Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nicholas Ray smokes pot!

I've argued before against the auteur theory, believing that just because somebody had complete control over a movie and tries something new and daring doesn't make the movie somehow better. An excellent example of this is We Can't Go Home Again, airing tonight at 11:00 PM on TCM followed by a documentary about the making of the movie at 12:45 AM.

Nicholas Ray was at a time in his life when he couldn't get a job in Hollywood making real movies, so he took a job teaching film studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton, a small city about a four-hour drive northwest of New York City. There, he made an experimental film with his students, and the experiment largely fails. There's not much of a plot, and you have to wonder whether the people are just playing themselves. Also, Ray never really finished editing the film: he was never satisfied with the various edits he made, and went back to re-edit it time and again up until the time he died. The one other thing the movie is notable for is the scenes of Ray smoking pot with his students.

Perhaps it's good that this movie is being shown as an example of how not to mkae a movie.

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