Q3 2020

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48 C I N E M O N T A G E B O O K R E V I E W "Lawrence" was the top-grossing picture of 1962, earning $45,000,000, and Coates won the Oscar for her editing. Nine oth- ers earned Oscar wins or nominations for their contributions to "Lawrence," including John Cox-Best Sound Mixing, Lean for Best Director, and Spiegel for Best Picture. "Cinema '62" is wisely organized thematically, not chronologically, and the 1962 designation is determined by release date. This approach is effective, a n d e s p e c i a l l y u s e f u l f o r c o v e r i n g non-English language titles, since some did not arrive on American screens until well after they premiered abroad. It also omits foreign language films that did not make it to the US that year. This choice is natural for writers who are primarily known as 1.) a film reviewer (Farber) and 2.) the film buyer for Landmark Cinemas. (McLellan). Much of the content is in fact drawn from previously published reviews, by Farber, Pauline Kael, and others. The result is a good survey of crit- ical and box office reception and makes for easy reading, but also occasionally results in Hollywood Reporter and Mov- ieline hyperbole. The lists of awards and honors in the indices help back Farber's and McClel- lan's campaign for 1962, but the repeated inclusion of these facts within the body of the text is unnecessary and disrupts the narrative. Their reliance on Academy Awards as the great arbiter of quality can also be irksome. The Oscar carried more box office weight in 1962 than it does in 2020, just as it reflected popularity more accurately. As the authors themselves write, the Academy's history reveals that it often overlooks greatness. "Cinema '62" also lists some of the year's films selected for inclusion into the Library of Congress National Film Registry, perhaps a better indicator of long-lasting value than any award. Like many, Farber and McClellan seem to believe the com- forting idea that a listing in the Registry means that a film is preserved. This is not the case. Although many titles (800 in all) are safely preserved, the Library's designation indicates only that a film is a National Treasure, worthy of being preserved. Numerous titles still await funding for restoration and preservation. Readers will find historical insights, intriguing details, and seldom heard personal accounts that are absorbing and at times scintillating. The authors' interview with David McCallum, who appeared with Montgomery Clift in John Huston's "Freud", reveals, "That sort of sadomasochistic relationship between John Huston and Monty Clift was quite extraordinary." With comments like this, a dip into the main text should make readers keen to see or rescreen movies released in 1962. That in itself is an excel- lent reason to own this book, even given the small screens to which these movies are unfortunately now relegated. The psychological explorations of f ilms like "L awrence of Arabia" are mined from Farber 's previous book , "Hollywood on the Couch: A Candid Look at the Overheated Love Affair Between Psychiatrists and Moviemakers" (1993). One chapter of "Cinema '62" discusses how Freudian theories were embraced by many in the film community, like Mar- ilyn Monroe and director Sidney Lumet. Freudian psychology was undoubtedly au courant in the late '50s and the early '60s for artists and intellectuals who had time and money to explore their psyches. A perhaps surprising convert to psychotherapy was John Huston. His controversial WWII documentaries included "Let There be Light" (1946), the first important U.S. film to explore PTSD in veterans, and a precursor to Huston's 1962 biopic "Freud." Huston, quoted in an interview, said, "Very few of man's great adventures, not even his travels beyond the earth's horizons, can dwarf Freud's journey into the uncharted depths of the human soul." Farber and McCellan find Freudianism at work in many films. Mention of Satyajit Ray in this chapter compares his film "Devi" with the work of that most gloomy, psychologically absorbed director, Ingmar Bergman. Other non-English language filmmak- ers fare better than Ray. The French New Wave, particularly Godard and Truffaut; Italians (Antonioni, Fellini and a great deal of Sophia Loren); and Kurosawa in Japan occupy much of the first chapter. The lone woman director in this chapter, Agnes Varda, "The Mother of the French New Wave," outlasted all these, except Godard, making dozens of films from 1955 to 2019. Her 1962 feature, "Cleo From 5 to 7" is considered by many a clas- sic of the French New Wave. True, there were very few women making films in the early '60s, but rather than celebrate one of the few such as she, Farber and McClellan denigrate Varda by qualifying her, writing that "one French movie of The early '60s was a more fertile time for movies than many think. Montgomery Clift in "Freud." P H O T O : P H O T O F E S T

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