Wednesday, February 8, 2017

James Bridges

In a comment on my last post, dm494 asked for a blurb on James Bridges' Mike's Murder that I wrote in 1984 for the Los Angeles Reader. I don't think much of the blurb, but here it is, along with a second blurb on Bridges' 1985 Perfect.


dm494 said...

Dan, many thanks for the multiple links and this post of the two blurbs.

Regarding the discussion in the links, I'm not so sure I'd agree with your idea of narrative as a means of distracting the intellect so that the formal qualities of a film can be taken in without being conceptualized. My own tendency is to think of narrative and form as more tightly harnessed together than the narrative-as-ruse position would seemingly allow. The other poster's substitute concept of process/flow also struck me as being maybe only a broader notion of narrative, one that can be appealed to in the absence of a conventional story. Or it could be that narrative and process/flow are both to be subsumed under cause-and-effect thinking, which we're just stuck with as human beings in our attempts to make sense of our experience.

(BTW, I've tried posting a follow-up comment several times, but Blogger keeps deleting it. I hope this fragmentary portion of my comment manages to stay put this time.)

Dan Sallitt said...

Sorry about using the wrong name, Dan. And sorry about the missing comments.

It's not so much that my thinking about the function of narrative has changed - rather, I was never sure how much this paradigm applied to anyone else in the world, and I'm still not.

One of the many problems with showing the world these ancient opinions is that none of these films are fresh enough in my mind for me to address the issue of what Gordon Willis might have contributed...

dm494 said...

Dan, I understand your reservations about putting old writing back into circulation, so thanks again for posting the blurbs. I thought your remarks were interesting, and I only wish you'd had space to amplify your thoughts on those films when they were fresh in your mind.