From Evergreen Review, April 1969. –- J.R.
TO THE EDITOR:
Now that Cahiers du Cinéma in English is no longer with us, it is good that Evergreen Review will be filling in part of the gap by translating and publishing “those articles from its pages which we feel are of greatest interest to our readers.” But already with its first selection —“Death at Dawn Each Day: An Interview with Ingmar Bergman” (No. 63) –- I am led to wonder how carefully, or thoughtfully, Evergreen intends to handle this task. If the last part of the interview is to be chopped off, one might at least hope that Evergreen would acknowledge this in some way, however euphemistically.
In addition, despite a translation that reads better and seems more accurate than most of the ones in Cahiers in English, the same problem of translating French film titles instead of using their American equivalents is bound to create confusion in the minds of most of your readers. For the record, Le Visage is The Magician, not Faces (which, as your translator apparently doesn’t realize, is a recent American film by John Cassavetes); Les Communiants is Winter Light, not The Communicants; and L’Été avec Monika is just Monika.… Read more »
From Film Society Review (Vol. 4, No. 5, January 1969) — the first magazine, apart from school and college publications, where I ever published film criticism, for a total of three issues. This was my third and final piece for them. — J.R.
THE AMERICAN CINEMA: DIRECTORS AND DIRECTIONS 1929-1968, by Andrew Sarris, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1968. 383 pp. $7.95, $2.95 (paperback).
Ever since it came out, I have been stubbornly holding on to the Spring 1963 issue of FILM CULTURE, which features a 68-page extravaganza by Andrew Sarris entitled THE AMERICAN CINEMA. ‘Extravaganza’, is not, I think, an overblown word to use here: the program includes detailed descriptions, evaluations and filmographies of over 100 film directors, with a supplementary list of more than 150 “Other Directors” and a “Directorial Chronology” of American films from l9l5 to 1962. At the time, the very fact that one man had seen enough movies to reach this kind of astronomical overview was staggering enough. Just as challenging — and in its own way, unnerving — were the nine categories under which the first hundred-odd directors were pigeon-holed: “Pantheon Directors,” “Second Line,” “Third Line,” “Esoterica,” “Beyond the Fringe,” “Fallen ldols,” ”Likable But Elusive,” “Minor Disappointments” and “Oddities and One Shots” — an almost metaphysical ordering of the American movie universe that looked so painstaking it was painful — and rather threatening, I believe, even to some of the most veteran of moviegoers.… Read more »