly the bad character, but in reality, we have to wonder what would have happened if all the witnesses who had been called had named names. Let’s say that then, everyone would have been ‘free’ of guilt because everybody would have confessed and promise to erase all those Communist ideas from their brains. Someone needed to pay the price, some screenwriter or director would have been sent to jail, or left without a job. Even if all had named names, someone would have been fired, and the situation would have been the same because they needed someone to blame. So, the only conclusion to make is that Hollywood acted selfishly and there was nothing to do to save the situation. The last character, Henry Drummond, represents the ideas in the movie that link the other two situations. The lawyer corresponds with the truth and the freedom of religious (political) ideas. Inherit the Wind with Drummond explains how people should have behaved for their freedom of ideas, he fights in the trial for the right to think freely and to be able to disagree. There would be no progress if everybody had the same thoughts and believed in the same things.
In summary, it could be said that High Noon would correspond to Carl Foreman as a screenwriter and Stanley Kramer as producer; On the Waterfront would stand for Elia Kazan as a director and Budd Schulberg as the writer and finally Inherit the Wind would be Nedrick Young as the screenwriter and Stanley Kramer as the director. The only name that is repeated is Stanley Kramer’s. Roger Ebert in his review for the Suntimes comments
“Inherit the Wind is typical of the films produced and directed by Stanley Kramer (1913-2001), a liberal who made movies that had opinions and took stands. He was dismissed by some critics for saddling his films with pious messages, for preferring speeches to visual style and cinematic originality, but he stuck to his guns.” (Roger Ebert)
So it is well known that Kramer was left-wing, and he ‘fought’ for the freedom of speech, but then, did not want to be related to Foreman when the HUAC called him as a witness. Kramer wanted to do good works, but from a distance where he knew he could be safe.
The general idea can be summed up in facts as clear as Americanism and Un-Americanism, some fought for American rights, others fought for human rights, as if it was not the same. Communist ideas became Un-American because Capitalism would lose money, and as capitalists controlled business, it was inadmissible. Hollywood got separated into two bands, some – mostly screenwriters – fighting for the freedom of ideas, and others fighting against Communist ideas, and somehow these two concepts stood against each other. Unfortunately, some people became famous puppets who convinced their fans by appearing on advertisements against Communism, and taking into consideration the poor criteria United States citizens have, it was rather easy to convince everybody of what was good and what was bad.
High Noon was released in 1952 and Carl Foreman wrote four movies during the next six years in which he had to change his name into Derek Frye, or he appeared uncredited. It is in 1958 when he began to produce his own movies and hence, was able to continue writing. Inherit the Wind was shown in the cinema in 1960, but Nedrick Young already had changed his name into Nathan E. Douglas. Inherit the Wind was the second movie in which he used that name. His name did not appear in 1964 in The Train, and finally in 1968 he was able to use his real name. He was also an actor and he appears uncredited since 1953 until 1966, when he acted in Seconds. Budd Schulberg on the contrary continued to write films and television shows until 1987, when he retired. He wrote an average of a film a year, or two or three television episodes a year.
Mccarthyism destroyed the life of many filmmakers, who for at least ten years had to live on other countries, had to write under other people’s name or work as a teacher or builder. Several people died due to the stress caused by the black list and the impossibility of getting a new job. Many of them died of heart attack, others committed suicide, and they were still young, in their late forties or early fifties. None of the moviemakers that have been analysed here suffered that kind of destiny. Of course it is easier to see everything with perspective now, to realise how clear this situation could have been if they had done something or another. But at the time they were in the eye of the hurricane and it was rather difficult to see outside the closed circle that was capturing filmmakers. As Drummond says at one point in Inherit the Wind “An idea is a greater monument than any cathedral”.
- http://www.nytimes.com/1952/07/25/arts/high-noon-oscars.html (14/03/11, 17.15)
- http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=633 (14/03/11, 17. 30)
- http://www.blogdecine.com/criticas/solo-ante-el-peligro-emblematico-western-psicologico (14/03/11, 18.00)
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- Byman, Jeremy, Showdown at High Noon. Witch-hunts, Critics and the End of the Western, Lanham, Maryland, The Scarecrow Press, 2004.
- Humphries, Reynold, Las listas negras de Hollywood, Ediciones Península, Barcelona, 2009
- Schwartz, Nancy Lynn (finished by Sheila Schwartz), The Hollywood Writer’s Wars, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.
- Theoharis, Athan, Chasing Spies. How the FBI Failed in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthy in the Cold War Years, Chicago, Illinois, Ivan R. Dee, 2002.
I Leave Here es la historia de dos lesbianas que viven en EEUU, una es francesa, la otra norteamericana. Todo parece ir perfecto hasta que a la francesa le rechazan el visado. Y como todos bien suponéis es imposible que a través de un matrimonio gay se obtenga la ciudadanía. Y esta película trata de los problemas que sufre la pareja y de lo complicado que es que el amor tenga fronteras.
La película busca financiación y es un proyecto de Nathalie Camidebach y Marie Roux, es a través de Internet que intentan buscar dinero para producirla y así conseguir filmarla. Esta es la web oficial donde se aceptan limosnas y no hay que preocuparse porque si la película no consigue hacerse, se devolverá el dinero. Encima dependiendo del dinero que aportes recibirás regalos como pósters de la película, una copia para descargarte o ser extra en la cinta.
Fue a ver la primera película con mi aita, cuando mis padres ya se habían divorciado y él se había mudado a Bilbado. Fuimos a verlo a Neighbourhood, cuando el cine aún era cine y no un gimnasio. Y cuando salimos, quizá eran las doce de la noche, y había un niebla que cubría todo Pijilandia. No recuerdo salir del cine de ninguna otra película, recuerdo la emoción de entrar, pero no la de salir. En cambio siempre recordaré cómo salí con doce años y el sonido de magia en mis oídos de ver Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal.
Y hace escasos meses salí la primera parte del fin, las novelas ya habían terminado y había sido duro, había sido un golpe bajo. Empecé a leer Harry Potter con nueve o diez años, y cumplidos los dieciocho, la magia terminó, para no regresar jamás bajo la misma forma. Y lo que hice fue dedicarme a leer muchos fanfictions, y a escribir otros pocos. Me pasé toda la primera parte de Harry Potter y las reliquias de la muerte agarrada al brazo de mi amigo. Y oh, qué película, a medida que pasaba el tiempo las películas habían ido empeorando, sí claro, no estaban del todo mal, después de todo eran una representación de los libros tan maravillosos que amaba/amo con todo mi corazón… pero no era lo mismo.
Hasta que llegó el último libro presentado en dos volúmenes diferentes. Y aunque en un principio fue hecho para ganar más dinero, yo como espectadora he salido ganando y me alegro de haber pagado doce euros por ver esas dos películas. (Habría estado mejor ver las dos en inglés en vez de en castellano, porque le cambien la voz a Voldermort a última hora… no es lo que yo llamo diversión).
La segunda parte del tomo final es intensa, es el final del libro, así que iba a ser intenso sí o sí, pero es especialmente intensa por la forma en la que ha sido grabada, porque es realmente el final del final y ya sabíamos todos que iba a haber muchas, muchísimas muertes. Aunque no lloré con ninguna de ellas, leyendo el libro le dieron tan poco importancia a la muerte de los personajes, que ni siquiera te da tiempo a reaccionar, viene a ser algo así como ‘los cuerpos de x y x quedaron en medio de un pasillo, sus miradas sin vida fijas en el techo, Harry corrió a su lado y no tuvo tiempo de detenerse’. Y la muerte de ese Weasley al que tanto admiraba, eso fue un duro golpe, pero no solté ni una lagrimita en la película, porque no sólo no me gustaba el actor que lo interpretaba, sino que en las películas no te han enseñado a quererlos.
Y después de ese ñoño final que Rowling decidió incluir para que el azúcar en sangre nos subiera a todos, en la película lo han añoñado aun más si es que éso es posible. Y aunque el final sea la ñoñería más mierdosa que Rowling jamás publicó, aun así es un final que en cierto modo era necesario para los fans, para saber cómo acabaría realmente todo y no el caótico final en el que se desarrolla todo la película.
A mí como fan no me defraudó, en los cines la tenéis, juzgadlo vosotros mismos.
Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind was filmed in 1960 by Stanley Kramer, producer of High Noon, and the script had been written by Harold Smith and Nedrick Young (although in the movie he appears as Nathan E. Douglas). This film was based on the play with the same title written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee in 1950. These two men were familiar with the so-called “monkey trial”, for that was the name that the historical events which occurred in 1925 took. Lawrence and Lee saw a metaphor between the current situation developing with McCarthyism and the trial.
Inherit the Wind is the story of a school teacher who was put on trial for teaching evolution in school. The press covered this event and as the situation could not be contained, the atmosphere was chaotic. The Tennessee state law forbade teaching Darwin’s theory and so that is how everything began. Although the authors of the play have stated that even if the trial is based on historical facts, the story is completely fictional. The names were changed, Clarence Darrow became Henry Drummond and William Jennings Bryan was transformed into Matthrew Harrison Brady. What they actually wanted to denounce through this film was the lack of intellectual freedom, under McCarthyism, people were denied their right to think, the HUAC was not trying to control people’s mind, they would simply erase what they did not want people to think (Communist ideas) and would move on with the next victim. In this film, religious people are afraid that their beliefs are so vulnerable they did not want them to be confronted to different points of view which could destroy them. If someone’s values preclude them from watching movies or reading some books, that is their problem, what they do not have the right to do is to make everyone else stop doing it.
Nedrick Young was called to speak before the HUAC in 1953, it is after that year when he began to change his name and use alias to sign scripts so he could still earn money out of his talent. He was apparently quite aggressive towards the committee. “I will probably refuse to answer any questions from a committee that refuses to confront me with a prosecuting attorney, which is the oldest right in the United States. Why don’t you say which proofs you have against me?” The bold answer of the witness made the public laugh, and it probably made the HUAC feel uncomfortable. He mentioned the First Amendment when they inquired if he supported the Communist Party “by answering your question, I would grant you the right to ask it, which I will not do”. Young was doing the same thing the Hollywood Ten had done a few years before, which gained Young their respect among them when they were interviewed about Nedrick Young’s interview. From 1951, uncooperative witnesses had to resort to the Fifth Amendment, which Young did, infuriating Jackson, who for a moment was unable to speak because of the rage. The screenwriter commented that Jackson was on his way to Fascism, to which he answered “I prefer to go that way than being a slave and a footman from the Communist Party”. Young mocked him for recognizing his sympathies for Fascists. Jackson intended to cover it up by blending Fascism and Communism, but the harm had already been done. (Humphries, pp.168)
The review published by Bowsley Crowther in The New York Times in 1960 does not refer to anything out of the common, it mentions its clear connection on the freedom of ideas, but this topic could be connected to many things, so it was not immediately linked to Communism. In fact, it can be assumed that the filmmakers refer to Hollywood’s situation because of who is writing and who is directing. (Kramer as it has already been mentioned, preferred to support the freedom of the people from a distance; the moment it jeopardised his job, the situation changed). Crowther mentions the two main actor’s fantastic interpretation with the help of the consistent characters they were interpreting. He comments on the make up and direction of the movie, but makes no comment concerning MacCarthyism. By the beginning of the 60s it is true that some of the Hollywood blacklisted began to be hired again by some bold studios. Situation was starting to be as normal as it could get taking into account that very few years had passed since the trials had sent quite a lot of people in Hollywood into unemployment.
There are no real parallelisms to be found between MacCarthyism and Inherit the Wind, of course a few of them can be found, but they are not obvious. It is more the general idea of liberty to think and produce and utter the speaker’s own ideas what relates this movie with Hollywood’s situation. When Henry Drummond (the liberal lawyer from Chicago who was sent to defend the teacher) arrives in Tennessee, he is received with hatred by the people of Hillsboro. Only two people talk to him, a reporter and the accused, whereas Matthew Harrison Brady enters the town with his wife and almost a parade celebrating his presence in the trial. What today’s society considers ‘the good guy’ was then thought as the undesirable man. In Los Angeles, in the 50s what today would be considered as the ‘good guys’, at the time they had no one to talk to, no friends who would help them, since they were all in the same situation. Edward Copeland in his review of the movie explains:
“He also asks why would God give man the ability to think when no other species does. Didn’t God grant Darwin the ability to come up with that theory? Does a sponge think? Brady says that if God wants a sponge to think, it thinks. ‘Shouldn’t man have the same rights as a sponge?’ Drummond asks. ‘I don’t think about things that I don’t think about,’ Brady responds. As the give-and-take continues between the two men, Drummond says, ‘It frightens me to think about the state of learning in the world if everyone had your driving curiosity.’ (…) Finally, Drummond reminds his legal adversary that, ‘The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it’s not the only book.’” (Edward Copeland)
Drummond turns all the Bible’s religious ideas against Brady who tries to answer as well as he can with all the information he has been instructed with since he was a child. And hence, Drummond manages to disturb him, to trap him in his own speech, as the HUAC used to do with nervous and insecure witnesses. Chicago’s lawyer’s quote about the lack of interest in learning can also be attributed to some of the friendly witnesses, and the great majority of United States population who believed everything they were told by the media, they did not want to know the truth, or they were maybe not curious about the truth, what they were told was the end of the matter, and that was it. Another similarity can be depicted with the Bible, “It’s a good book, but it’s not the only book”. The HUAC, Hoover and MacCarthy’s way of thinking could have been considered by some as a good way of doing things and obtaining results, but it was surely not the only one, and theirs was surely not the best. But what they wanted was for everybody to think the way they did, or they were afraid their belief structure would crumble.
On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront, 1954, was directed by the famous director Elia Kazan, who gave eight names when he was called to testify. He could have claimed the Fifth Amendment, but decided otherwise and destroyed the career of the co-workers who had helped him reach fame in the seventh art. Humphries explains “On the Waterfront, written by Schulberg, makes an eloquent apology on the act of testifying” (Humphries, pp. 193). Kazan received an Honorary Oscar for all his devoted years to the cinema industry in 1999 which was severely criticised due to his betrayal almost half a century before. Budd Schulberg called the HUAC, before he had been called, to declare his communist past. He stated that blacklisted moviemakers could find jobs in other places are theatres, publishing books or editors. He could not understand why that bleak reaction, he believed there were job offers opened everywhere. Cinema was over for them, but other possibilities were still available, which was not entirely true, as the blacklisted’s names were public and although they wrote asking for jobs, most of them were left unanswered. Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg made this movie, as a way to purge their conscience, and to defend their ideas, with a doubtful result on the screen. If this movie was watched knowing what it was about and the context, parallelism began to appear everywhere, sentences with double meaning and characters that represent other people or situations. It must have been the same for the anti-communist who looked in movies for communist tinges, if they had imagination (and paranoia) it could be found everywhere.
The film is about Terry Malloy’s story and his confrontation with Johnny Friendly, the Union boss who rules it as if he were the capo. It is based on a true blackmailing story. Malloy wants to defend his interests and ends up being a squealer. Terry is contacted by the police to make a statement about Johnny. He is considered a friendly witness, not an unfriendly one, “the irony of this declaration lies in the fact that what happens to Terry (the Union’s reprisals) is precisely what happened to dozens of people that appear before the HUAC.” (Humphries, pp. 193) Terry speaks and then has to endure the consequences. Kazan spoke and then made the others suffer the consequences. Terry represents both Schulberg and Kazan. They tried to justify their acts when it is done because of honest and noble reasons. Johnny Friendly’s Union represented the Communist union. The parallelism between Terry’s confessions about his Union and Kazan’s confessions about the Communist Party was meant to be that all Communist Unions were corrupted and all the corrupted unions were Communists. It was not like that, not in Hollywood, nor anywhere else in the States.
There is a strong imagery regarding birds throughout the movie. At the beginning of On the Waterfront Marlon Brandro (Terry Malloy) sets a trap for a man named Joey. He does not know they will kill him, Malloy thinks they are only going to talk to him, but Joey is thrown from the top of the building and dies. Some of the union workers make a joke saying “Maybe he could sing but he couldn’t fly”, for Joey was a squealer. He is made an example for all to see. Joey’s father does not want to make a statement when the policeman arrives, he knows his son was murdered because he decided to talk. Later, Malloy is shown on the top of a building were he takes care of a cage of carrier pigeons, in a conversation with Edie, Joey’s sister, he says he envies them, because they have no one controlling them. It could be interpreted as if in a sense he envies Joey as well, who could not fly and hence, now has no worries for he is buried. It might be a feeling of guilt because it was his fault that Joey was killed. It is a clear sign that Malloy feels manipulated by Johnny Friendly, and sees the birds in the cage freer than he sees himself. He has the help of a young boy, Jimmy, who also cleans the pigeon’s cage when Terry cannot do it. After he declares against the Union, Jimmy kills all the carrier pigeons and throws one of them to Malloy. Jimmy has destroyed Terry’s only hobby, the only thing he cared for and thought of it as a passion. Kazan can be seen in Jimmy who killed the dream and job of others. Edie says “you try to help them and they stab you in the back”. Johnny Friendly is also seen as a hawk, who hunts mercilessly the pigeons he finds free in the middle of the street. This imagery links the first one above explained, Terry’s pigeons are freer in a cage, where they are free and safe at some level because in the streets were they can be killed any moment due to the lack of protection, but then, their murder can be considered an easy one because they are all locked up in the cage and they trust Jimmy. They were betrayed by someone they thought they were safe with, as Kazan gave the names of people who were his friends. It is a movie which explains at some level the reasons for Schulberg and Kazan to form an alliance with the HUAC, but it has many flaws and some scenes go against the ideas they are promoting. It may seem that the creators of On the Waterfront did not know how to defend their ideas with arguments without fissures.
Another comment that traps the ‘true’ meaning of the movie is when at a certain point it is clear that Friendly works for other people, he does not have the leader’s position, and they are represented in the movie as the industry union. They mention a phone call made by ‘Mr. Upstairs’. The film wants to show that Johnny Friendly works under orders of the Union, but actually he works for business men as corrupted as he is. Without doing it on purpose, On the Waterfront depicts the true capitalist who export jobs. Schulberg and Kazan meant to represent the Union as the Communist Party, but I see it more as the HUAC. Some people (as Budd Schulberg) turned to the HUAC to confess, this was a way of becoming directly a friendly witness, and at the same time acquiring the honour to be despised by the rest to the moviemakers. In On the Waterfront, people went to the union to ask for some favours, normally money, and then, they were trapped by the system. They could not talk against the Union, because somehow they were part of it, they could not go against the union because they had gone to ask for help, it was a manner the Union had to defend itself. And terror, of course, was a very important factor. And if somebody was against the Union, as Joey was, it could be eliminated, creating fear among his friends, who would not want to cooperate with the police anymore. HUAC did not kill people, but they could make the producers not offer them jobs. In Schulberg’s case, for example, he had gone to talk to them to save his future, destroying other people’s future at the same time. The HUAC considered him a friendly witness, they had caught another important fish. People who were against the HUAC were sent to prison like the Hollywood Ten, or were blacklisted. The HUAC had all the power it needed, it made everyone be terrified by it, and that was more than enough.
The Catholic Priest, (Father Barry) interpreted by Karl Malden, represents idealism, he is the possibility of how witch hunting could have been if no one had betrayed no one, but fear is a powerful enemy. It might also be seen as a way of telling the blacklisted that indeed it was their fault to be if they were in such a situation because they did not fight for their rights. The union makes the Malloy brothers face each other. Charlie, the older brother, has to convince Terry to go back to their way (to their ‘good’ way) or he has to let him go, with all the consequences. In the car conversation Charlie points a gun at his brother and forces him to accept the job, a job in which he will do nothing, and earn 400 dollars a week, the condition is that he will do nothing, but say nothing either. They are trying to make him take that job so if for some reason the boat sinks, Terry Malloy will sink with them because he will be part of the band. When Terry refuses and Charlie lets him go, Charlie enters a trap and ends up murdered. Terry finds him, hung on the street; he has been shot three times. In Mccarthyism not only the witnesses who were considered Communists were attacked, but the people close to them as well, so people who in the beginning were strong against the HUAC would little by little crumble. Another scene in which they play with silence and sound is when Terry confesses to Edie that he is to blame for Joey’s death, the sound of the boats does not let the audience hear the conversation, which can be a metaphor stating that the truth is not completely revealed, or the truth can only reach the ears of a few chosen ones.
As the movie comes to an end, Kazan and Schulberg begin to be more ambiguous. After Terry Malloy confirms that he was the last person to have seen Joey alive and that Friendly had his men kill him, his acquaintances and friends in the street do not greet him. Hence, this scene might mean that Kazan and Schulberg considered the way they were treated unjust as they firmly believed they were doing the correct thing by denouncing their friends to the HUAC. If they had filmed On the Waterfront it was a form of defending their ideas but also a kind of apology. Perhaps they wanted to see themselves as the victims of this situation for they kept their jobs but they lost their credibility to be loyal and the trust and friendship of all the people who had helped them get to the place where they were. The reason why Terry spoke in court was because Johnny Friendly had killed his brother Charlie, Terry here had a personal excuse to denounce the Union – apart from the unjust way the union treated the other workers. But Kazan had no reason for revealing the names of those who had been in the Communist Party with him. Alternatively, maybe Kazan considered himself old enough, he was in his early forties when he spoke with the HUAC, to believe that even if he went somewhere else to work, it would be hard to start from the beginning. In any case, it is quite clear he took the easy way, first thinking about himself and not doing what he later makes Father Barry do in the movie. He took his chance, knowing he had the talent and he was at the right time in the right place. He obviously felt guilty and later filmed On the Waterfront; it was his way of expiating his sins.
The last scene is an idealistic happy ending Schulberg wrote, certainly wishing everything would have ended that way for them. When Terry Malloy confronts Friendly, all the longshoreman back him up, maybe not taking part in the fight, but only their presence probably made Malloy feel stronger and gave him the courage to be so brave. But then again, the situation cannot be compared because Terry is the one that has no job because he spoke in court, whereas Kazan and Schulberg precisely because they spoke, they had the guarantee they could keep theirs. In the end, when they gain control of the union, giving equal rights and conditions for everybody and having no boss who would manipulate them as puppets, it can be related to Communism. So, even if these filmmakers wanted to free themselves from Communism and named names to ‘clean’ the country from those ideas, this movie can be considered to have a Communist ending. Communism was something they learnt to hate so much, they even ended up becoming part of it, and tinges of communism began to spread everywhere.
Movie critic A. H. Weiler wrote in July 29th 1954, only a day after it was released, a review about On the Waterfront, only mentioning the theme of the movie, the cast and the wonderful job the producers, director and scenarist had made. There is not a single word about the HUAC or Communism. Another review published in The Times on the 9th of August of the same year, explains not only what Weiler mentions, but also comments some anecdotes on the setting, other movies which were filmed at the same time and the money that was spent for it. Bosley Crowther was bolder in his critic of High Noon than these two reviews probably because the HUAC was becoming very severe and because Kazan was not trying to make people react, he was just representing his point of view and the victim he had become when he named names.
What some of the contemporary reviews say is the magnificent work Kazan and Schulberg have done, what an extraordinary work they accomplish, and how clearly they explain Malloy’s need to tell the truth to be in peace with himself. If Schulberg and Kazan represent Malloy, that statement cannot be true, because if they were proud and did not doubt they had made the right choice then it would make no sense to later shoot a movie, to explain their behaviour. In Damian Cannon’s review he mentions
“It becomes painfully clear as to why someone wouldn’t want to testify, simply because the cost is too high, and it wouldn’t be their fault. Not everyone is cut out to be a hero. Some folk have learnt, in the spirit of self-interest, to look away and forget what they’ve seen. On the Waterfront has it both ways.”
Cannon treats Kazan as a hero. This review was published in 1999, it was crystal clear that at that time what Elia Kazan had done to maintain his job was of common knowledge, at yet some people treat him as a hero because he was a good film director. Talent and integrity have nothing to do with each other.
High Noon was released in 1952. It had been written by Carl Foreman, based on the story of John W. Cunningham, The Tin Star. Fred Zinneman directed the movie and Stanley Kramer produced the picture. Stanley Kramer and Carl Foreman had worked together in two previous movies Champion (1949) and The Men (1950), the latter was nominated to best original screenplay and Carl Foreman won an Oscar for his work. In 1951, the writer was called by the HUAC while he was finishing the script but did not mention anyone’s name before the tribunal and was declared an uncooperative witness. When the producer found out Foreman’s implication with the witch hunting, he forced him to sell his part of the company, as Foreman was the associate producer. Stanley Kramer did not want his friend’s connection to Communism to damage the movie, although Carl Foreman had not been part of the CP for over ten years. It was High Noon’s main actor, Gary Cooper, with the help of Fred Zinneman who managed to get Carl Foreman out of the country before the movie was released. When Kramer tried to fire Foreman, Gary Cooper menaced him to leave the job if the writer was treated in such a way, even thought it was not necessary as Carl Foreman had already left for England. The actor was not a leftwing as the writer was, but he considered very un-American the outrage. The screenwriter already knew he would not be able to work again in the USA. Kramer erased Foreman’s name from the final credits of the movie; after this they did not talk to each other again, on the other hand Cooper and Foreman became very close friend and that relationship lasted their whole life.
On 23rd of October 1947 Gary Cooper was called to testify. He was considered a friendly witness, but the actor did not give anybody’s name, he was as loyal to his co-workers as he could be, for he did not mention a single name. He was asked if he had found tinges of Communism in the scripts he read before deciding whether to do a movie and Cooper answered he had found some scripts with Communist parts, and had not even finished reading them. The HUAC asked for the titles of the scripts and the authors’ name and Gary Coopers commented he usually read at night in bed, as did most of the actors, and that was why he could not recall any of the names. All this made him look a bit thick, and the situation was a little bit unbelievable, an actor who cannot remember any of the scripts he reads is hard to accept. The Chairman was very furious against Cooper for not collaborating with them. It is curious that four years later the actor decided to be the lead star on a film where Communism could not be appreciated, but the metaphor at the time must have been quite clear. I think Gary Cooper must have chosen High Noon on purpose, he knew what he was doing, and that movie was the only opportunity he had to support the blacklisted and the suffocating situation that Hollywood was living. Although he was severely pressured not to help Carl Foreman, he was still loyal to the screenwriter. As Byman mentions “he showed some sense of absent morality during that period by denying to deprive some people of their jobs, not taking into account the political differences.” (Byman, 2004, pp. 90)
High Noon is the story about the sheriff Will Kane who has just got married to his young wife Amy Fowler. After the wedding Kane promised her he would leave his job and go to another city to work as a shopkeeper. While the wedding is taking place, some people see three members of Frank Miller’s band. Frank Miller, who is a killer and wants to take revenge on Kane because he had put him in jail, will arrive in the noon train with the firm purpose of killing him. Kane decides to take again his badge and not leave Hadleyville to capture Miller. He has less than an hour and a half to try and convince his friends and people from his town to help him kill Miller. The film has been filmed in real time, images of the clocks around the city are shown, so that the viewer feels oppressed by the minutes passing, just as Kane does. Not only his wife turns her back on him, but his deputy, his former lover and his friends do not want anything to do with it. There is a clear parallelism with MacCarthyism. The working people in the film industry knew that their time would arrive sooner or later, they would be called by the HUAC, and the fact that the time passed only made them even more nervous. Friends started betraying each other because they were scared of going to prison or of being fired. And as Kane in this movie, the accused comprehended that he stood by himself with little or no help from outside. The only help they received was the same Will Kane was offered: incompetent people (because of their age) or too weak to help him. Dalton Trumbo, who was one of the Hollywood 10, made an interview and tried to put himself in the place of the people who had given the names of their friends and co-workers. “If you could choose between food for your children, and a house, basic needs against your freedom of speech, you’ll choose the food. So, very few people would remain fighting for the luxury.” (Trumbo, 2007)
The easy solution would have been for sheriff Kane to leave town, to prevent Miller from killing him. Kane’s former predecessor, played by Lon Chaney Jr., settled in town after retirement. When Gary Cooper knocks on his door for help, he explains: «It’s a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and juries turn ‘em loose so they can come back and shoot at ya again. If you’re honest, you’re poor your whole life. And in the end, you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star.» He has arthritis which makes his hands useless and his wife is Indian, so that leaves him in a position of marginal status. The previous sheriff has understood that the town’s inhabitants want the sheriffs to risk their life for them, but when they have to return the favour so that they can live in a peaceful and safe community, they simply close their eyes or look somewhere else. It means that the people would leave a man who has defended them on his own when the problem does not attain them directly.
The soundtrack of the movie Do Not Forsake Me also underlined the tension during the film, it was the first song to win an Oscar which did not belong to a musical film. Dimitri Tiomkin composed the music and Ned Washington the lyrics. During the whole movie there are not lyrics to the music, the drum’s sound accompanies Will Kane throughout the whole movie. It is a hypnotic song, played over and over again throughout the duration of High Noon. While the sheriff and Miller’s band are shooting at each other the music intensifies, using wind instruments to mark the danger of the final scene. It is not until the end, when Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly are about to leave town after having killed Ian MacDonald’s character, Frank Miller, that lyrics begin. But hence, words are not necessary to understand the pressure Gary Cooper’s character has to endure. Kane throws his tin star to the ground, almost disgusted of having worn it, for it did not represent as much as he thought it did. The lyrics sung in the movie do not correspond with the lyrics published on the Internet. In High Noon’s final scene, Frankie Lane – the singer – sings the song’s last stanza, but introduces new elements and erases other parts of the song. He sings for example: “I can’t be leaving, until I shoot Frank Miller dead”.
The insistence on the time shots during the whole length of the movie puts pressure on Will Kane and makes the audience nervous. The noon train is about to arrive and as time passes, the main character only finds himself even more alone. Frank Miller’s presence is a time bomb, which is about to arrive. Just like the summons Hollywood received. They knew it would arrive sometime, and maybe waiting for it, it made them more anxious that the actual HUAC. It was more the importance it was given to it by fear than its power. It seemed to be a mass hysteria, and even the big producers participated, as in fact the HUAC had no real influence on the screenwriters and directors work, it was the companies who decided to write the Waldorf statement. By the end of High Noon, when finally the train arrives and Frank Miller gets to Hadleyville, it can even be said that it is a little bit disappointing. It is the importance and power offered which made him more terrible than he really is. Kane ends up killing him, ending the problem. Unfortunately, MacCarthyism needed more than a gunshot to disappear. It happened, it was there and they had to face it.
This western has been very much applauded since it was released in 1952 and critics have only been but wonderful with this film, in modern and actual reviews the palpable MacCarthyism is mentioned, but in the year it was on the movie theatres, while MacCarthyism was still a very powerful influence, the critic Bosley Crowther wrote the 25th July 1952 about High Noon in the New York Times. This review begins as all the movie review about High Noon start: exalting its great work, the time so perfectly calculated, the splendid job of the actors and the wonderful music. But in almost all the reviews published these last few years, there is always a small mention of the parallelism between Macarthism and this movie. In Crowther’s review, this encrypted paragraph is the only clue he offers: “How Mr. Foreman has surrounded this simple and forceful tale with tremendous dramatic implications is a thing we can’t glibly state in words. It is a matter of skill in movie writing, but, more than that, it is the putting down, in terms of visually simplified images, a pattern of poetic ideas. And how Mr. Zinnemann has transmitted this pattern in pictorial terms is something which we can only urge you to go yourself to see.”
John Wayne, who profoundly disliked High Noon because of its un-American features, proposed Ward Bon and Howard Hawk, all of them right-winded, to make a film about just the opposite: how a sheriff refused the help of his town and faced the problem bravely with very little help, they called that movie Rio Bravo. Wayne loathed High Noon for the representation of his people as cowards, nervous and selfish. He was one of the most cooperative members of the HUAC and made everything he could, so that Carl Foreman was fired from the production of the movie. It is quite surprising that the following year, it was John Wayne who picked up Gary Cooper’s Oscar – because he could not attend the ceremony. In his speech he commented the power, the structure and the wonderful work they had made with High Noon and publicly regretted not to have taken part as the lead actor. So, in the beginning he makes it clear he hates the movie, but then, when the movie happens to be a success, he says he would have liked to be Will Kane. Wayne either lied saying he loved the movie when he was at the ceremony, or worse, he only followed the big MacCarthyism’s wave that said High Noon was very un-American, but had not a clear opinion about this and was just a popular puppet the HUAC could play with.
High Noon was one of the movies with metaphors about MacCarthyism’s situation, but it was obviously not the only one. On the Waterfront, 1954, and Inherit the Wind, 1960, are two good examples of the points of view of the movie makers. On the Waterfront was directed by Elia Kazan – famous for been a friendly witness and naming names – and it was written by Budd Schulberg – who called personally the HUAC, even if he had not been called, to declare his communist past. Inherit the Wind had been directed by Stanley Kramer – the producer of High Noon – and Harold Jacob Smith and Nedrick Young had done the screenplay. Young had been called by the HUAC and had followed Hollywood Ten’s irony and aggressiveness to respond to the questions, on the risk of following their same path.
Lo terminé, se lo mandé al profesor y me puso un 8,1. Me da igual, yo he aprendido y he disfrutado más que nunca, lo publicaré en cuatro o cinco fragmentos, por si a alguien le interesa. Sed bienvenidos a mi dulce Practicum…
What is known as McCarthyism in Hollywood started before Senator Joseph McCarthy was elected in 1946. It is his name which was used to refer to the Hollywood Blacklist, where names of screenwriters, producers, directors, musicians and actors were inscribed with the pretext of association with the Communist Party. It was actually J. Edgar Hoover, FBI’s president from 1924 to 1972, who kept providing information about the supposedly red Americans. The term ‘hooverism’ was also used to refer to this event. According to Reynold Humphreis, McCarthy was the chair of the committee when it regarded Communism, but he never investigated Hollywood. After the Second World War, when the United States was starting to enrich cultural and economically, and as a consequence of the Cold War, the House of Un-American Activities Committee started the so-called witch hunt. Roosevelt’s period was over and social realism, progressive point of view and liberalism came to an end. The power then, belonged to more conservative and traditional ideas, these changes influenced Hollywood’s way of producing films.
Harry Warner, from the Warnerbros Pictures, made a speech in September 1938, attacking Fascism and Nazism, he stated “You might have heard that Communism is uncontrolled in Hollywood and in the film industry. I tell you that this industry has no sympathy with Communism, Fascism, Nazism and any other ‘-ism” that is not Americanism.” (Humphries 2009, 81) Warner made reference to a Troyan horse which would divide and weaker them, he was referring to Germany, but his comment was nevertheless prophetic. He was trying to defend Hollywood (and at the same time his empire), but with this speech, what he makes clear, is that for him, Nazism and Communism were to be equally condemned. It shows the ambiguity of the time and exposes the change of public mind of the post war period. Communism had been having negative propaganda over the 30s and 40s, as it supported racial equality, which was unacceptable at the time. Blacks and whites could not be mixed, much less be considered equals. Racial equality and racial integration was considered ideas directly related to Communism.
From 1930 until 1960, Catholic priests decided what would be shown on screen. Daniel Lord, a priest, wrote the Production Code which stated what was considered acceptable content in Hollywood movies. From 1934 until the beginning of the 50s, Lord’s Code was severely imposed in the Production Code Administration (PCA), without taking into account the protests of producers, writers, directors and the studios. The PCA represented the first step of the depuration process in which all Hollywood movies were put to the vote. When movies were approved, they were sent to New York, where copies were made and distributed, but before this happened the PCA and the Catholic Legion of Decency had to watch the final version. The PCA and the Legion worked side by side and very often joined forces to avoid the studios’ offending of Catholic sensitivity. But the Legion was always ready to condemn any film they considered immoral. Hollywood was angry and scared of them because, theoretically, Catholics were forbidden, threatened by mortal sin to go and watch the movie that had been condemned. And the Catholics were 20 million people, so Hollywood could not play against them because any movie theatre that would show an ‘undesirable’ film would become the target of Catholic organizations. The industry believed that the combination of negative publicity and Catholic boycott would make any movie condemned by the Legion to obtain profit. Producers preferred to yield to the Legion’s censorship before risking their studios to lose money. They edited the ‘offensive’ material in the copies that were sent around the Earth. It is this way that the Legion’s point of view reached the international market. But it was not only the Catholic Church that wanted to control and omit certain scenes and music from the cinema. The keepers of the moral virtue of all political and religious tendencies had been scared of the cinema for some years. They knew that it had the capacity of communicating not just a simple love story, but of spreading political beliefs and change people’s moral capacity.
The screenwriter’s trade union had some problems during the 1930s and this did not help its members. Most of them wanted the same thing, but by dividing themselves, they were only damaging their future. The House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had started investigating the Communism matter in 1940. Right before the Second World War ended, the MPA (Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals) was created in 1944, which was a rightwing expression of anticommunism. United States was convinced that they had to fight against the Soviet Union and its ideas, and so this is the reason why all those new pro-American groups were created. It was not until the end of the 40s when liberals concluded that HUAC and MPA could be dangerous. In the beginning very few people were against the HUAC. In February 1944, when MPA announced its beginning, they did it through The Hollywood Reporter and they said that they were against all forms of totalitarianism, but stated “We are uncomfortable with the urging feeling that this industry is composed, and rules by communists, radicals and nuts.” (Swartz, 1982, p.206) So, it was clearly about anticommunism and not totalitarianism as they wanted the readers to believe, with that statement they betrayed themselves. In 1947 the leaders of the trade unions were forced to sign a declaration due to the Taft-Hartley law affirming they were not communists. If they refused to do it, they could not attend the National Workplace Relations Committee, and not even be the judge if there was a problem between the employer and the employee. Anti-communism became the most important ideology and very soon it would become the ruling policy.
Martin Dies, a Democrat from Texas, who became famous when he said that Hollywood was a place of ‘premature anti-fascist’, which means he was not against fascism until it came knocking to his country’s door for war. Dies had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as had the president of HUAC: J. P. Thomas in 1947. While they were looking for communist actors, the FBI was behind the HUAC looking for evidence inside the U.S.A. J. Edgar Hoover, was scared not of the cultural attacks coming from the outside, but the attacks originated in the inside. He was convinced that the movies against fascism and pro-Soviet stated that the Communist Party was influencing Hollywood. In 1943 FBI agents entered illegally the offices of the Communist Party in LA and made a copy of their members. For four years they kept breaking into the houses of the members to check if they were still supporting the party. In October 1947 (when the sessions began) they knew that “47 actors, 45 actresses, 127 screenwriters, 8 producers and 15 directors” were communists. (Theoharis, 2002, p.155)
The FBI made a list of who they thought would cooperate in Hollywood and who would not. There are several theories of why that list was composed with those names: one possible cause is because most of them were Jew, and hence, none had done a military service. It would not look good to reprimand a war veteran. The screenwriter Alvah Bessie was the only one who fought in the Spanish Civil War supporting the Republican party. The bottom line is that the federal government had given permission to Hollywood’s most relevant stars, directors and writers not to go to war, so they would still be creating commercial movies as a patriotic gesture. They had been trapped in their own freedom. When the filmmakers were called for the sessions of 1947, they were asked if they had joined the Communist party. Most of them did not answer, as they were protected by the first amendment. The director of the HUAC, Thomas, considered that answer Communist argumentation. During the trials, he favoured more the list of people who were cooperative – friendly witness-, than the list of unfavourable.
The sessions started to be out of control and a journalist wrote “the sessions resemble much more to the Russian courts of purge than to American legal procedure” (Toledo, Ohio, Blade, 28th October). In the Chicago Sun a prophetic quote was published “That is the least American of all things; the quiet intimidation, the deaf pressure to adapt oneself, the official persecution to control thoughts. Until recently a very basic feature of Americanism was that a man could think and say what he wanted. Someday, when all this hysteria will disappear, maybe I will believe in it again.” In the Times, in Ashville, North Carolina (29th October) they wrote that “it is probable that these investigations will lead into a witch hunt, aware of causing irreparable damage in completely innocent individuals.”
The Hollywood Ten (as later did some of their other colleagues who had been called by the HUAC) instead of relying on the First Amendment – which is about denying to speak about one’s political ideas – they evoked the Fifth Amendment – which consists on not answering on the grounds of not incriminating oneself. So, they all went to prison but not because they were – presumably – communists, but because they had committed contempt of the court by not answering the questions. It is true that they had all been part of the Communist Party, but it was because at the time, during the 1930s, Communism was the only political power that seemed to be doing something for the people and fought against Fascism.
In 1953, President Eisenhower said that all the employees of the administration who could take refuge in the Fifth Amendment, would be fired. If the accused was from Hollywood, he would go directly to the black list. And to be blacklisted did not only mean not receiving job offers, no matter how good and creative the person was, it meant the impossibility to work anywhere on the creative ground, where they knew what they were doing. Some screenwriters were fired from their jobs just because they had been called by the HUAC, as would happen to High Noon’s screenwriter. Budd Schulberg, the screenwriter of On the Waterfront, stated that the blacklisted moviemakers could have find jobs as playwriters, book writers or book publishers and editors, because those were not blacklisted, but it was not exactly true as Angus Cameron, working for the publishing house Little, Brown & Co., was included in that list and could not find a job. Several men wrote to quite a few publishing houses, and none answered. It was a path with no happy ending.
The Waldorf statement declaring that communists had to be expelled from Hollywood said: “We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ and we will not re-employ any of the Ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist. We will not employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or through any illegal or unconstitutional method.” Later on, J. Pegler said “Ten less, we’ve got a hundred more” (Citizent-News of Hollywood, 15th December 1947). After this period, even the liberals started to be scared about the repression the Ten were suffering, and began to distance themselves from them. The Hollywood Ten were convicted of contempt, forced to pay 1.000 dollars and spend one year in jail. They went to prison in 1950, and found freedom again in 1951 when the HUAC was having the second round of sessions. Those ten people had to start looking for another job, or start to write under another name, which was against the values of the country.
In the documentary of The Legacy of the Blacklist there is a part in which Humphrey Bogart explains his point of view. He had gone to see the trials and could not believe what he was witnessing: “This is Humphrey Bogart speaking. We have been sitting in the hall of the Committee and we have heard what happened. We have seen it. We said: this cannot be happening here. We watched how the representatives elected by the people denied the right to speak to American citizens. We watched the police remove citizens from the witness stand as if they were criminals after they had been denied the right to defend themselves. We watched the President of the Committee’s gavel interrupt the statements of free American citizens. The sound of that gavel, Mister Thomas, bangs all over the United States, because every time you bang it, you do it over the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
Yo, que soy muy comodona, prefiero comentaros hoy mis apuestas para los Oscars 2011. No voy a poner quién creía que fuera a ganar, pondré en verde quién quería que ganara. En rojo aparecerá quién ha ganado. Obviamente si sólo pongo el color verde es que ha coincidido.
Mejor actor progatonista, aquí acertaba:
- Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
- Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
- Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
- Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
- James Franco in “127 Hours”
Mejor actor secundario:
- Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
- John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
- Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
- Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
- Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”
Mejor actriz protagonista:
- Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
- Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
- Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
- Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
- Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
Mejor actriz secundari:
- Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
- Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
- Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
- Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
- Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
Mejor película de animación, esta era de cajón:
- “How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
- “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
- “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
- “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
- “The Fighter” David O. Russell
- “The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
- “The Social Network” David Fincher
- “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Mejor película extranjera, aquí no sabía:
- “Biutiful” Mexico
- “Dogtooth” Greece
- “In a Better World” Denmark
- “Incendies” Canada
- “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
Mejor película, sabía de sobre que TS3 no iba a ganar, pero por favor, qué maravilla de película, era tan, tan, tan preciosa… yo tenía que mantener mis esperanzas en ella:
- “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
- “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
- “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
- “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
- “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
- “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
- “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
- “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
- “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
- “Winter’s Bone» Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
Mejor corto de animación:
- “Day & Night” Teddy Newton
- “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
- “Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
- “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
- “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois
- “The Confession” Tanel Toom
- “The Crush” Michael Creagh
- “God of Love” Luke Matheny
- “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
- “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Guión adaptado, era Aaron Sorkin, en ningún momento dudé de su talento, ains… mi futuro maestro:
- “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
- “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
- “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
- “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
- “Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Mejor guión original:
- “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
- “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
- “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
- “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
- “The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler
Como mi universidad y el Gobierno (aunque no me queda claro si el Vasco o el Español) molan tanto, han decidido ponernos un prácticum a los de filología inglesa. Eso sí, nadie nos quiere contratar para nada. Porque somos los que hacen una carrera de cuatro años para ser cultos, no para encontrar trabajo. De eso te das cuenta en tu cuarto año, todo es muy maravilloso. (Debe de notarse que estoy utilizando un tono muy, pero que muy sarcástico). No nos quieren los institutos, ni las editoriales, no nos quieren como traductores ni correctores, no nos quieren ni en la televisión ni en la radio. Vamos, que las tenemos todas con nosotras.
¿Y qué hace mi universidad? Pues dado que el Gobierno obliga a que tengamos practicum, lo único que hacemos es precisamente eso, hacer un trabajo de practicum. Y yo que soy muy inteligente pero más rápida que mi inteligencia y mi sentido común he decidido meterme de cabeza en algo que me queda grande, para variar, pero como me gusta, me da un poco igual (véase lo voy a hacer igualmente, pero cuando llegue la nota y el resto de mi clase tengo un 9 y yo un 7, me quejaré muchísimo) que el profesor sea un fascista del estilo: o lo haces a mi manera o lo haces mal, me he metido a hacer un trabajo sobre La caza de brujas de Hollywood.
Entre 20 a 25 hojas, ya sé que no es nada, qué me vais a contar. Seguro que habrá días que desee que sólo sean diez hojas porque no sé qué más escribir y cuando esté en la hoja 22 desearé que sean 130 porque tengo demasiado que decir. Total, que ya que tanta gente culta, hermosa y sabia se pasea por estos lares, he decidido pediros vuestra ayuda humildemente. Mi trabajo va a tratarse de un planteamiento en el que me centraré en la situación política que se vivía en EEUU por aquella época (en la que comunismo, fascismo y nazismo era lo mismo), los problemas que tuvieron los sindicatos de guionistas allá por los años 30 y cómo McCarthy y Hoover ayudaron a dar libre voz a todos esos artistas que querían retratar la verdad (he vuelto a poner mi modo sarcástico on). Luego pasaré a analizar unas cuantas películas de la época o que retratan la época: High Noon, On the Waterfront, Inherit the Wind, The Front, The House on Carroll Street, Good Night, and Good Luck y estoy abierta a sugerencias sobre otras películas. Básicamente estas películas me servirán de puente entre la reacción de los productores, actores, guionistas y directores y sus situaciones opresivas. Quién pretendía ser qué, quién era leal y quién no. Mi profesor dice que estoy un poco perdida (razón no le falta, pero yo siempre estoy perdida, no es una novedad) y que mi practicum no tiene ningún rumbo fijo.
Yo lo que quiero es analizar los comportamientos de esos creadores de sueños, que en la gran pantalla parecían decir una cosa, pero cuando los convocaban a hablar ante the House of Un-American Activities Committee, muy pocos respetaban sus ideales. Cómo se veían atrapados por delitos no cometidos o ideas no pensadas, se veían obligados a delatar a sus compañeros y amigos. Entre ellos están Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg, Carl Foreman, Stanley Kramer, Nedrick Young, Martin Ritt y Walter Bernstein.
Estoy leyendo Historia de los medios audiovisuales de L. Gutiérrez Espada y Las listas negras de Hollywood, escrito por Reynold Humphries. ¿Qué me recomendáis?
Estoy leyendo El cine según Hitchcock, no voy más de la página 50, y mientras volvía de un examen en metro iba leyendo los problemas que tuvo en su primer rodaje. La falta de dinero, la gente que se dejaba cosas en otros sitios, la impultualidad de los metros, los problemas con la aduana, las actrices que no querían bañarse, el sobrepeso de otras actrices, la falta de fuerza de algunos actores… Y es curioso que en ningún momento el director se queja y comenta, ¿Por qué todo lo malo siempre me pasa a mí?
No soporto esa frase. La gente la dice muchísimo, por lo menos en esta área del norte. Todo, todo lo malo me pasa mí. La escucho por la calle, a mis amigos, gente de clase, en el metro, conversaciones teléfonicas… es como si la gente supiera que no soporto esa frase y precisamente por éso, la repiten aún más cuando saben que voy a pasar delante justo en ese instante. No es que no me guste la frase en sí, la sintaxis está bien, las palabras no me disgustan, es ese puto significado. Parece que es el fin del mundo. Claro, claro que en Bilbados somos unos exagerados, pero en Euskadi es precisamente donde mejor se vive de toda España, donde la crisis menos se nota porque la mayoría son funcionarios, es imposble que demasiadas cosas malas pasen aquí. Literalmente im-po-si-ble. Claro que puede que alguien tenga alguna movida con el karma y el karma esté decidido a que se quede sin pareja, sin trabajo, que se rompa una pierna y que le pongan de patitas a la calle en su piso. Todo puede pasar, pero la gente se queja por todo. Por absolutamente todo. Tenemos estudios, comida, un sitio donde dormir, salimos mucho, tenemos dinero para nuestros caprichos, tenemos amigos con los que reírnos y pasárnoslo bien, y además, somos Europeos. (No tengo intenciones de hablar de lo que podría decir una mujer que vive en el Chad ni cómo se quejaría ella).
No hay un significado final a estas palabras, simplemente me hacía falta decirlo. Nada tiene significado, la verdad. Es lo único que estoy aprendiendo este semestre, estudiando The Wife of Bath, uno de los personajes de Chaucer, o cómo se comporta Invisible Man en Nueva York en la novela de Ellison. Nada tiene sentido y cuanto más humano es alguien, menos sentido tiene. Estudio demasiadas horas y estudio sobre la psicología de los personajes, los movimientos filosóficos que promovieron varias novelas que revolucionaron la forma de ver el mundo que tenían algunas personas, pienso demasiado, reflexiono porque éso es al fin y al cabo lo que me van a pedir en el examen.
Hitchcock en ningún momento se queja de sus desventuras rodando su primera película, repite varias veces el hecho de que estaba estresado, que sudaba, que estaba de los nervios, pero nunca se pregunta por qué él. Porque si te lo preguntas para lo malo, ¿por qué no para lo bueno? ¿Por qué, por qué de entre tanto jóvenes que había me tuvieron que elegir a mí precisamente para rodar esta película? No hace absolutamente nada de todo éso, lo asume y punto. Porque es lo que le gusta.
Arg, la gente no aprecia nada de lo que tiene delante, dios cómo me saca de quicio todo cuando estoy de exámenes.