May 1, 2009

MAY DAY







MAY DAY

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MAY DAY


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~ Commemorating Danièle Huillet's birthday today, a still from THIS LAND IS MINE (Renoir, '43), Charles Laughton as Lory, burning then saving a pamphlet of the Resistance. ~

~ mural detail, History of the Needlecraft Industry (1938), by Ernest Fiene, depicting the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, on the auditorium walls of The High School of Fashion Industries, New York (the 1600-seat auditorium in Manhattan's old garment district was for years the venue of the Vogels' CINEMA 16). A mural commissioned by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGW). 400,000 mourners. ~






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MAY DAY

4 comments:

Gloria said...

Laughton as a closeted revolutionnaire... Great choice of image!

Andy Rector said...

Gracias Gloria! Lory: "...and though it may increase our suffering, it will shorten our slavery."

On the other side of fire, I'm remembering the anecdote by Brecht about Laughton: when they were putting on GALILEO in a particularly sweltering little theater in Hollywood, Laughton demanded that big tubs of ice be brought in and fans run over them into the auditorium, "so that the audience can think."

Rooting for Laughton!

-a.

Gloria said...

Andy, Indeed, what was said in the film, in Lory's final speech, could have only be said in a film during WW2... Sometomes I wonder how Renoir avoided trouble with HUAC after the war, being an American citizen and all, but I guess he did films in India and France after the war because he couldn't do them in America (or, at least, he couldn't do in America the kind of films he wanted to do...)

While never openly/publicly belonging to any cause, I feel Laughton stood where he had to, if you catch my drift. As a boy he got a smattering of what a class society was, when being a good student and, all, he was bullied by some of his fellow students at the Public School he attended because he was "trade" (i.e. the son of an Inkeeper). A few years after he stood against the option od becoming an officer when called to arms during WW1: I can tell you he could have been so if interested, having military training in a Public School and all, but opted against it: while lack of interest in the military was a relevant factor, something else comes to mind when you her wife wrote that read that "he felt that the company would be better in the ranks".

Andy Rector said...

by the way Gloria, I consider your compliment "great choice of image" massive, considering you discovered Laughton through this very film, THIS LAND IS MINE, or, VIVE LIBRE!, and probably know it far better than I do....30 years on....

solidarity,
andy

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