Monthly Archives: July 1974

The Rattle of Armor, the Softness of Flesh: Bresson’s LANCELOT DU LAC

From the Summer 1974 issue of Sight and Sound. — J.R.

The Rattle of Armor, the Softness of Flesh: Bresson’s LANCELOT DU LAC

LANCELOT DU LAC embodies the perfection of a language that has been in the process of development and refinement for over thirty years. If it stuns and overwhelms one’s sense of the possibilities of that language— in a way, perhaps, that no predecessor has done, at least since AU HASARD BALTHAZAR — this is not because it represents a significant departure or deviation from the path Robert Bresson has consistently followed. The source of amazement lies in the film’s clarity and simplicity, a precise and irreducible arrangement of sounds and images that is so wholly functional that nothing is permitted to detract from the overall narrative complex, and everything present is used. It is a film where the rattle of armor and the neighing of horses are as essential as the faces and bodies of the characters, where indeed each of these elements serves to isolate and define the importance and impact of the others.

The sheer rawness of what is there disconcerts, but it shouldn’t lead one to focus unduly on what isn’t there, or track down some elusive clue to the Bressonian mystery.… Read more »

Blood for Dracula & The Wedding

From Oui (July 1974). I was able to make my dislike of Blood for Dracula more apparent here than I could when I interviewed Paul Morrissey around the same time in Paris (and for the same magazine), for what proved to be the March 1975 issue. -– J.R.

Blood for Dracula. A Dracula movie by the director of Flesh, Trash, and Heat

(all of which, incidentally, are currently playing in Paris)? That’s what the credits

say. Blood for Dracula, a grisly number shot in Italy by Paul Morrissey and

coproduced by Andy Warhol, combines Factory superstar Joe Dallesandro with a

host of authentic European weirdos, including a Count Dracula (Udo Kier) who

puts a lot of greasy stuff in his hair and sets off for Italy in search of virgin blood.

Unfortunately, the first two damsels he samples aren’t exactly chaste, leading

to a couple of spectacular vomiting fits. Dallesandro plays a revolutionary peasant

with a a Brooklyn accent who filches most of the available feminine goodies

before the count can get to them, and then turns hatchet man for the Grand

Guignol finale. Directors Vittorio De Sica and Roman Polanski are also on hand

for comic cameos.… Read more »