Sunday, January 19, 2014

Episode #31 - Noah Isenberg (Ruthless)

'This is the work of a magician or an alchemist as much as its the work of a director."

For the last decade, Noah Isenberg has dedicated his career to searching out the life of Edgar G. Ulmer, the director of Detour and the so-called "King of the Bs." His films included poverty row crime films, Italian epics made on the cheap, films for Yiddish and black communities, bizzaro science fiction works, and even a "nuddie" picture. To celebrate the release of Isenberg's fantastic new biography, Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins, Peter brings on Noah to discuss how his original interest in German arts and cultures brought him to a search through one of the greatest alt-Hollywood directors to ever grace American shores.

0:00-1:34 Opening 
2:31-9:42 Establishing Shots - Los Angeles Plays Itself / Donations
10:27-1:17:13 Deep Focus - Noah Isenberg
1:18:12-1:36:35 Double Exposure - Ruthless (Edgar Ulmer)
1:36:38-1:38:41 Close / Outtake

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Notes and Links from the Conversation
-Watch Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself
-Some notes on the recent restoration from Scott Foundas
-Noah's 2004 piece on Ulmer
-For those with access, Ulmer's interview with Cahiers appears in August 1961 no. 122, pages 1-16, entitled "Entretien avec Edgar G. Ulmer," by Luc Moullet and Betrand Tavernier. Truffaut's piece on Ulmer is entitled "Le Bandit d'Edgar Ulmer," which appeared in Arts on March 14, 1956. Both are in French.
-Some Ulmer DVDs: People on Sunday, Ruthless, Club Havana, Bluebeard, Moon Over Harlem, Strange Illusion, The Naked Venus.
-A number of Ulmer films are available on Amazon Instant. They are free for Prime Subscribers, only $2 or $3 for others.
-Edgar Ulmer: The Man Off Screen
-The German biography of Ulmer, Mann im Schatten: Der Filmemacher Edgar G. Ulmer
-Noah's WSJ piece on the legacy of Casablanca

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to point out that Ulmer's western The Naked Dawn IS available on import DVD. It requires a multi-region player, but that should be required equipment for any cinephile :) I was also able to track down some obscure Ulmer films at (St. Benny the Dip, Murder Is My Beat).