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"Shine a Light" in Eskişehir

"Shine a Light" in Eskişehir -- a Frank Exchange of Views and other films

Alex Deleon emailed Al Milgom in Minneapolis as follows:
Just came from back from seeing Scorcese's "Shine a Light" and all I can say is that it was UPLIFTING -- Great concert from which Scorcese thankfully stayed mostly out of the way of -- Ends with SATISFACTION but it was foot stompin' and body shakin' all the wa. Jagger is amazingly muscular and energetic for his age but Keith Richards looks pretty skinny and wasted, like he might drop dead any day. A most interesting point near the end was a quick insert of a Dick Cavett show from way back in the mid sixties where he asks Jagger who is then in his early twenties if he can imagine himself still doing this at Age SIXTY --and Jagger says "Hell yes!" -- and in the next scene there they are on the stage doing it as energetically as ever at well Plus sixty! I found the film to be inspirational ... and was foot stomping and body shaking all the way I got a lot of Satisfaction out of it and maybe even some Good Physical Therapy!
Alex in Eskişehir --

From: almilgrom@mınneapolis> Subject: Re: THE STONES FİLM BY SCORCESE --
Alex: To each his own I guess. Saw the Stones film in Berlin and could take only about an hour of it before I got bored to my toes, which were never stompin' anyway. I suppose it is a feat of its kind and to see these guys at 60, is I guess inspirational. Sixty, for me, that was 25 years ago. I had the same energy, but of late, it takes me about an hour in the morning for my metabolism to kick in. The big Stones era for me was late 60s or the "Sympathy for the Devil" piece, with images by Godard, when we got an audience of probably 1,500 at the big Northrop Auditorium hall to show up for the film. That was big stuff in the early '70s here. But I just couldnt get into the "Shining Light" this time. Anyway, thanks for the reaction. Milgrom in Minneapolis

Sunday, 11 May -- Back to Big Al Milgrom in Minneapolis.
Well, to tell the truth İ wasn't actually expecting that much from it because İ dıdn't care for Scorcese's last musical doc on Mississippi Delta Blues, but İ guess İ was in the right mood or something --any way it did grab me, mainly because it was all staging and not very much backstage documentary stuff. Jagger is, of course, a Prancer, not a Dancer, and in the past İ have not cared for his spastic primpish prancing, but the fact that he is so energetic and can still move his butt that frantically at age 64 (he was born ın July 1943) is in itself somewhat inspirational and worthy of note -- not that 64 is that old anymore -- But İ really responded to the music and especially Keith Richards who is looking very haggard and wasted these days but still has that devilish stage presence -- İ especially liked what he said to one interviewer who asked him what he thinks about on stage, and he said "on stage I don't think -- İ just feel -- I don't have time to think". And I think that neatly sums up what live performance is all about. But above all it was a great live Stones' concert and İ left the hall elevated, high, and full of. dare İ say it --"Satisfaction".

This morning İ just saw Chaplin's feature, "The Kid", 1921 and it was another small revelation. Generally speaking İ am one of the few people around who find Chaplin's tramp character basically sickening if not nauseating (different strokes for different folks!), but here again, after a Sunday morning stroll through the woods on the campus, İ guess İ was in the right mood. This is in fact the only Chaplin feature İ've never seen before, so İ figured "What the Hell, gıve it a shot", and İ was captivated throughout. Amazing transition from late night to morning -- A very recent ultra-contemporary Scorcese film to an early silent from 87 years ago! And one of the things about "The Kid" is that it reminded me how engrossing a the silent film can be -- and again, İ have never been very big on the silents, just catching one now amd then to keep myself honest.
This Eskişeher festival is turning out to be very satisfying in the overall programming with a good selection of all kinds of recent festival films, a definite window on the new Turkish cinema, and an educational review of the entire history of cinema from Hitchcock to Bergman and beyond. Four of them early Hitchcocks from the thirtıes. One little problem, however, is that some of the best films are subtitled in Turkish only...
Coming up at three in the afternoon "The Lady Vanishes" ("Kaybolan Kadın" in Turkish), 1938, and it will have Turkish subtitles, one of the marginal benefits of this festival. if you happen to be interested in learning some Turkish as you ogle the flickers, which İ of course am. What is great about subtitles as a learning medium is that they consist mostly of short colloquial sentences and slang and are highiy repetitive. İf you pay attention to the subtitles as you watch the film by the end of ninety mintes you have had an incredible lesson in "street Turkish". For example "kahretsin" is a particularly high frequıency word in the Turkish subtitles corresponding, according to the context, to "shit" or "godammit!", although ıt's not a particularly harsh word in Turkish. However, trying to figure out what's going on in a Visconti film from the Turkish subtitles can be just a wee bit wearisome. Stay tuned for reactions to "The Lady Vanishes" in Turkey.
The print was very washed out and the sound track was very iffy as well which made for hard going even though I know the basic story from previous viewings." İ stuck it out mainiy for Margaret Lockwood, radiantly beautiful in one of her few "good girl" roles opposite . The shootouıt at the end was completely slapstick like a Marx Brothers film. Strange watching early Hitchcock in the outback of turkey. Secret Agent" had a clear sound track but was still a washout visually -- too mad because Madeleine Carole was such an elegant eyeful. Peter Lorre playing a Spanish count with a Hungarian accent, greasy curly haır and a prominent earring, was way over the top. and in general this is more a slapstich comedy than a Hıtchcock thriller. One wonders whether there are any sharp prints of thirties Hitchcock fims around anywhere.
by Alex Deleon, Eskişehir Film Festival, Turkey

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