It is currently Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:24 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:05 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT
Odd Man Out

Image Image

Taking place largely over the course of one tense night, Carol Reed's psychological noir, set in an unnamed Belfast, stars James Mason as a revolutionary ex-con leading a robbery that goes horribly wrong. Injured and hunted by the police, he seeks refuge throughout the city, while the woman he loves (Kathleen Ryan) searches for him among the shadows. Reed and cinematographer Robert Krasker (who would collaborate again on The Fallen Idol and The Third Man) create images of stunning depth for this intense, spiritual depiction of a man's ultimate confrontation with himself.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Postwar Poetry, a new short documentary about the film
• New interview with British cinema scholar John Hill
• New interview with music scholar Jeff Smith about composer William Alwyn and his score
Home, James, a 1972 documentary featuring actor James Mason revisiting his hometown
• Radio adaptation of the film from 1952, starring Mason and Dan O'Herlihy
• PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith


Top
 Profile  
 

 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Finally! The Image DVD has been OOP for over 12 years and the transfer wasn't that good to begin with. I wonder why it took so long for this film to be re-released, but I'm also glad that we'll get it in April.


Last edited by dx23 on Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Seems like the 1972 documentary is the only overlap between the Criterion and the Network UK.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Canada
One of my favorite British Noirs with a great performance by James Mason.
Definitely going to get this one!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:25 pm
The Christian symbolism is a bit heavyhanded here but it's not hard to see why Polanski rates this film so highly. As soon as Mason has that vision in the shelter we enter into a very polanskian territory where time stretches and space and darkness closes in. I thought this was at odds with the whole Christian allegory of the story but perhaps others will disagree. Anyhow, when I saw some years ago I thought Reed made his best film here so I'm interested to see how I feel this time around.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:36 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:41 am
Highly recommended on Blu-ray.com.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:24 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:11 am
Review on dvdbeaver is up:dvdbeaver

When you just look at the screencaps, the one from Network looks more detailed with a finer grainstructure. The criterion looks more waxed out. According to Gary, he prefers the darker look from the Criterion in motion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
DVD Beaver. Pretty significant differences from UK release.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
Drucker wrote:
DVD Beaver. Pretty significant differences from UK release.

I thought this one would be clearly in favour of Criterion, but surprisingly doesn't seem so. It looks like the Criterion is a cleaner washed out version of the Network.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:44 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:42 am
Location: UK
I also prefer the look of the Network from the caps, that's a fair bit of missing information in some of the shots though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:13 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
I've never failed to admire The Third Man all the many times I've seen it, but like Magnificent Ambersons I always feel a bit puzzled, "this is a consensus greatest film all time?" Odd Man Out, for me, is the Citizen Kane of the pair of Carol Reed films, a basically perfect, incredibly compelling, brilliant, inventive and fascinating tour-de-force that is obviously an instant classic and one of the consensus greatest films of all time. I was completely blown away watching Odd Man Out, in a way that I never have been with Third Man, the score, photography, stylings, the teetering-on-the-edge POV shots that push us deep into expressionism, I loved unreservedly every instant of it.

Now that I've seen this, I'm honestly a little shocked that Third Man is the revered film of Reed's. Like Ambersons, it's a fine, excellent film, but that's kind of all it ever is for me, not so with this one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 754 Odd Man Out
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:55 am
The main characters here are IRA and I suspect that contributed to its distributor of the time releasing it to little fanfare, something that it still hasn't really recovered from.

Although I like the Third Man a great deal, I think this is the better film. It's more inventive, tighter, tougher, and even with its lead character being half dead for much of its runtime, its more humane.

It does seem to be somewhat under seen and that is probably why it never hits the high spots of "the canon".

Incidentally just after watching this for the first time I went outside for a smoke and found that two inches of snow had fallen whilst I'd been watching it. Sad times.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:10 pm 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, AUGUST 29th

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:21 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City
For a very long time this has been one of my top three films to watch repeatedly. The chief problem I've had with the film, and one I feel prevents it from being a completely compelling film, is with its uneven pacing and style. The quick cutting, short sequencing of the initial scenes gives way to (my mind) extended, almost conventional sequences. It almost feels as if Reed had either changed cinematographers or decided a complete change of pace was necessary for a successful completion of the narrative. By the time we reach the conclusion the style seems a deliberate throwback to the romantic melodramas of previous periods. Compared to the wonderfully blocked, unconventional framing of the Kathleen bedroom/heist planning sequence that occurs near the start of the film, for instance, one wonders if Reed was pressed for time or had some other constraint to conclude a film in an almost hackneyed way with such a dexterous start.


Last edited by ando on Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
There is certainly a difference and change of pace and styles takes over.
I always thought it was intentional, as after the heist goes wrong, James Mason's Johnny exists in a fever dream, while other elements of society react to him and/or use him for their own means. He's no longer in control, the organization is helpless to save him, and he gets buffeted by the times and whims of those who encounter him.

The first time I watched it the artist and pseudo-doctor seemed too theatrical and overdone. Their behavior seemed out of place and too disconnected to the earlier events and the "normal" people and activities. But as I've come to rewatch it, all of that seems better integrated and not as long as I initially perceived. It still is a bit of a weird place to take the film, and maybe someone can speak to why it goes into that territory. But a lot of the focus is on the squirrely little tramp and the priest, which has some good interplay and is fairly normal despite being on the margins of society.

It is interesting if the film gets more stylistically conventional as the narrative gets a little weirder. Though There is that one fever dream sequence in the dilapidated mansion. I probably should rewatch it to discuss the film techniques, but I've seen it maybe a handful of times so it's pretty familiar.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:32 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City
Lemmy Caution wrote:
There is certainly a difference and change of pace and styles takes over.
I always thought it was intentional, as after the heist goes wrong, James Mason's Johnny exists in a fever dream, while other elements of society react to him and/or use him for their own means. He's no longer in control, the organization is helpless to save him, and he gets buffeted by the times and whims of those who encounter him.

Oh, I never thought of the narrative in this way. Certainly, Reed puts in visual commentary/foreshadowing of Johnny's loss of control, like the shot of him breaking his shoe string in Kathleen's bedroom after he attempts to reassure her that the heist will "go fine". I can't help but compare this way of observing the film to The Third Man, the more famous film that Reed would make two years later. In that film the quick cutting and fast pace of the narrative seems to contribute to the main character, Holly Martin's, bewilderment. Of course, Martins doesn't flip about Vienna with a mortal wound like Johnny McQueen - and this may be the factor that contributes to the contrast in pacing of the two films. Accordingly, The Third Man has a far more consistent pacing than Odd Man Out, though I'm not sure how far we can push this psycho-narrative approach. After all, Odd Man Out starts with a bird's eye view of the city in which the events will occur so, going in, you assume Reed will attempt an objective (3rd person?) approach to the story. Also, Reed could hardly have made a film which sympathized with a anti-hero like Johnny McQueen in the late 40s, though some argue it's a salient point of the noir film.

The style of the noir film is a salient aspect of Reed's approach. High contrasts, distorted angle shots, blaring music, changing of focus (often within the same shot!), etc. give the initial part of the film the feel of a thriller. It's all jettisoned by the last act and I wonder, in retrospect, if the film is a kind of gradual visual dismantling of the thriller as a genre.

For one example, if you watch the progression of shots involving the framing of Johnny's gun it's featured as a murder weapon, a household curio and, finally, gutter waste. Ordinarily, I suppose any number of films involving a bungled heist feature revolvers in a similar fashion but Reed, employing his particular framing, reduces the perceived potency of the weapon until it's ultimately discarded. It's literally, in this case, a throwaway device, but also a very effective visual.

Perhaps a reading of F.L. Green's 1945 novel is in order. After all, it's what Reed, Green and co-writer, R.C. Sherriff had to work with for the film. The two-part structure of the novel explains some of the change of approach by Reed but a knowledge of the source material may reveal not only what elements of the story Reed saw fit to include, embellesh or omit altogether for his telling but what specific filmic devices he uses to convey them. (The first chapter comes as a complete surprise after being aquainted with the film for so long; particularly in the way that fear, and more specifically, dread, is introduced as the runing undercurrent for all that is to follow. The character who inhabits this terrible forboding may surprise an admirer of the film who has never read the book but will make complete sense in retrospect. I'm not yet sure what this dred is fueled by or what its contemporary analogy signified (Belfast, Ireland, inheritance of the civil war, etc.) but I'm certainly looking forward to the rest of it.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM
I also was struck by the substantial tonal and stylistic shifts throughout Odd Man Out, from subjective realism to expressionist surrealism to high melodrama. I was very much drawn into the first and final sections of the film (up to Johnny being left in the scrapyard by the cabbie and after the point Shel takes him from the paint-splattered grasp of Lukey), but that middle portion - dominated by the overplayed performances of FJ McCormick and Robert Newton as the tramp and the painter, respectively - does feel overly drawn out and only intermittently compelling as part of the larger plot and themes of the film.

The Criterion's supplements mention Carol Reed's method of treating each character, however minor, no differently than the stars; while the wonderfully colorful cast of supporting players combines with the location shooting to establish a fully populated world that many films of the time often failed or didn't try to create, it felt as if this strategy shifts too much of the running time and focus of the film away from the main characters and their story. The final scenes with Kathleen and Johnny are still the film's strongest, but I wonder if they would have been even more impactful had we not been so diverted by the dilapidated mansion of oddballs.

On the other hand, one of the most surprising scenes in the film rests on the character notes and attention given to Ms. O'Brien, whose self-interested collaboration escalates to the outright murder of the two "Organization" boys who seek shelter with her. Her betrayal is foreshadowed, but I still found the final outcome (and her specific actions precipitating it) shocking; the source novel is apparently pretty acidic toward most of its characters, and O'Brien strikes me as a prime suspect for being heavily influenced by the source material and/or the author's involvement with the screenplay.

Overall, despite my nitpicking above, the film remains excellent, and watching the Criterion Blu reminded me once again that I really need to make an effort to see The Fallen Idol, the last of Reed's trilogy of masterpieces that I somehow haven't seen.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
I think I mostly felt the same way about the film everyone else did. While Odd Man Out is surely a beautifully shot film, I can't help but feel a bit empty after the second half of the film. Watching it yesterday, I felt engaged early on, with an excellent and unusual heist scene being well-executed. The standout for me is indeed the moment Ms. O'Brien sends the two young boys to their doom was a high point. It was shocking, suspenseful, and perfectly cut. This, and many of the other best moments in the film, really played up the "organization" vs. the police angle. I know nothing about Irish history, but one need not be to appreciate the underlying tension of a group of revolutionaries fighting with the law, even though they are bound by country. Whether the children cheering on Johnny or a priest going to bat for him, it helped really cement the drama's place in the world.

Unfortunately, this tension and these moments feel abandoned in the second half. Everyone in the "organization" is either de-commissioned or dead, and none of the random strangers have any desire to help Johnny out or seem to sympathize with his cause. Johnny limps around the streets, half dead/half passed out. Does nobody in the city have a heart? Or a soul? Is the film an indictment of average, middle-class people turning their back on someone fighting for the greater good? Maybe I should have submitted that question, because it would certainly give the film a meaning I don't think it otherwise demonstrated. While there is something romantic about the girl giving herself up, and not sitting at home for a generation like her grandmother did, I feel like it sort of comes out of nowhere and doesn't fit in with the rest of the film.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:00 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City
Drucker wrote:
Unfortunately, this tension and these moments feel abandoned in the second half. Everyone in the "organization" is either de-commissioned or dead, and none of the random strangers have any desire to help Johnny out or seem to sympathize with his cause. Johnny limps around the streets, half dead/half passed out. Does nobody in the city have a heart? Or a soul? Is the film an indictment of average, middle-class people turning their back on someone fighting for the greater good? Maybe I should have submitted that question, because it would certainly give the film a meaning I don't think it otherwise demonstrated. While there is something romantic about the girl giving herself up, and not sitting at home for a generation like her grandmother did, I feel like it sort of comes out of nowhere and doesn't fit in with the rest of the film.

Well, I've always felt that Kathleen Ryan's portrayal of Kathleen Sullivan's quiet, uncompromising, almost icy devotion to Johnny is not only a perfect compliment to the cold, slickness of the noir-like tone of the film but her actions prove to be the most effective agency (defying the police to the end) in the entire film. If your discernment of a class critique within the overall narrative has merit a commentary on the vital, almost indispensable role of women as the support behind any revolutionary endeavor (or any resistance movement) must be considered as well.

Kathleen, in retrospect, seems the most revolutionary of all the members in The Organization, even though she's really only a collaborator. When Granny warns Kathleen not to look for Johnny, to stay and settle as a quiet collaborator as she has done, Kathleen's gaze reveals a reflection on Granny's life as a resignation. As soon as Granny fades into a slumber Kathleen gently removes the gun Granny has tucked in her sleeve and heads off to create an alternative destiny. The film's conclusion turns out to be the result of this decision. Whether or not she is successful depends on your interpretation of what life is meant to signify, ultimately, but you can't deny the effectiveness of her agency. In regard to her influence in the narrative the inspector is quite right when he calls her a dangerous woman.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:52 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
In 1949, the BFI produced a 38-minute critical analysis of Odd Man Out, presented by Basil Wright, in their series "The Critic and Film". Has anyone ever seen it? Here are Julian Petley's withering comments about this documentary and Reed's film from the 1978 BFI Distribution Library catalogue:
Julian Petley wrote:
Basil Wright discusses the film's structure with the aid of a diagram in order to stress the work's symmetry and its observation of the three unities as if these qualities were inherently valuable and worthwhile rather than an extreme manifestation of the literariness that characterises the film (and others like it...) He is also careful to point out that the film is not a "thriller" but a "poetic drama", with the implicit suggestion that the latter is infinitely more worthwhile, interesting and valuable than the former; in fact, Odd Man Out's supposed poetic qualities now look extremely contrived and literary whereas a despised "thriller" like Crossfire, once underrated and misunderstood, is now seen in a new light.

I suppose the BFI Critic and Film series (four others are listed in the 1978 catalogue) now looks embarrassingly dated but it would be interesting to see them as antecedents of home video supplements and indeed as representatives of typical critical positions of their times (three of those listed are from 1949, the other two from 1958-61). They were available in both 35mm and 16mm.

Petley's own comments now seem highly characteristic of the extreme anti-British stance in Cahiers-influenced academic film criticism, which was still very much the norm when I was at university in the early 1980s. Petley is equally hard on Reed's The Stars Look Down ("stage-bound, reactionary and staid"). Perhaps he still feels the same, but I think such a sweepingly negative view of "quality" British cinema of the 1930s and '40s is now a minority report.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:52 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City
Thanks for the Basil Wright reference, Jonathan.

But in addition to the response I had to Drucker's comments I have to admit that because the actual relationship between Johnny and Kathleen is given so little screen time the conclusion - on an emotional level - does come up short. And because what Kathleen feels for Johnny is essentially suppressed throughout the film (the church scene/confessional with Father Tom being the exception) its sudden revelation at the end - especially given the style of the majority of the film - even seems a bit maudlin. (I can't help comparing it to the conclusion of Bresson's Pickpocket, where the admission of love on the part of the main character functions as a kind of redeeming factor for the sins he has committed and who, like Johnny, had been running from up until that point.)

To be frank, because the film, to a large degree, is such a display of literal surfaces (the Belfast streets, the chase sequences, the artist's rendering of reflections on faces, Johnny's hallucinations of friends and acquaintances - not abstractions) I find the deeper resonances typically found in symbolic imagery lacking. The image, for example, of the ship which Kathleen attempts to arrange for their escape recalls the archetypal ferryman who guides the traveller on a death journey across the river Styx. It's the classic image that is introduced in the narrative but never really developed, though Kathleen does give it lip service at the film's conclusion, telling Johnny on the dock's edge that the journey will be a long one before firing at the cops and provoking their own murders. The images seem to strictly adhere and refer to the world within the narrative only. So there's a certain limitation in the film's visual play and Petey's objections to Basil Wright's poetic readings are certainly valid.

On the other hand, who was it that defined a masterpiece as a creative work that is a world within itself? Despite its presumed faults Odd Man Out is certainly that.


Last edited by ando on Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:35 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:25 pm
ando wrote:
To be frank, because the film, to a large degree, is such a display of literal surfaces (the Belfast streets, the chase sequences, the artist's rendering of reflections on faces, Johnny's hallucinations of friends and acquaintances - not abstractions) I find the deeper resonances typically found in symbolic imagery lacking.



What do you say to the Christian symbolism throughout? The film could be read as containing very many allusions to Christ's final days with Johnny figured as Christ, the gang as the disciples and Mrs. O'Brien taking her 30 pieces of silver like a Judas, while Johnny is only welcomed by the lowly and dispossessed (and mad). The "occupation" of Northern Ireland by England is also an obvious parallel. All this do inform and add resonance to the imagery I think, with Belfast becoming this dark purgatory place where everyone is measured according to their worth.

I feel it's the middle part - that no one here seems to like - Reed invested himself in and that his intention was to make a serious existential film of some sort, successful or not. It does proceed at a stately pace though. The didactic little priest is a little much, for one. And I always felt the star-crossed lovers-ending was too melodramatic and somewhat at odds with that middle part. Anyway, I plan to watch it again tonight having read all the posts here.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:03 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City
Lachino wrote:
What do you say to the Christian symbolism throughout? The film could be read as containing very many allusions to Christ's final days with Johnny figured as Christ, the gang as the disciples and Mrs. O'Brien taking her 30 pieces of silver like a Judas, while Johnny is only welcomed by the lowly and dispossessed (and mad). The "occupation" of Northern Ireland by England is also an obvious parallel. All this do inform and add resonance to the imagery I think, with Belfast becoming this dark purgatory place where everyone is measured according to their worth.

I'll buy that, but again, I don't think the symbolism is overt. Had this been a Carl Dreyer film I'd feel more inclined to a more rigorous scrutiny on that theme. But Reed seems to take a deliberately (for lack of a better word) pedestrian approach. In other words, while you may be able to discern Christian symbolism within the narrative it isn't emphasized. I'd go further to say it's even skuttled, particularly with the use of Kathleen as an independent agent - even foil - to the claasic passion play. (She's certainly no Mary Magdalene.)

Lachino wrote:
I feel it's the middle part - that no one here seems to like - Reed invested himself in and that his intention was to make a serious existential film of some sort, successful or not. It does proceed at a stately pace though. The didactic little priest is a little much, for one. And I always felt the star-crossed lovers-ending was too melodramatic and somewhat at odds with that middle part. Anyway, I plan to watch it again tonight having read all the posts here.

Yes, well, the heavily (guess we couldn't avoid it) existential element in the novel is reflected more in this segment than the rest of the film. The novel, in fact, reminds me of works like Sartre's Nausea ('38) and Auden's Age of Anxiety, ('47) , two examples of seminal works which bookended The War and dealt with overriding guilt and dred, hallmarks of the existential dilemna obsessing writers and artists of all kinds at the time. The height of this kind of wrenching exploration seems to have occured just after The War but we see it again as late as '52 in novels like Ellison's Invisible Man, for instance. The central question of how one is to participate in a particularly corrupt world is the focus. Today it seems to be more a question of survival amidst unavoidable corruption.

That last point is in line with a similar film that was undoubtedly inspired by Odd Man Out - Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, though I've never heard Jarmusch admit as much. Jarmusch very deliberately plays with many of the symbols referenced above. While the narratives are not at all similar in terms of setting, the death journey on which the main character embarks form early on in each film is similar. Both characters commit murder and are on the run despite being mortally wounded; both are accompanied by a spiritual guardian of sorts who takes them toward a symbolic river Styx; both fall into the clutches or are prey to self- appointed bounty hunters (whether they admit to it or not) and both escape them all to find judgement of their own making. Now some may argue that Kathleen pulled the trigger and made the decision for Johnny but that falls in line with her role as a kind of spiritual companion in the way that Nobody in Dead Man is a spiritual/emotional companion for William Blake. It seems an almost embarrasingly pat literary nod but Reed is never heavyhanded and Jarmusch is fast, loose and often funny with the his allusions.

I guess what I"m attempting to discern in Odd Man Out are the mythological (which includes a biblical) play of images (like Lachino has suggested) which we may initially deride or dismiss, but which do beg for elucidation for a fuller appreciation of the film's merits. The various myths are interwoven within the narrative and are not easy to untangle but readings from perceptive critics like Basil Wight (if you can find them - alas, I can''t find the Wright discussion!) do provide wonderful insight and lively supplement to what I've long considered to be an underappreciated film. Here's a fine one, for instance, on Odd Man Out and Death of Cuchullain, an Irish myth that I'd never heard of, much less considered.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection