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December 24, 2009

The Disorderly Orderly

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Frank Tashlin - 1964
Paramount Pictures Region 1 DVD

Tonal montage? Probably not intellectual montage? It's been years since I said goodbye to the film theory bandwagon, when semiotics was the buzzword, and too much writing about film had more to do with the writer's inner demons, on not what was actually happening on the screen, or the actual experience of watching a movie. I don't know what Sergei Eisenstein would have made of Frank Tashlin. As it is, the classical idea of montage is something that seems forgotten in mainstream filmmaking, when the emphasis is on the craft rather than bothering with any art. When it comes to montage, there are two examples that are my favorites. More obvious a choice would be the last several minutes of Antonioni's L'Eclisse when night falls when night falls on Rome, and the audience realizes that Monica Vitti and Alain Delon are never going to get together. But I also love this small bit by Frank Tashlin, a sweet little smile of artistry in between the loud pratfalls and belly laughs.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at December 24, 2009 12:50 AM