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The Movies Are A Revolution
Film Culture, No. 29, 1963, p. 9.
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The movies are this exciting thing, you see. The movies are a revolution. That which the public desires that excitement inherent in a star or director or script or all three (though in America which needs a revolution they have been able to suppress everything but the star — only Ronnie Rice and I are correcting that though we are a little bit suppressed and money does not exactly flow for us but what do we care much — we are a revolution and will be seen.
Listen to our mad crazy audiences which are you — babies — you beautiful ones — even our haters — all of you have got to dig — we are the bank robbers, rapists, sodomists, all the yearning mad desires of the populace which the government has to let be seen or else wow an explosion — what if Truman arrested James Dean? WOW! and James Dean — the epitome of every house breaker, mad fiend, lost asylum resident — a typical star like Bette Davis or Marlon or Magnani all a desperate gang — either they speak on street corners and toss aside you lousy government(s) or you let them breed with vast audiences the secret thoughts hopes and frustrations that gestate new personalities new ways of looking at and understanding and undermining and building new countries worlds people — oh most insidious triumphant ponderous art oh big bad beautiful sick chromium plated phony real lost Hollywood. If you don't give the people good pictures this year Ron Rice and Taylor Mead will storm the palace with howling hungry public one way or another — you are dangerously boring the public this year you phony stuffed tight dungarees and padded bra no nakedness land — The people may be laughing at Jerry Lewis and crying with Ava but that is because they haven't anything better to laugh and cry with and when the empty hungry feeling persists watch out!
I myself am getting tired of making movies for forty people to see and may retire — and last best bet I saw to replace James Dean was arrested as a housebreaker according to this week's March 26 Look — what a beauty — when your movie stars have to break and enter the people will be right behind them.
The world weariness of Antonioni is strictly European and however interesting and beautiful can not satisfy America. Besides, it's not beat. It's not mongrel, wild, uncouth, naive, heartless, heartful, pornographic, licentious, insane, bold, bald, fat, monstrous, square enough for America — strong enough to release the monolithic freeze which periodically grips this land and is settling in again this year along with the weather.
America's great movements are too little — we must have the screen. The enormous 12,800 mile SCREEN! He says, falling all 500 stories to the cement.
America loosen up, or strangle.
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