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Wise Blood at 2:15 am


Swithin
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IMHO, John Huston's two best films were made rather late in his career: *Wise Blood*, based on Flannery O'Connor's novel; and *The Dead*, based on James Joyce's story. Wise Blood is on in the wee hours, after GWTW. Offbeat Southern gothic film, beautifully directed by Huston, who appears in it as well. The last time it was on there was something wrong with the transmission; hope it works later tonight.

 

One of my favorite lines of all time comes from the film: when the main character Hazel Motes (Brad Dourif) is caught by his landlady (Mary Nell Santacroce) wrapping up his chest in barbed wire, she says, "what are you doin' that for?, that's the kind of thing that people have quit doin'!" Motes looks at her and says, "They ain't quit doin' it as long as I'm doin' it."

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Swithin, I've heard of this film but never seen it. I am very frustrated that they're airing it at 2 o'clock in the morning, especially as my recording devices have all cacked out and unless I stay up til that time I'll miss it. (The problem isn't so much with my staying up per sec, it's staying up and staying awake !)

 

I don't usually complain about TCM's programming decisions, but I do wonder why they insist on airing movies everyone's seen a hundred times during prime time, and rare and interesting cinematic gems in the middle of the night and the "wee small hours of the morning."

Yes, yes, they want to draw new viewers, blah blah....

 

 

I am interested in Flannery O'Conner. I remember when I was in Savannah Georgia, having her family home pointed out to me. Next time I go to Savannah I'm going to visit it.

I have a book of her short stories that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.

Anyway, hope they show *Wise Blood* again, soon. And not at 2 a.m. !

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For me (as I've said endlessly), Wise Blood and The Dead are the two best Huston films. But I think I know why I like them so much: they could be John Ford films. Wise Blood opens like The Grapes of Wrath; The Dead is also very much in the style of John Ford.

 

 

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Mine too. I can no longer record, and so of course am delighted TCM saw fit to run oft-run films in prime time and leave this to those with electronic capability or a supply of No-Doze.

 

Dan Shor, Harry Dean Stanton - they say quirky before they even open their mouths.

 

Oh well, perhaps TCM will rerun it in the year 2025.

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Lawrence Downes wrote an interesting piece about Flannery O'Connor for The New York Times about five years ago. This description perfectly encapsulates the milieu of Wise Blood:

 

"O'Connor's short stories and novels are set in a rural South where people know their places, mind their manners and do horrible things to one another. It's a place that somehow hovers outside of time, where both the New Deal and the New Testament feel like recent history. It's soaked in violence and humor, in sin and in God. He may have fled the modern world, but in O'Connor's he sticks around, in the sun hanging over the tree line, in the trees and farm beasts, and in the characters who roost in the memory like gargoyles. It's a land haunted by Christ — not your friendly hug-me Jesus, but a ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of the mind, pursuing the unwilling."

 

 

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