Sunday, March 16, 2014

ANNEX POST: "Bask in Hooper and the Art of Pleasantry," and A Personal Taking Down a Peg of 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre'


Find a collection of Tobe Hooper's SXSW 2014 Festival interviews, promoting the unveiled Texas Chain Saw Massacre 4K remastering, and also, I confess my hidden critical feelings on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, as a film I find almost irritatingly apolitical.  This post would be the place to argue with me about it, as I do acknowledge the strength of the film's outraged atmosphere and its rail against the perfidies of a meat-based society.  I'd say my favorite description of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is as a vegetarian tract, rather than a post-Watergate response.  Hooper's more poignant political (to the particular degree to which a Tobe Hooper work is "political") work would be to come.

Here's a taste, then you can follow the link or click-through picture above:
Hooper’s interviews are always a kick in the way of a pleasant formality: one knows what to expect, and they always abide.  Thus the kick of amused self-satisfaction.  Always a series of half-memories, amiable sound bytes bent over backwards for, small fallacies - unintentional - and pleasant affirmations (intentional).  The friendliest sort of self-deprecation… an endearing, thoughtless frankness; redaction-free self-confessions worthy of much admiration.
Texas Chain Saw is the sort of vague artistic attempt of a green filmmaker, as Hooper was at that point.  "A film about a very bad day" (in extension, the world), indeed, is the sort of somewhat poetic but largely pithy and rank polemic that would be compromised by a promising but not-quite-there artist, only at the beginning of peeling away the more basic levels of pretension that prop up his great artistic mind.


Anonymous said...

Truffaut - Hitchcock
J.R - Hooper


JR said...

You know, that's a question.

Do I wake up every morning and ask it aloud to myself? No.

Is it a question? Yes.

Can I be as cool and blasé and French as Truffaut? Maybe.

Anonymous said...

Well, yes, but hurry up.

The problem is not Truffaut, is Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

JR said...

Kiyoshi Kurosawa, I'm fine with him getting on it while I loaf.

Apparently they met for the first time in the early 2000s and bonded over their mutual love of Richard Fleischer.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a collaboration, a long interview in two parts, with some texts of Mick Garris, Joe dante and... Spielberg.

Fleischer is one of my favourite directors too. "Conan the Destroyer" and "Red sonja" are the most beautiful films of the eighties, along with "Lifeforce" and "Invaders from Mars". Jack cardiff was a genius.

JR said...

Also, Austin connoisseur Louis Black (he being who unearthed Eggshells), L.M. Kit Carson... Bill Friedkin?

Does Dante have much an association with Hooper? Outside of both having projects shepherded by Spielberg, and Dante whom I heard speak in good faith saying Spielberg simply protected his project from the avaricious will of studio execs (Gremlins, of course, only became funny as he shot it).

Fleischer I'll admit is still somewhat of a blind spot for me, though Mandingo was appropriately jaw-displacing. I can only look forward to exploring such a diverse filmography.

Anonymous said...

Friedkin, of course, an John Milius (wasn´t he interested in directing the sequel of "Texas..."?).

P:D: What about a video essay about Hooper?. A long, experimental, artistic one.

JR said...

Yes, Milius! He and Hooper were developing the Chainsaw sequel together in the early 80s. Don't know much more about it.

You know, a video work would be the next step. I've entertained it, and I thank you for bringing the idea up!

I agree about the "art"/experimental approach. Ken Jacobs/"forensic cinema" it, perhaps! I've already sort of done it: I excerpted a scene from The Dark, labeled it "The Most Perfectly Constructed Scene Ever?", slowed down portions to 50%, and then showed it to unsuspecting audiences. Might share it eventually... :P

Anonymous said...

I want to see that!