Postmodern Movie Strategy: The Girl Eve


I have actually been spending quite a bit of time recently seeing the movies Stanley Cavell calls “comedies of remarriage” and his essays on them in his book Pursuits of Joy. We can leave apart the question of whether or not this kind of film genuinely comprises a style by itself - there seems to be some argument concerning it - however duplicated watching of these films, combined with careful research of Cavell’s essays on them, is absolutely a most profitable exercise.

One of the things that strikes me is just how little Cavell has an interest in a movie qua film; throughout the majority of his essay on Sturges’ wonderful comedy starring Stanwyck and also Fonda he could well be blogging about a play, whether composed, staged, or filmed. Real, early on he reviews a video camera motion (which is misidentified as ‘straying’ - the scene in question is attained by a straight cut), the humorous opening up credit report sequence, and, later, he does address REFLEXITIVITY in terms of the photo of the 3 card hustlers, in addition to stating, in a conversation concerning the mirror Jean stands up to observe the other passengers on the ship, that “… we are educated that this film knows itself to have actually been written and directed and also photographed and modified.” Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t - however if it does, it does so in such a way evident just to a philosopher or a serious movie scholar. It does not present this knowledge of itself in the means, state, the microphone hanging over a star’s head is plainly noticeable in a Godard movie.

Yet other than this, there is little in Cavell’s essay that deals with the movie as a member of a distinct creative medium. As an example it would be, I think, totally out of character for Cavell to comment on the shift cut from the “smokestack” of the little boat Fonda as well as Demarest use up the Amazon to the smokestack of the cruise liner (consider Kubrick cutting from the tossed bone to the spacecraf) or on the use of stock video of a cruise ship sailing on the sea that Sturges uses here. There are additionally outrageous Hollywood conventions that we have to endure here - for example, when Fonda as well as Demarest first come aboard the cruise liner, just how does Stanwyck just happen to have an apple useful to bop him on the head with? Or this - the little boat that they have been up the with simply occurs to be able to connect with the ocean liner in the middle of the sea? Certainly, I understand that Cavell’s worries depend on different areas - he claims he is not pretending to be composing movie criticism - yet in some cases as I read his essays I question if he isn’t providing the cinematic aspects of movie theater simply a little short shrift.

Peter Quinones is the writer of the # 1 Bestseller, the book of tales Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse.