By Andrew Dickos
Abraham Polonsky (1910-1999), screenwriter and filmmaker of the mid-twentieth-century Left, well-known his writerly undertaking to bare the aspirations of his characters in a fabric society established to undermine their hopes. within the method, he ennobled their fight. His auspicious starting in Hollywood reached a zenith together with his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Robert Rossen's boxing noir, Body and Soul (1947), and his inaugural movie as author and director, Force of Evil (1948), prior to he was once blacklisted in the course of the McCarthy witch hunt.
Polonsky expected cinema as a latest artist. His aesthetic appreciation for every technical component to the monitor aroused him to create voiceovers of city cadences--poetic monologues spoken by way of the city's everyman, embodied through the actor who performed his heroes most sensible, John Garfield. His use of David Raksin's rating in Force of Evil, opposed to the backdrop of the grandeur of latest York City's panorama and the clash among the brothers Joe and Leo Morse, increased movie noir into classical relatives tragedy.
Like Garfield, Polonsky confronted persecution and an aborted profession in the course of the blacklist. yet in contrast to Garfield, Polonsky survived to renew his profession in Hollywood through the ferment of the past due sixties. Then his imaginative and prescient of a altering society chanced on allegorical expression in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, his outstanding anti-Western exhibiting the destruction of the Paiute insurgent outsider, Willie Boy, and cementing Polonsky as an ethical voice in cinema.
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Additional resources for Abraham Polonsky: Interviews
What does his struggle mean for him so that it can mean something for us? What, in short, is the conflict in the picture? What is the object of the terror, the suspense, the suffering, the meanness, and, for ‘the girl,’ the love that goes with the Leader into death intoned by machine guns from the police and covered gently with the falling snow? The organization the Leader represents is nameless, its people pursued by the police. The city is Irish, the time the recent wartime or its aftermath. We do not know for what the organization is fighting.
Verdoux where Chaplin experimented with the transition between two worlds, the old roué fell out of the window without worrying too much about gravitation and human engineering. In fantasy everything is a symbol even when it is as real and human as your child’s rag doll. The moment, however, Calvero comes down the street and goes up the steps, so gay and light and human on his feet, we know this is a man who will act the clown, who might become a symbol, as did Lear, but is not himself symbolic of anything, who will mean what his actions and thoughts mean according to the laws of the socially real world and this includes the American Congress, supply and demand, and the fact that the human heart pumps eight thousand quarts a day (and this is why Calvero a b r a h a m p o l o n s k y / 1 9 5 3 19 will die).
Hemingway’s terrible ignorance of social reality which has crippled him from his earliest days makes him stumble in public where even a Missouri tourist has learned to stumble in private: Hemingway can’t spell Negro. In the Green Hills of Africa you will find that he can spell all the dirty words which the white man uses against the Negro people. Such ignorance of the moral world is innocence at twenty and wickedness at fifty, and this is why the inner world that he assigns to Santiago makes a murmur such as we hear from a machine, that is noise, and not music.
Abraham Polonsky: Interviews by Andrew Dickos