470 Wise Blood

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Message
Author
flansered
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:37 am

Re: 470 Wise Blood

#51 Post by flansered » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:44 am

I work in downtown Macon where most of Wise Blood was filmed, and out of boredom I have begun trying to find some of the shooting locations. Here is the building that has the film's most famous image, Brad Dourif in front of the building that reads "Jesus Cares".
Image

Futher information and pictures can be found here:
http://thomas-g.livejournal.com/12612.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: 470 Wise Blood

#52 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:19 am

drakula wrote:I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I really think the film misunderstands the tone of Flannery O'Connor's novel.
Possibly. He thought it was satire until Dourif questioned him about the closing scenes. This led to a meeting with the writers (one of whom was both the executor of O'Connor's estate and the producer who approached Huston about directing this film), and Huston decided to switch gears. This may have been in the middle of production (which would explain the shift in tone by the time it gets to the end), I can't remember, but the liner notes probably say when.

The music cues were definitely awful. Some of the humor was a little too crude in execution. (One that really sticks out - Emery's lousy disguise. I know it's supposed to be bad, and the idea does seem hilarious, but it didn't play that way simply because it looked bad in a banal way.) But I think it does a fine job of capturing the grotesqueness and humor of the book without going too far or (as some claim) coming off as condescending to its own characters. One thing that did throw me was the setting - it starts off feeling like a period piece, but then the 'modern' cars show up, and from there, there were a few times that felt like a weird mishmash of two periods. Possibly the result of the low budget?

BTW, Lincoln Center played this tonight right before There Will Be Blood (and appropriately followed by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). Interesting to see their respective takes on religion - the latter fitting the Bush-era that spawned it, and the former initially shaped by a similar suspicion of the burgeoning evangelical movement in 1979.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: 470 Wise Blood

#53 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:43 am

Streamed this again this morning. Except for the straight instrumental of the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts," I really hate the music, especially when it's recorded with synth sounds that were dated even in 1979. The occasional mishandling of Emery's comedic bits (the disguise, his disappointment after dressing up as a gorilla) disappoints too.

BUT, much of this plays better the second time around. It takes a while to get going, but Dourif's scenes with Stanton and/or Wright, the entire scene where Hazel confronts Hoover's "prophet" and the closing scenes with the landlady are especially great. As mentioned, it's a very flawed, but it's not that far from a masterpiece and the best thing Huston's done in the "latter" part of his career. Only Fat City comes close with The Man Who Would Be King a bit further behind.


Post Reply