Tag Archives: December

Bambi vs. Godzilla

Mamet, David. Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business. Kindle Edition. 2007.

Bambi Meets Godzilla | Marv Newland (1969)

“To succeed, a film must treat the audience member as an audience member, not as a commissar of culture.” location 698

“The commissar gets her thrill not from the film but from the power to admonish.” location 699

real filmmakers “Will they fail? Certainly. Both artistically and commercially. But (a) they have no other choice and (b) realizing that their final choices must be essentially subjective, they may learn to trust their instincts. Also (c) they’ll have more fun.”  location 702

“Like any human endeavor, like you and me, they have inevitably been exposed to and have, in the main, submitted to the power of self-corruption, of self-righteousness, to the abuse of power. But like General della Rovere, like you and me, like the studio executives, they possess the possibility of beauty and, hence, for human transformation: not as preaching, not as instruction, not as doctrine—all of which, finally, are out of place in the cinema and can awaken, at best, but self-righteousness.” location 740

“The garbage of exposition, backstory, narrative, and characterization spot-welds the reader into interest in what is happening now. It literally stops the show.” location 866

***”When the film turns narrative rather than dramatic, when it stands in for the viewer’s imagination, the viewer’s interest is lost.” location 1040

***”The writer may choose to supply stock, genre, or predictable answers to the magic questions, and the drama will be predictable and boring. The writer will have saved himself the agony of indecision, self-doubt—of work, in short—and so, of course, will the protagonist.” location 1230

“The gags, here, happen to be identical to Aristotle’s “incidents,” that is, those occurrences without which the plot cannot move forward.” location 1391

“Shoot an entrance and an exit. It’s free.” location 1627

***”Our ability to conceptualize about both the process and the product is accompanied, and inspired, by the pure animal joy of submersion in a mystery.”  location 1653

“Wisdom, therefore, lies not in the phenomonological question “What does a duck look like?” but, rather, in the practical “What is a duck looking for?”” location 1658

******”one may learn to prevail through understanding rather than strength—the basic tenet of jujitsu” location 1668

“Well, the poor man, unhampered by the capacity to waste, was forced to employ thought, and he wondered: What does a duck like? How does a duck see?” location 1678

“We have all had the experience of saying of a statue, “How lifelike,” and, of a life mask, cast from the human form and painted to perfection, “How lifeless.”” location 1679

“For the actual human being and the actual duck were created by, and so contain, a mystery. They cannot be reduced to mere measurements, and all attempts to do so (whether through the caliper of the decoy maker or through the audience testing of the social scientist) result in lifeless parody.” location 1681

“For another name for “chance” is “mystery,” and another name is “art.”” location 1685

“Jewish rabbinical tradition notes that adultery is like murder, for it is a crime that cannot be undone. Violation of the aesthetic distance is a rupture of the artist’s compact with the audience, and, similarly, its rupture cannot be mended.” location 1790

***”the difference between enjoyment and stimulation. One leaves the ballet feeling refreshed, as a promise has been fulfilled. One quits the video-game or pornographic film feeling empty and vaguely debauched—for one has only been stimulated. The brain, here, craves a repetition of the stimulation, as with any drug.” location 1833

“One may sit in front of the television for five hours, but after King Lear one goes home.” location 1835

*****”violence—their belligerence masks their fear and displays their ignorant belief that battles are somehow won by intimidation.” location 1894

“Violent encounters are won only by those putting themselves at risk of violence.” location 1895

“Aristotle cautions that it is insufficient for the hero to get the idea. Many modern moviemakers, however, act as if they hadn’t read his book. Their films depict the gentle progress of the protagonist toward self-actualization—usually depicted as a slow, arms-extended twirling on a beach (as if the expression of a racial memory of our descent from the shipworm). location 2040

“These men, and their performances, are characterized by the absence of the desire to please.” location 2055

“On screen, they don’t have anything to prove, and so we are extraordinarily drawn to them. They are not “sensitive”; they are not antiheroes; they are, to use a historic term, “he-men.” location 2056

“But consensus is, of course, the dead opposite of that subjectivity that is the essence of the theatrical experience.” location 2385

*******”And so, now firmly self-understood as part of a jury, he utters the phrase that is the foundation of society and the death of art: “What do you think?” Consensus, enshrined as right thinking, ensues, and the stage is set for mediocrity.” location 2400

“productive subjectivity” location 2441

“They are lost in the wilderness and prefer, as might you or I, a broken compass to no compass at all.” location 2449

“They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort.” location 2546

“Mark Twain wrote of U. S. Grant’s personal memoirs that they were so well written as to make one wonder who was going to win the Civil War.” location 2743

High Noon (1952) Fred Zinnemann (story told in “nearly real time”)

 Mickey Mouse in Vietnam (1968) Whitney Lee Savage (short)

December, 2013.


A Christmas Carol

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York: Bantam, 2009. Print. (First ed. 1895)

“Nobody under the bed; nobody in the closet; nobody in his dressing-gown, which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall.” p. 12

“”Business cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was by business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business.!”” p. 17

“Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor adobe?”p. 17

“The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little, so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open.” p. 19

“The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.” p. 19

“They walked along the road; Scrooge recognising every gate, and post, and tree; until a little market-town appeared in the distance, with its bridge, its church, and winding river.” p. 25

“It opened before them, and disclosed a long, bare, melancholy room, made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire; and Scrooge sat down upon a form, and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he had used to be.” p. 26

“”What Idol has displaced you?” he rejoined.
“A golden one.” p. 34

“If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” p. 50

“It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”” p. 50

“And now, without a word of warning from the Ghost, they stood upon a bleak and desert moor, where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about, as though it were the burial-place of giants” p. 53

“Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red, which glared upon the desolation for an instant, like a sullen eye, and frowning lower, lower, lower yet, was lost in the thich gloom of darkest night.” p. 53

“lifted his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him.” p. 62

“in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.” p. 63

“Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags, masses of corrupted fat, and sepulchres of bones.” p. 67

“He thought, if this man could be raised up now, what would be his foremost thoughts? Avarice, hard dealing, griping cares? They have brought him to a rich end, truly!” p. 71

“A cat was tearing at the door, and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone. What they wanted in the room of death, and why they were so restless and disturbed, Scrooge did not dare to think.” p. 71

“Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset” p. 85

“Dickens spent considerable energy giving public readings of his own works.” p. 87