The Matchmaker (Joseph Anthony 1958)
July 17 2010
All in a Night’s Work (Joseph Anthony 1961)
March 21 2010
Do You Understand?
January 24 2009
Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra in Some Came Running (1958 Vincente Minnelli)
MacLaine: Is that the end?
Sinatra: Did you like it?
MacLaine: Oh golly, I liked it fine. I really liked it a lot!
Sinatra: That means not very much.
MacLaine: No, honest, I really liked it a lot. Golly, just think. You can put those words down on paper like that and all I can do is hem brassieres. You know, it really makes me feel like a terrible failure.
Sinatra: What did you like about it, Ginny?
Sinatra: Like what?
MacLaine: Well, I– uh– the people.
Sinatra: What people?
MacLaine: All of them.
Sinatra: Okay, so you like all of the people. What did the story mean to you?
MacLaine: Well, it means a lot.
Sinatra: Well then tell me what it’s all about.
MacLaine: Dave, don’t get mad. Everytime I open my mouth you get mad at me.
Sinatra: You don’t understand a word of what I said. You don’t understand the story at all.
MacLaine: No I don’t, but that don’t mean I don’t like it! I don’t understand you neither, but that don’t mean I don’t like you. I love you! But I don’t understand you. So what’s the matter with that?
Jean-Luc Godard on Persona (1966 Ingmar Bergman)
From ‘Lutter sur deux fronts: conversation avec Jean-Luc Godard’, Cahiers du Cinema 194, October 1967. Trans. by Diana Matias.
I didn’t understand anything in Persona. Absolutely anything. I watched it carefully and this is how I saw things: Bibi Andersson is the one who is ill and the other woman is her nurse. In the end I always believe in ‘realism.’ So when the husband thinks he recognizes his wife, as far as I am concerned, since he’s recognized her, it really is her. I mean if you didn’t base yourself on realism you wouldn’t be able to do anything any more, you couldn’t even step into a taxi in the street, always assuming you dared to go out in the first place. But I believe everything. It isn’t about two separate things– one ‘real’ and the other a ‘dream.’ It’s all just one thing. Belle du jour is fantastic. And at certain points it’s the same thing with Persona. You say to yourself, ‘Right, from here on I’m really going to concentrate so I know exactly what’s going on.’ And then you suddenly… you say, ‘Shit! There you go!…’ and you realize you’ve gone back again.
It’s like trying to force yourself to stay awake so as to be in on the moment when you drop off to sleep.