SIDNEY LUMET DIES: LIGHT UPON LIGHT!?
This is not so much a review of a film as a review of a director's life. R.I>P. sidney Lumet.-Ron Price, Australia
Director Sidney Lumet died yesterday. He was 86. This prose-poem will not tell you chapter and verse about his legendary career which, if you don’t know it, you can read about it. Lumet's published memoir about his life in film, Making Movies (1996), is "extremely light-hearted and infectious in its enthusiasm for the craft of moviemaking itself," writes film-historian Stephen Bowles, "and is in marked-contrast to the tone and style of most of his films.1 The tone and style of Lumet’s films is serious, honest, and passionate. He was a master of social realism and of portraying morally complex American life and its drama. In a radio interview I heard today Lumet said that each setting, each location, each shoot scene with all the supporting actors, guest stars, producers and director, as well as the entire production crew on hand make for a collectivity, an event, a social scene which he found part of the very raison d’etre for his work, indeed, his life. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 10 April 2011 and Stephen E. Bowles, International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, The Gale Group Inc., 2001.
Perhaps if I made films, Sidney,
I would make them light-hearted
and infectious like your memoir.
My memoir was serious, honest
and full of the complexity of our
modern world-----like your films.
I must say, Sidney, that I hardly even
knew you………I’ve been busy myself
as far back as you were working for..
CBS directing hundreds of episodes of
Danger(‘50–‘55), Mama (‘49–‘57) and
You Are There(‘53-‘57)…..I won’t follow
your career until your death yesterday,
but I would like to know if you ever met
any Baha’is in NY in your many decades.
You are, arguably, in that land of light &
you will, also arguably…continue to play
with light, character, & condition humaine1
in that new country, that oh so mysterious
Kingdom to which you winged your way!?!*2
1 The phrase ‘the human condition’ in French
2 ‘Abdul-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, Wilmette, 1975(1971), p.134 and p.158.
10 April 2011
Sentiments I'm sure we can all agree sound like the rambling eloquence of an escaped mental patient.
Well said, Patient 21134.
Great Work in The 70's & 80's
He directed three of the best films from the 1970's : Serpico ( 1973 ) , Network ( 1976 ) and Dog Day Afternoon ( 1975 ). Al Pacino does some of his best acting work in Serpico & Dog Day. For being a film that is over 30 years old , Network has views on the world of television that are still relevant today.
Prince of the City ( 1981 ) is also a very good but also underrated film. It is similar to Serpico as it examines police corruption but it is almost epic in length & Treat Williams is very good in the lead role. One of my favorite Paul Newman performances was as an alcoholic lawyer in The Verdict ( 1982 ) , which is the role he should have won an oscar for.
Thanks for those comments folks. It has been some time since I've been at this site as I now go through my 70s, and 80s(if I last that long).-Ron
Lumet's films of the 1970's are memorable but it would be great disservice to discount his gritty and emotional work of the late 50's and early 60's. Long Day's Journey Into Night, 12 Angry Men, Fail Safe, The Fugitive Kind and the Pawnbroker. One could argue this is where Lumet produced his best work and certainly cut his teeth on the technical side of things.
Just saw Kino put out King: A Filmed Journey on DVD at long last. Will have to check that out, I've always wanted to see it.
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