R. Emmet Sweeney’s profile of William Witney goes beyond just signing on to Tarantino’s endorsement. He paints the picture of a young man lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time—when your coworkers could include Yakima Canutt, and a friendly visit to Busby Berkeley’s set could show you a whole new way to choreograph movie action—but ambitious and creative enough to keep pressing on for decades, tossing out inventive picture after inventive picture to no one’s particular notice.
Sweeney’s also over at Movie Morlocks, discussing five Delmer Daves films. Nothing wrong at all with his brief appraisals, but the Daves articles you must read are at Criterion’s website, where Kent Jones writes beautifully on Jubal and 3:10 to Yuma, finding in both a transcendentalist strain that speaks of the director’s “steadfast dedication and moving attunement to the very best in people.”
“Scott did not concentrate on set pieces so much as approach an entire film with a tonality that extended to cutaways and connecting shots, all of which were dealt with at the same register of glossy enormity, so the opening of a car door exuded the same visual verve and finesse as any larger action scene.” Joseph Bevan’s take on Tony Scott balances admiration for his expressionistic, experimental visuals with dismay at his callous disregard for narrative, character, or decency.
Now that they’re putting out a print edition, La Furia Umana is offering less content on their website, but what’s there is still often fine. The current issue pays marvelously schizophrenic tribute to George Cukor and Abel Ferrara; Dan Sallitt’s reprinted LA Reader obituary and Marilyn Ann Moss’s look at the lifelong friendship between Cukor and Katharine Hepburn are part of the former; Brad Stevens finds the latter offering his characters a respect and autonomy that’s positively Jamesian; and Daisuke Akasaka bridges the gap reviewing the commonalities between Two-Faced Woman and Dangerous Game. (The latter is one of those articles that betrays the multilingual journal’s occasional struggles with English translations.)