3. but I wanted to go along with it. Garfein never directed another film after Something Wild, focusing on his work as a theater director, heavily involved in the Studio (he founded the directing program at Actors Studio West) as well as teaching his own acting classes. As you can see from what we’ve already published, we like several genres of essays: Critical readings, of film, fiction, contemporary thought, etc. Something Wild (1961) is a disturbing, uncomfortable, beautifully shot film that largely goes nowhere. Mike staring thirstily at Mary Ann as she gulps down a glass of cool milk. As he once explained to Time Out London, “One of [Corman’s] fundamental instructions was, make the audience like the characters or they won’t like the film . She’s able to be expressive while smartly avoiding sentimentality, and she's well attuned to structure.”, Brendan Spiegel Wild essays are academic essays for citation. A simple glass of wine is something she would once not have thought much about, but now it seems like a rare and precious luxury. . Week 1: Meaningful first-person writing vs. “it happened to me.” Identifying unique angles. In it, Demme uses individual close-ups of each of them looking into the camera lens, the direct cut from one to the other underlining their psychic connection. Personal essays have gotten a bad rap in some circles, decried as hyper-confessional, self-indulgent diary entries. She is uniquely skilled at helping writers pull out the most interesting angles of their own personal experiences and present them in a way that reels in the readers.”. Like many actors in the early 1950s, Baker gravitated toward the Actors Studio, a place so famous that a star like Shelley Winters submitted to the audition process (a fact that impressed Baker enormously), and an even bigger luminary, Marilyn Monroe, moved to New York to attend Studio sessions and study with the legendary Lee Strasberg. His first acting teacher in New York was the legendary Erwin Piscator, who nudged Garfein away from acting and toward directing (and it took some nudging). Garfein—like Konstantin Stanislavski, like Yevgeny Vakhtangov, like Strasberg—was obsessed with the mystery and “problem” of the actor’s creative process. Her personal site is the Sheila Variations. And the truth is, a lot of them are. It is stark, brutal, and—startlingly, considering the subject matter—occasionally very tender, even funny. But even before then, things had started to shift. There are so many striking moments in Something Wild, simple gestures, evocative silences: Mary Ann buttoning up her cardigan after the rape, fingers trembling. Something Wild (1961), directed by Jack Garfein and starring Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker—in two career-best performances—is the latter kind. (1961), directed by Jack Garfein and starring Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker—in two career-best performances—is the latter kind. As they stare into each other’s eyes—and we stare with them—the world is reduced to their conflict, one that will lead to either death or understanding. 2020. A successful, self-satisfied businessman, who has just become a vice president at his tax consulting firm, is literally taken for a ride by the devil in a slinky black dress. He lets her sleep, he feeds her. he locks her in. He takes her back into the city, to the door of his basement apartment. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. But more recently, with Rachel Getting Married (2008), he combined the unrestrained techniques of his documentary work with the character-based subject matter of his earlier cinema. Melanie Griffith had previously demonstrated her derring-do in Brian De Palma’s Body Double (1984) and would go on to win approval for Working Girl (1988), but as Lulu/Audrey she is at her most spontaneous and beguiling, utterly convincing in her personality switch, her little-girl voice perfectly pitched for the role. Assignment #2: outline and a scene. Get info about new releases, essays and interviews on the Current, Top 10 lists, and sales. A late twentieth-century version of the opening of the mythical jar containing the evils of the world, her offer of a lift to the office turns into an excursion to New Jersey and wild sex with manacles in a seedy motel. Ray is as much of a revelation to the bewildered Charles as he was to audiences on the film’s release; Ray Liotta, in his first major role, fires up the screen with slippery sadism and dangerous charm. Cited companion pieces included David Lynch’s small-town surrealist masterpiece Blue Velvet (1986) and Martin Scorsese’s lost-in-the-big-city comedy After Hours (1985). It does not coddle, moralize, or explain. Her coworkers think she’s stuck up. “Everyone is dirty,” Mary Ann snaps when her mother complains about the “dirty” people moving into the neighborhood. Something Wild (1961), directed by Jack Garfein and starring Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker—in two career-best performances—is the latter kind. Good and bad are never black and white. But there are others that resist clarity, that beckon, haunt, persist, nag. Mary Ann’s devastated mother (Mildred Dunnock) whispers to her daughter: “What has happened? To Actors Studio fans, to Carroll Baker fans, it existed as a kind of Holy Grail, nearly impossible to see outside of rare television broadcasts. This is where students can ask questions and get feedback from the instructor, talking through the progress of their essays and any specific challenges therein. Mary Ann, in a state of collapse, agrees. Just two years before, John Cassavetes’s Shadows had shown the possibilities for developing work outside the studios, but it was still too soon to make any meaningful inroads. It always was dangerous, and nobody warned her. Live long enough for the world to catch up. As Karmel describes in the novel: “Violence had possessed her; she no longer belonged to herself but to it.” Her body language changes overnight. Demme himself has modestly characterized Something Wild as “an exciting attempt to marry screwball comedy with film noir,” declaring that he wanted to “show people a real colorful time.” Colorful indeed, for what distinguishes Demme’s moviemaking is an openness to life in all its diversity, and Something Wild, with its playful generosity, is as fine an example as anything in his career. Demme delivers these opening scenes with immense energy and comic edge, and then deftly slows the pace to suggest that Lulu’s casual indulgence in petty crime may be part of an act. . The incidental score is by New York cult figures John Cale (who can be heard grinding away on his viola in Demme’s first feature, Caged Heat) and Laurie Anderson. Like Alice following the rabbit down the hole, he enters a challenging, perilous world where the normal rules definitely do not apply. The name Lulu evokes the amoral, man-devouring heroine of G. W. Pabst’s classic silent film Pandora’s Box (1929), indelibly incarnated by Louise Brooks. Sheila O’Malley is a regular critic for RogerEbert.com and has a biweekly column at FilmComment.com. Something Wild was for decades a forgotten movie. In his 2010 book Life and Acting: Techniques for the Actor, he observes, “I had, through the years, discovered in [Edvard] Munch’s work how the essence of events and the essence of things can reveal itself in ordinary, everyday actions—that our inner, wordless anguish; contradictory feelings; and involuntary sensations may be conveyed voicelessly, through concrete human expressions.” Garfein disagreed with Strasberg’s obsessive focus on emotion.

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