|Photo Credit: Ray Pride|
"The real benefit of auteurism was taking the pressure off this endless search for stand alone masterpieces...there was an entire range of cinema not being addressed."
There are those who search out the most majestic works of cinema, and those who would rather search under the cracks for oddities and beyond. Dave Kehr, the former critic of the Chicago Reader and New York Times, and now a programmer at the Museum of Modern Art, certainly fits the latter bill. In his brief conversation with Peter, Dave talks about his origins as a cinephile in Chicago, the challenges of keeping the archive alive in the face of the digital programming switchover, and his recent series at MoMA—Lady in the Dark—dedicated to various crime films made at Columbia Pictures from the 30s to the 50s. Finally, the two investigate one series in particular, The Whistler starring Richard Dix, which features the former silent actor in terrifying and fatalistic situations, only to be reincarnated again and again.
2:49-8:12 Establishing Shots - Boyhood and Dazed and Confused
8:55-48:47 Deep Focus - Dave Kehr
51:07-1:01:15 Double Exposure - The Whistler Series (William Castle, Lew Landers, and George Sherman)
1:01:18-1:04:04 Close / Outtake
Notes and Links from the Conversation
-Andrew Sarris's The American Cinema
-Doc Films at the University of Chicago
-Young Mr. Lincoln deconstructed in Cahiers Du Cinema
-An excerpt from Screen's 1971 Douglas Sirk issue
-Fred Camper's piece from the same issue
-Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
-Dave's piece on George Armitage and Jonathan Demme appeared in Film Comment in 1977
-Kehr's Chicago Reader capsules
-Grover Crisp discusses restoration with Taxi Driver
-Allan Dwan at MoMA
-More on William K. Howard at TCM; Dave has a longer article in the July 2012 Film Comment
-A brief comment by Dave on The Power and The Glory
-A recent profile of The Whistler by R. Emmet Sweeney
-Dan Van Neste's book on The Whistler
-Dave profiled Lew Landers in the March 2013 Film Comment
Theme Music: “Forward” by Northbound