Sunday, August 27, 2017

Goodbye to a true artist. RIP

I thought I might remember the man not with his own films, but with two films he once professed a fondness for, for, after all, he was not just a creator of works that suggested great depth of soul and fantasy, but a lover of cinema.  It wasn't trendy, it wasn't even surface, it was deep-down.

"I know what they all want.  I know it is to express the art that is in them, and to want to do something artistic." - Tobe Hooper

"[I learned to] throw a lot of what I learned stylistically away, and start all over again.  And be a student, and be open to change." - Tobe Hooper

Karen McIver: It happens I do.

Steven Holte: Who?

Karen McIver: A French painter.

Vincente Minnelli's The Cobweb (1955)

It may seem harsh, but it goes to show Hooper's interest in discourse, in flowing rhetoric and shades of gray, and in artistic disposition.  What he crafted in his career were carefully cultivated expressions of an artistic sensibility, one he culled from others, and soon created for himself.  On Henry James, Joseph Epstein wrote: "There are no Mozarts in literature, nor Einsteins for that matter, so that Henry James’s genius was not of the natural kind but came about as the result of fortunate circumstances—chief among them being born into the James family—and the most careful self-cultivation. And I quoted James himself, in The Tragic Muse, on the nature of genius in the arts: “Genius is only the art of getting your experience fast, of stealing it, as it were. …" As quoted in a larger excerpt in the About THAS page.

Great swathes of affect infiltrate Hooper's favorite films.  The Egyptian (1955), by Michael Curtiz, is no different.  Cinema as a means to say something, to put something out there.  And put something out there Hooper did.

The below is rather grim, but Hooper, of all people, knew that fatalism was one with perception, death with humanism, beauty with death.

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