This is the final week of the local production of THE JUDAS KISS, David Hare‘s brilliant take on the last years of Oscar Wilde and his doomed relationship with Alfred, Lord Douglas—known to Wilde and the world as “Bosie.”
The play is directed by Michael Michetti, and Rob Nagle‘s uncanny portrayal of the iconoclastic Irish playwright is definitive.
From top: Rob Nagle, (right) as Oscar Wilde, and ColinBates, as Alfred, Lord Douglas, in TheJudasKiss; Bates, Kurt Kanazawa, and Nagle; Nagle (left) and Darius dela Cruz. Photographs by Jenny Graham, courtesy of BostonCourtPasadena.
Johnny “Guitar” Logan (Sterling Hayden): Don’t go away.
Vienna (Joan Crawford): I haven’t moved.
Johnny: Tell me something nice.
Vienna: Sure. What do you want to hear?
Johnny: Lie to me. Tell me all these years you’ve waited. Tell me.
Vienna: “All these years I’ve waited.”
Johnny: Tell me you’d have died if I hadn’t come back.
Vienna: “I would have died if you hadn’t come back.”
Johnny: Tell me you still love me like I love you.
Vienna: “I still love you like you love me.”
Johnny: Thanks. [Takes another drink.] Thanks a lot.
The cinema of Jean-Luc Godard—unmatched in its longevity and rigor—is a history of versions, revisions, and doubles, and his new work The Image Book (Le livre d’image) is a filmmaker’s autobiography by a cineaste whose curiosity shows no sign of flagging. The film has five sections, referencing the fingers of a hand, and borrows from a century of footage, including clips from his own durational Histoire(s) du cinéma.
As in all of Godard’s work, standards of continuity, editing, and sound-and-image sync are distorted or discarded. Flows of knowledge and experience are interrupted and memory is questioned. When Godard’s screen turns blank, we can daydream. But when the soundtrack drops out, a chill descends and the world falls through an abyss of silence.
“A truth in art is that which the opposite is also true.” — Oscar Wilde
For Godard, truth appears in fragments. When it comes to the truth, it would be arrogant to think otherwise. In The Image Book, his use of the “lie to me” conversation from Johnny Guitar speaks to something we demand of cinema, something to do with hope. Film is always eluding us—”running away,” as RaymondBellour wrote. It’s an act of abandonment by a thousand cuts, relieved only by the assurance that there is so much more to come.*
The Image Book is screening twice daily at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre for the next five days. You’ll want to see it more than once.
Michel deMontaigne’s Essais from 1580, Marcel Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann from 1913, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé from 1893—inscribed by its author to his “cher ami” André Gide—and Gide’s Corydon (1911) and Nourritures terrestres (1897, inscribed to PaulValéry) will be up for auction by Sotheby’s Paris as part of the fourth in a series of sales devoted to the library of Pierre Bergé.
Also included are first editions by Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, letters from Édouard Manet to his friend Émile Zola, and the Chroniques de France by Monstrelet printed on vellum.
Each man kills the thing he loves… the coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword. — Oscar Wilde
The black-leather-masked murderer in Yann Gonzalez’s KNIFE + HEART—set in a gay porn milieu in late-1970s Paris—employs both methods.
With dialogue like “Okay, darlings, it’s business time. I want you all naked and stiffer than Giscard,” and a fluffer named Bouche d’or (“Mouth of Gold”), this psychosexual drama is a delicious heir to the camp exploits of John Waters and the thrillers of Brian De Palma.
The film stars Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet, Khaled Alouach, ThomasDucasse, Jacques Nolot, Romane Bohringer, Bertrand Mandico, Jules Ritmanic, and Félix Maritaud.
Artist Simon Thiébaut and choreographer Ari de B (plus dancers) are also featured.
The film will premiere tonight in Hollywood at the AFI Fest, with an encore screening early tomorrow afternoon.
A brilliant, autobiographical journey through the darker corners of the British aristocracy—childhood rape, alcoholism, drug addiction, recovery, and what comes next—THE PATRICK MELROSE NOVELS by Edward St. Aubyn are available in one volume with an introduction by Zadie Smith, who favorably compares their author to Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse. and Evelyn Waugh.
(There’s also a recent mini-series with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.)
Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels (London and New York: Picador).