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TAG: KING VIDOR

Posts tagged ‘King Vidor’
Northwest-passage-e1349461707385-150x150
October 9, 2012  |  An Auteurist History of Film
King Vidor’s Northwest Passage

Northwest Passage. 1940. USA. Directed by King Vidor

These notes accompany screenings of King Vidor’s Northwest Passage on October 10, 11, and 12 in Theater 3.

An especially intriguing example of a high-quality, landscape-oriented “A” Western of the World War II era is King Vidor’s Northwest Passage Read more

Ourdailybread-150x150
November 9, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
King Vidor and Pare Lorentz Confront the Great Depression

Our Daily Bread. 1934. USA. Directed by King Vidor

Our Daily Bread. 1934. USA. Directed by King Vidor

These notes accompany the Great Depression program on November 10, 11, and 12 in Theater 3.

What goes around comes around. I first wrote about King Vidor’s Our Daily Bread in October 1972 (as part MoMA’s massive Vidor retrospective), exactly 38 years after film’s release. Now, another 38 years later, another economic crisis is upon us, and I essentially agree with my earlier assessment of the film. It is still naïve, simplistic, and awkward, but it remains extremely lovely in its innocence. Read more

Hallelujah-150x150
June 15, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
King Vidor’s Hallelujah
Hallelujah. 1929. USA. Directed by King Vidor

Hallelujah. 1929. USA. Directed by King Vidor

These notes accompany screenings of King Vidor’s Hallelujah, June 16, 17, and 18 in Theater 2.

1894 was a uniquely auspicious year for the movies. Not only is that when film history as we have come to know it began, but three of the medium’s greatest directors were born: Jean Renoir, John Ford, and Josef von Sternberg. It was also the year of King Vidor’s birth, and, while he may not have achieved quite the unity of vision of the other three, he came close. Read more

February 23, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
King Vidor’s The Big Parade

The Big Parade. 1925. USA. Directed by King Vidor

The Big Parade. 1925. USA. Directed by King Vidor

These notes accompany King Vidor’sThe Big Parade, which screens on February 24, 25, and 26 in Theater 3.

In his autobiography A Tree Is a Tree, King Vidor recounts the origins of The Big Parade. Having made some good but ephemeral films for the fledgling M-G-M, Vidor told Irving Thalberg, “If I were to work on something that…had a chance at long runs…, I would put much more effort, and love, into its creation.”

If there is anything wrong with The Big Parade, it is that Vidor put too much into it. The film is at once a grand epic, an intimate romance, a comedy of camaraderie, and a savage polemic. Somehow, Vidor managed to hold all this together, and seemingly overnight became the leading “serious” director in America, assuming at age thirty-one the mantle which had fallen from D. W. Griffith’s shoulders when the Master was forced to sign a contract with Paramount earlier in 1925. Eighty-five years later, The Big Parade still dwarfs virtually every film made about World War I, and it is arguably Vidor’s finest achievement. Read more

December 8, 2009  |  An Auteurist History of Film
More Competition: Neilan and Vidor
<i>The Jackknife Man.</i> 1920. USA. Directed by King Vidor

The Jackknife Man. 1920. USA. Directed by King Vidor

These notes accompany the screening of More Competition: Neilan and Vidor on December 9, 10, and 11 in Theater 3.

Marshall “Mickey” Neilan (1891–1958) was an archetypal example of a squandered talent, managing to cling to a twenty-plus-year directorial career before finally giving in to the allures of alcohol. (Many of the great directors suffered from this problem, but only John Ford seemed to control it by generally restricting his benders to between-film breaks.) Blanche Sweet, who had the “honor” of being married to Neilan, and whom he directed in The Sporting Venus (1925), told me a horror story about coming home to her brand new house and finding Mickey, John Barrymore, and other pals competing to see who could spit the most tobacco onto the ceiling. The “boy wonder” was essentially unemployable for the last twenty years of his life. Read more