John Ford

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Lzcutter
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Re: John Ford

Post by Lzcutter »

Here's links to two good articles:

This one is an appreciation of the rarely screened The Sun Shines Bright:

http://www.rouge.com.au/7/sun_shines_bright.html

And this one is an appreciation of John Ford and talks about how layered his films are and how easy it can be to overlook those layers:

http://www.filmcomment.com/article/into ... -john-ford
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RedRiver
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Re: John Ford

Post by RedRiver »

And this one is an appreciation of John Ford and talks about how layered his films are and how easy it can be to overlook those layers:

I remember some insightful posts by yourself and others addressing just this concept. When first I saw HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, I wasn't crazy about it. Now I consider it one of the director's best.
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Re: John Ford

Post by tinker »

That is an interesting article. I can't help wondering if in 60 years time, Tarantino films will be examined and judged on levels of inappropriate violence by a future age who do not see stylised violence in the same way many movie goers do now.

Funnily when I was at Monument Valley last year staying at Gouldings I watched the Ford films they showed everything, right on the spot of Captain Brittle's cabin. Many ghosts watched with me. One film was She wore a yellow ribbon and that was with some English people who did not know much about Ford and asked when the film was made because they were amazed how 'enlightened" its was. They were quite stunned when I told them the date it was made.

Then when Stagecoach was on,one of the Navaho people who worked there and was very nice about telling me things about the site came in and watched the Indian chase then left. I wasn't quite game enough to ask him why.


dee
[b]But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams[/b]. (William Butler Yeats )
[b]How did I get to Hollywood? By train.[/b] (John Ford)
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Re: John Ford

Post by MissGoddess »

I love the FilmComment article, a very thoughtful reply to what were probably just reactionary comments on Tarantino's part.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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JackFavell
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Re: John Ford

Post by JackFavell »

Gosh there's a lot going on in those two articles. They've given me a lot to think about.

Tarantino insists on choosing sides, when sides aren't really there. They are the construct of man trying to define and deal with the uncomfortable. It's a small mind that sees the world as a two sided thing, unfortunately, and I'm not saying that it's Tarantino's mind, but a mind set that is popular right now. To deny that history ever happened, or to say that eradicating racism in ourselves was easy, is to make every effort in that climb insignificant. As pleasing as that is to do as an exercise for the brain, it just isn't real. I am totally with the author who says that Ford's works are an examination of those in betweens that make us uncomfortable; while Tarantino's works are pretty much straightforward entertainment with hot button themes, no real examining of our national conscience is involved. He's a reflection of the times, but is there any more to him? I don't know. That doesn't mean I don't like Tarantino, I do very much, but where he fits in cinema is a question we can't know now.

I am interested in the last paragraph of the first article. There does seem to be something traumatic in many of Ford's films. Something that happened off screen and before we arrive at the beginning of each film, akin to Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. And there is a quality in Ford of an obligatory ending, but the situations never really resolve themselves. The characters live on in a limbo after the film ends. Really fascinating.
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Re: John Ford

Post by RedRiver »

There's some chance Tarantino is riding the reputation of one really good movie. Using that as his ticket to a discussion of greatness in film and filmmakers. I should note that I haven't seen all his work. But neither have I wanted to. So far, I know of only one first rate film by this director. Even that one suffers from excessive, and desensitized, violence. Relying more on story, less on sensationalism, PULP FICTION would be a better movie.
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Re: John Ford

Post by rohanaka »

Please forgive the interruption of any chats ongoing.. just wanted to take a quick moment to pop in and mention how much I thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch the Ford silent Four Sons earlier today.. I had seen it some time ago.. and then found out it was on youtube recently.. so decided to watch it again. I think I liked it even more this time than I did the first (which is saying a lot because I truly did find it quite an emotional and very touching film the first time)

I think the reason it seemed to strike me even more this go around was that I was able to notice a few more of those simple "moments" that stand out a bit sometimes in Fordies.. if only for the simplicity. (so real and honest.. but very quiet and understated)

One thing in particular that I don't recall catching the first time I saw this film was the way Mother Bernle's hand was used at one specific moment in the story.. when she is watching in through the window after her youngest son is taken to serve in the army.. and she holds up her hand to the window.. just as she held up her hand (in a prayer of blessing) over her other two sons that went off to war (earlier in the film) It was so touching.. and quite heart breaking.

And then later on.. as he is leaving on the train.. I noticed that when the FIRST two boys left for war (earlier in the story) she did not go with them to see them off.. but instead watched from her doorway, calling to them privately.. of course they would not be able to hear her.. but she spoke to them from her heart as she quietly let them go. But the younger boy.. she not only followed him to the train.. she chased it.. she held on til the very last minute and even knocked on the wood on the side of the train car (ever so gently) with her hand as they were separated. (almost as if she were trying to still reach him.. trying to still grab hold.. it was very moving and quite a contrast to the way she behaved when the other boys left. Very pathetic, in fact.

And of course, I am sure her reactions were so different this time because of the loss she'd already had.. two boys to the war.. and the other gone so long (in America) By then, the youngest boy was all she had left.. and he had been more or less ripped from her arms. Very emotional indeed.

At any rate.. Thanks for letting me share these thoughts.. I just wanted to touch on how much more those moments really seemed to resonate for me. (There were a few more moments I noticed as well.. things that just seemed to really grab me more this time around than the first.. but these are the two that come to mind right now, anyway so am glad to be able to share them here)

And I wanted to say too, that for those who have not seen Four Sons, it truly is quite special. I hope more folks will have the chance to enjoy it.
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Re: John Ford

Post by movieman1957 »

No thanks needed. You're part of the gang and you come in any time.

It's been a few years since I've seen it but I do remember those scenes. Moms always dote on the youngest ones. In this case I guess more so and for the reasons you state.

Pathetic and probably desperate to hang on to him. Wasn't he all that was left?

Thanks for sharing. You keep it up.
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JackFavell
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Re: John Ford

Post by JackFavell »

That hand at the window moment you spoke of is the single most memorable point in the whole movie for me, Ro! It was beautifully done. I remember hands being very important in the film, though it's been a few years since I watched it. I also loved the mailman, if I remember the movie correctly, and how he was sort of a motif in the film as well. Andrew has a tiny little ornate German tankard with his name written on it in old fashioned Germanic looking letters - I always think of Four Sons when I see it, and the way the mother labeled each drawer and other items with her sons names. One can see the loving care, the many hours of work she went to in order to label her son's things by hand.
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Re: John Ford

Post by MissGoddess »

That was really lovely, Ro! Though 3 Bad Men is by far my favorite silent by Ford, Four Sons with its expressionist imagery and deep emotions is all that you say and more.
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Re: John Ford

Post by tinker »

I am not sure if anyone has seen this. I always like Will Hutchins notes. He tells some very funny stories and I guess he has gone up in my estimation because he clearly loves Ford films.

http://www.westernclippings.com/hutch/h ... 13_8.shtml

I guess despite all teh bad things that are said about Ford and his relationships with Ford in everyone of those home movies John Wayne always looks like he is having a good time and it was Ford that Ben Johnston thanked in his oscar speech.

I also just watched LIncoln ( a film I really enjoyed) and it is very obvious that Steven Spielberg took to heart Ford's advice to him about horizons and setups even if he was pretty grmpy when he gave it.

So I take Will's point of view in this


dee
[b]But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams[/b]. (William Butler Yeats )
[b]How did I get to Hollywood? By train.[/b] (John Ford)
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Re: John Ford

Post by MissGoddess »

oh, that was PRICELESS.

everything is, as hutchins astutely observed, colored by our own experience and view. i have heard mr. snickel's diatribes many times on Ford, especially his haranguing of "the quiet man". i sometimes wonder if it's because when he was putting together his omnibus about the "men who made the movies", ford may not have responded to his interview requests in the way he wished.

thanks for sharing that, tinker. and by the way, i've always loved will's site---maybe the best treasure trove on the net about westerns, particularly about the lesser known participants in the genre.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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JackFavell
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Re: John Ford

Post by JackFavell »

My goodness, that last paragraph was hilarious! So Schickel's got a love-hate thing going on.
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Re: John Ford

Post by MissGoddess »

Image

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JackFavell
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Re: John Ford

Post by JackFavell »

Rest in Peace, Coach.
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