Postmodern Movie Approach: The Lady Eve


I have actually been spending quite a bit of time lately viewing the films Stanley Cavell calls “comedies of remarriage” and also his essays on them in his publication Quests of Happiness. We can leave aside the concern of whether this kind of film really constitutes a style by itself - there seems to be some discussion about it - yet duplicated watching of these films, combined with cautious research study of Cavell’s essays on them, is definitely a most lucrative workout.

One of the important things that strikes me is just how little Cavell wants a movie qua film; throughout most of his essay on Sturges’ marvelous funny starring Stanwyck and also Fonda he could well be discussing a play, whether created, staged, or recorded. True, early he goes over a camera movement (which is misidentified as ‘straying’ - the scene in question is accomplished by a straight cut), the funny opening up credit series, as well as, later, he does address REFLEXITIVITY in terms of the photo of the three card hustlers, as well as stating, in a conversation concerning the mirror Jean stands up to observe the other guests on the ship, that “… we are notified that this film understands itself to have actually been composed as well as guided and photographed and also modified.” Possibly it does, possibly it doesn’t - yet if it does, it does so in a manner obvious just to a philosopher or a serious film scholar. It doesn’t present this expertise of itself in the means, claim, the microphone hanging over a star’s head is clearly noticeable in a Godard film.

However aside from this, there is little in Cavell’s essay that tackles the movie as a member of an one-of-a-kind artistic tool. As an example it would be, I believe, entirely out of character for Cavell to comment on the transition cut from the “smokestack” of the little boat Fonda and Demarest use up the Amazon to the smokestack of the cruise ship (consider Kubrick reducing from the thrown bone to the spacecraf) or on using supply video of a cruise liner sailing on the ocean that Sturges usages here. There are likewise shocking Hollywood conventions that we need to tolerate here - as an example, when Fonda and Demarest initially come aboard the cruise ship, how does Stanwyck simply occur to have an apple useful to bop him on the head with? Or this - the little boat that they have been up the with just happens to be able to get in touch with the sea liner in the middle of the sea? Obviously, I comprehend that Cavell’s issues depend on different locations - he says he is not pretending to be writing film objection - yet occasionally as I reviewed his essays I ask yourself if he isn’t offering the motion picture elements of movie theater just a little brief shrift.

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