Abraham Polonsky: Interviews by Andrew Dickos PDF

By Andrew Dickos

Abraham Polonsky (1910-1999), screenwriter and filmmaker of the mid-twentieth-century Left, well-known his writerly undertaking to bare the aspirations of his characters in a fabric society established to undermine their hopes. within the technique, he ennobled their fight. His auspicious starting in Hollywood reached a zenith together with his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Robert Rossen's boxing noir, Body and Soul (1947), and his inaugural movie as author and director, Force of Evil (1948), earlier than he used to be blacklisted throughout the McCarthy witch hunt.

Polonsky anticipated cinema as a contemporary artist. His aesthetic appreciation for every technical section of the monitor aroused him to create voiceovers of city cadences--poetic monologues spoken by way of the city's everyman, embodied through the actor who performed his heroes top, John Garfield. His use of David Raksin's ranking in Force of Evil, opposed to the backdrop of the grandeur of latest York City's panorama and the clash among the brothers Joe and Leo Morse, increased movie noir into classical kinfolk tragedy.

Like Garfield, Polonsky confronted persecution and an aborted occupation through the blacklist. yet not like Garfield, Polonsky survived to renew his profession in Hollywood through the ferment of the past due sixties. Then his imaginative and prescient of a altering society discovered allegorical expression in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, his notable anti-Western exhibiting the destruction of the Paiute insurgent outsider, Willie Boy, and cementing Polonsky as an ethical voice in cinema.

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The oppressed, who are many, know that as events begin to move in unison and millions therefore move together, individual courage is translated into the force of the situation which carries forward all actions, and it no longer matters who is brave and who is not. In the general fighting everyone fights. The thing is to win. A hero, then, can be an individual with individual courage but he becomes genuinely a hero as he assigns his actions to the common victory and not to any metaphysical IQ in courage.

3 (April 1947): 257–60. —Mallarmé About this time each year, the Academy Awards remind us of the fictional odds and ends produced in the Hollywood studios. I suppose everyone will agree that The Best Years of Our Lives stands above its competitors as life itself dominates our fictions. We are offered a view of three veterans from different social classes adjusting themselves to modern times in Boone City, America. It is a pattern of reality as Wyler and Sherwood see it, the life that touches their imagination with truth, with warmth, with communication.

He wants to make a statement about all of his life now that he has lived so much of it and crowned it with those great comedies which finally achieve in his later career some of the massiveness and cumulative weight of a school: City Lights, Modern Times, The Dictator, M. Verdoux, and now Limelight. The truth he wants to assert is that life stifles as its form becomes fixed in the past, that human life is not content to perish this way and it will struggle to disintegrate those dead social forms which maim it.

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