TrustMovies has never seen anything quite like the documentary that opens for a week's theatrical run this Friday in New York City at the Film Society of Lincoln Center as the lead-in to a program entitled Red Hollywood and the Blacklist. The filmmakers -- Thom Andersen (at right, of Los Angeles Plays Itself) and Noël Burch (below) -- explain to us right upfront that theirs is a "compilation film about the film work created by victims of the Hollywood Blacklist to isolate their contribution to Hollywood cinema. It is not about their politics or their martyrdom. Credits are limited to screenwriters and directors."
RED HOLLY-WOOD, and running two hours, what a compilation this is! Beginning with a scene from Big Jim McLain, the John Wayne/James Arness-starrer celebrating the House Un-American Activities Committee, and ending with a series of films starring John Garfield in which filmmakers the likes of Robert Rossen and Abraham Polonsky were involved, Andersen and Burch show us shafts of and snippets from, by my count, nearly 50 films -- from the 1930s through the early 50s. Most important, I think, is how they have divided up their enormous content: into themes such as Myth, Class, The Sexes, WWII, The Holocaust, Race, Religion, Crime and, finally, showing us how movies were presented and perceived during the actual time of the blacklist.
You may be, as was I, brought up short by this alternate view of a film classic like On the Waterfront. And then, of course, you realize that this film was written by Budd Schulberg and directed by Elia Kazan: HUAC informers both.
Marked Woman, co-written by Rossen.
here. It's an odd array -- Zulu? Well, director Cy Endfield was one of the blacklisted -- but an interesting one, featuring several films you probably have not ever seen. Here's your chance, and up on the big screen for a change.
Francesca Beale Theater; all remaining days of its Friday, August 15, through Thursday, August 21 run, it will play at the larger Walter Reade Theater. Special note: there will be a personal appearance and Q&A with filmmaker Thom Andersen at the Walter Reade on Friday, August 15, at 6:30pm, and on Saturday, August 16, at 6:15pm at the Francesca Beale. You can access the FSLC's site and purchase your tickets by clicking here.