THE LADY EVE
I’ve been spending pretty a piece of time lately viewing the movies Stanley Cavell calls “comedies of remarriage” and his essays on them in his book Pursuits of Happiness. We can leave aside the question of whether or not or now not this kind of movie actually constitutes a style in itself – there seems to be a few debate approximately it – but repeated viewing of these movies, coupled with careful look at of Cavell’s essays on them, is really a maximum profitable workout.
One of the matters that moves me is how little Cavell is inquisitive about a movie qua movie; at some point of maximum of his essay on Sturges’ glorious comedy starring Stanwyck and Fonda he could well be writing about a play, whether written, staged, or filmed. True, early on he discusses a camera motion (which is misidentified as ‘wandering’ – the scene in question is done by way of a directly reduce), the funny opening credit score series, and, later, he does deal with REFLEXITIVITY in terms of the picture of the three card hustlers, as well as pointing out, in a dialogue approximately the mirror Jean holds up to have a look at the other passengers on the deliver, that “… We are knowledgeable that this film knows itself to have been written and directed and photographed and edited.” Maybe it does, perhaps it doesn’t – however if it does, it does so in a manner apparent most effective to a philosopher or a critical film student. It doesn’t display this know-how of itself in the way, say, the microphone striking over an actor’s head is it appears that evidently seen in a Godard film.
But aside from this, there’s little in Cavell’s essay that tackles the movie as a member of a completely unique inventive medium. For instance it might be, I think, absolutely out of person for Cavell to touch upon the transition cut from the “smokestack” of the little boat Fonda and Demarest use up the Amazon to the smokestack of the cruise deliver (think about Kubrick reducing from the thrown bone to the spaceship) or on using stock footage of a cruise deliver crusing on the sea that Sturges makes use of here. There are also outrageous Hollywood conventions that we must positioned up with right here – as an example, while Fonda and Demarest first come aboard the cruise ship, how does Stanwyck just take place to have an apple reachable to bop him on the head with? Or this – the little boat that they’ve been up the Amazon with just happens on the way to connect to the ocean liner inside the center of the sea? Of course, I take into account that Cavell’s concerns lie in one of a kind areas – he says he isn’t pretending to be writing movie criticism – yet from time to time as I read his essays I surprise if he isn’t always giving the cinematic elements of cinema just a little brief shrift