Author: Parker Ramsay

Wharton, Scorsese and Gounod

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #6 The Age of Innocence (1993) The lockdown has been long enough to prompt an existential crisis with regards to my televisual consumption. Yes, I’m 100% committed to finishing the entirety of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks with @amandavosburgh before we’re all allowed out again, but other than that, I feel as if I’m out of anything interesting to watch on my Netflix account. In an attempt to get the brain going a little […]

Visconti and Bruckner

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #5 Senso (1954) Luchino Visconti’s penchant for opulence was in the making long before the great trilogy of The Damned, Death in Venice and Ludwig II. Senso is a beautiful work of historical fiction, beautifully adapting Camillo Boito’s novel into a work of art. As the Italian Wars of Unification set the scene, one can easily mistake the film as a work glorifying the forward march of democracy as expressed through nationalism and self-determination. After all, […]

Godard (and Mao)

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #4 Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle (1967) A film wrought out of necessity as much as inspiration. Rivette’s La Religieuse, having been banned by the French government, proved a financial catastrophe for producer Georges de Beauregard. As such, Jean-Luc Godard was approached about a film which might bail Beauregard out. Godard had already begun work on “Deux ou trois choses” in early 1966, but the pace of production was increased […]

Rivette and Couperin

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #3 La Religieuse (1966) (Or Lace, Lesbians & Leçons de ténèbres: A Sequence of Unfortunate Events.) In a bleak adaptation of Diderot’s novel completed in 1780, a family from the petty aristocracy dooms their daughter Suzanne to a life in the church to which she openly does not consent. She’s apparently drugged before taking her vows (which she later does not remember), and her first convent is run by a sadistic Mother Superior […]

Orson Welles (and Nazis)

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #2 The Stranger (1946) I’m curious as to exactly how a Nazi fugitive (played by Orson Welles himself) would be able to adopt a perfect mid-Atlantic accent to rival Angela Lansbury’s in The Manchurian Candidate. From a modern standpoint, The Stranger offers retrospective insight into how Americans viewed National Socialism and the Holocaust in the first years after the end of WWII. Though being the first Hollywood film to use footage from the […]

Depardieu and Dutilleux

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HarpingOn / Irrelevant Reviews

Irrelevant Reviews #1 Sous le soleil de Satan (1987) Highly recommended for those with a love for: (1) creepy mysticism, (2) Gérard Depardieu, and (3) the music of Henri Dutilleux (extracts from his First Symphony). Films about crises of faith can be trite and easy, bartering in tropes of devout individuals who restore confidence in their own sensibilities rather than in someone upstairs. Such is not the case in Pialat’s adaptation of Bernano’s magnum opus, […]

Hesse

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HarpingOn

Amazon has been recommending books to me after I purchased a copy of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I caved. A Kindle subscription has helped stave off some boredom, as my e-shelf is now flush with Death in Venice and other testaments to forms of melancholy and depression, peculiar to the Teutonic sensibilities. Hesse, Broch, Roth, Döblin, all authors obsessed with music’s metaphors for existence now help me pass the time as I avoid repetitive-strain […]