THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Robert Nason
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:50 am
Location: New York City

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Wed May 21, 2014 11:08 pm

As a kid I eagerly watched and enjoyed THE GREEN SLIME, DESTROY. ALL MONSTERS, EQUINOX (still not bad), TROG (my first Joan Crawford film, her last), THEATER OF BLOOD, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, TORTURE GARDEN, ASYLUM, THE OBLONG BOX, THE CRIMSON CULT, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, DRACULA.VS. FRANKENSTEIN (truly awful), ASYLUM, SOYLENT GREEN, THE OMEGA MAN, all the PLANET OF THE APES films, and the original movie versions of TALES FROM THE CRYPT and THE VAULT OF HORROR. I ate them all up. But Hitchcock's FRENZY terrified me more than any of them. The Master knew what he was doing.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Thu May 22, 2014 12:23 am

I wouldn't exactly call Hitchcock's FRENZY a "kid's film"! Do you mean a tv-edited version? I mean, you DO realize that movie had graphic nudity, right?

Or are you saying an adult pushed your face where an impotent Rusk wanted to go???

Anyway, I never saw it until the 1990s and it became one of my favorite movies. Mostly because of Hitchcock's trademark humor and Jon Finch's hot-tempered, luckless character! AND, also, because of that fucking awesome scene where Hitchcock silently pulls the camera back, all the way down the stairs, and out onto the street whilst Rusk does his tie thing in the second floor apartment. That was so cool. SO cool! Archetypal Hitchcock that went back to his early days.

BTW, a touch of trivia: Jon Finch was originally cast in ALIEN for the role of Kane, which went to John Hurt when Finch got nailed by bronchitis.

User avatar
Robert Nason
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:50 am
Location: New York City

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Thu May 22, 2014 12:51 am

I call myself a kid, but actually I was in my my early- to mid-teens when I saw most of those films, and FRENZY was in the middle of the bunch. It was my dad who took me to see it -- he was a huge Hitchcock fan, especially THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS and VERTIGO. I'm not sure he knew what was in store for us. I can tell you that I felt as uncomfortable as hell during the rape/murder scene with my father sitting right next to me.

But I absolutely loved all the Hitchcockian touches, and FRENZY is full of them. To this day I enjoy watching for the subtle cut when the camera is making the long slow backward dolly shot down the staircase and through the doorway and onto the noisy street; the cut occurs as a workman pushing a load of vegetables walks in front of the camera and for a split-second covers the image so Hitch can cut from the stage set to the real outdoor location -- the doorway and hall match perfectly. I was really into those visual tricks in those days.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Thu May 22, 2014 2:26 am

I know every frame you're talking about! You should have asked your dad to step outside during those scenes. "Please, father, a little privacy here!"

User avatar
Robert Nason
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:50 am
Location: New York City

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Thu May 22, 2014 5:26 am

I honestly think I was afraid to even acknowledge to him just what was happening up on the screen. "Lovely....LOVELY!" Neither of us looked at one another or mentioned it. One of my best friends, a devout Hitchcock fan, insists that FRENZY is profoundly sick and twisted. I've spent years defending it to him to no avail
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu May 22, 2014 8:34 am

The original GODZILLA is not just a good monster movie, it's a good movie altogether. And it's routine for Japanese movies to be dumbed down for American audiences. I've been told by a fluent Japanese speaker that all of the english dubbed dialog (using famous American actors) for Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli animated features is routinely simplified and cleansed of subtilty. The reason is that in the west these types of fantasy movies are considered children's movies which is not the case in Japan. Anyone at all familiar with anime knows that. I noticed that even the dialog in the original ULTRAMAN series has profanity that was edited out of the American dubbed broadcast. Dubbing is not quite as bad in animation because the characters aren't realistically mouthing the words but I generally dislike it.


That's right I'm an ULTRAMAN fan. (Original series only of course. I'm a purist.) Sally forth Science Patrol!
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 22, 2014 8:54 am

I try to make these folks see the worth of Spellbound but to no avail. Dali alone is the bark on my tree.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu May 22, 2014 11:03 am

I hate to being the resl world into this conversation, but I really can use a bit of help....

Friday I did something totally stupid that ruined a tenuous friendship. That isn't a big deal I do it more than I care to admit to.

Here is the problem. Last night I got up to close the door, and over heard him talking to another tenant about me. Mind you I could only make out my name, but I am almost sure that it wasn't positive. Part of me wants to just let it go, hoping thst the people in my building have the guts to come to ask me anything . But, then again if I'm going be outof your life, IMO, I shouldn't be a part of your vocabulary either.

I have people in the building. I can go to, and most likely will. But, not before knowing what the fuck I want done

...

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Thu May 22, 2014 12:07 pm

Robert - " a devout Hitchcock fan, insists that FRENZY is profoundly sick and twisted. I've spent years defending it to him to no avail"

Well, to be fair, it IS. No question. It's brusque, dark humor falls at the expense of the 2 women in the movie we have feelings for.

You probably know that Hitchcock by these years had become a mighty strange old man, with perhaps a near-sadistic resentment in his post-Tippi Hedron fetish. He'd become pretty fucked up in the head. And, boy, does he let it out in his movie!

Sure. FRENZY definitely goes too far in a few of those moments. I'm thinking mostly, though, of when we see their corpses and the "breaking the fingers" game more than the torture scenes. I had the same conversation with a friend, but I didn't disagree with him. It's simply the one down-side to the movie, where, a moment or 2 just goes too far in humiliating the women. It's the only reason I never gave the move 4 stars. 3 1/2. Not 4.

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Thu May 22, 2014 12:14 pm

Lori,

Others here may have wiser tips than I, but it's definitely not easy when that's in your own building. It means you literally have to live around that. So, if you have other neighbors there who are accessible and might know "what the problem" could be, I'd definitely look for a clever way of asking them about it. I don't think it's going to be easy to let go when it's that close to your personal space.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 22, 2014 12:31 pm

Apartment politics are usually about 3 issues: Loud music, loud yelling, a barking dog. If none are these are linked to you Lori than they may be just mentioning your name without malice or it is another Lori, since that is a fairly common name. Love your good neighbors, ignore the bad.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Thu May 22, 2014 3:44 pm

Lori -- I think you hit the nail with "what do I want done?"

Answer that and you get your solution. If it's to let them know you have ears, then get the word out. If it's a tenuous friendship, maybe just tell that person -- in a deceptively calm and friendly manner -- that you heard them talking about you. His reaction might give you everything you need to know.

My coupla' pennies...
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu May 22, 2014 4:40 pm

Barber

I live in what they call supportive housing. It's supposed to help people like me work on our social skills and all that good shit.

I think I'm going to be taking my buddy's advice. Why solve a problem that may never occur. He's got a good point. Right this second nothing serious or dangerous is happening, so WTF am I worrying about it?

User avatar
Robert Nason
Posts: 1580
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:50 am
Location: New York City

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Thu May 22, 2014 7:02 pm

Rob, it's true that Hitchcock became rather twisted in his later years, but I think he was also eager to take advantage of the new freedoms opened up to Hollywood filmmakers in the 1970s and show the hot young directors that he too could "push the envelope" a bit. Maybe he pushed it too far in FRENZY, but to me it's disturbing precisely because the subject should disturb. Admittedly the black humor might put some people off, but black humor was always Hitchcock's stock in trade -- he just goes even further here. I love the fact that near the end of his career he returned to his London roots and captured the flavor of the new London just as vividly as he had the London of the twenties and Thirties (at least his own unique take on London). And he managed to do it in a film which combined both of his favorite themes: the dapper serial killer and the innocent man on the run. As for the treatment of women in the film, I can only say that, for what it's worth, Hitchcock was by all accounts a loving husband and father, and nearly all his actresses adored him. Not to mention that it's the police inspector's wife who's the first one to realize that convicted man is really innocent all along -- she's the one who pushes her husband to continue the investigation. Hitch's sly tribute to his brilliant film writer/editor wife Alma, perhaps?
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Thu May 22, 2014 8:42 pm

Robert - well, yes and no.

Of course he was happy to work free of the contraints of earlier years. But his choice in how he does it reveals a lot about his spirit in these final years. I assume you know what he did to Tippi Hedron. (No references to the recent movies about it, please; never saw 'em, never needed to) The man was definitely...HUNG UP! Family or no family. But what the hell: anyone who goes through so many years with power to command and delegate in Hollywood is likely to show his frailties at SOME point! Ego inflates until it bursts like an appendix! Most of his films were basically about HIMSELF. Nothing else. Comedies through which he expressed his inhibitions and anxieties. And since he already had ample freedom to show women as he wanted to in THE BIRDS and MARNIE, where sympathy DID come through (a subtle but powerful moment in THE BIRDS, for example, when eyes meet between Melanie and Mitch's mother just before the fade-out), it's clear to me something went on with him by the time he did FRENZY. Then, when he did his last film, FAMILY PLOT, his lighter side seemed to be back, as if he'd used FRENZY to let out his demons. He was already at work on his next script when he passed away.

In any case, it doesn't matter. He goes a tad too far in humiliating the women in FRENZY no matter what rationalizations a viewer might come up with. That's just the way it is. But I'm transfixed by everything else in the film.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests