Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Black Rose

Ladies and gents, in honor of the Academy Awards, please welcome back our friends, analysts, discussants, Jean Shackle and Reginald Ibert...

Shackle: To be a pretty new face in the heart of showbiz. It's the subject of so many songs and books and films and fantasies, and frankly it's not very interesting anymore. It doesn't matter whether it ends in tragedy or in triumph, it's simply worn out.

Ibert: You might say the same about wild west pictures. It's all in the execution, my friend, and John Cale got it right with "Black Rose." It's not a classic picture, I suppose, but it's a beauty: a lyrical little noir.

Shackle: It's graceful, I'll give it that. But graceful assembly can't redeem a collection of clichés. Look at this!

Standing on the corner, just baying at the moon
Just another little Miss Too-Much Far-Too-Soon

Ibert: My mother once told me that cliché is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, any single element isn't notable, but it's a beautiful arc it follows, and it leaves you with a feeling - which is more than many films do.

Shackle: Well, the main feeling it leaves me with is disappointment. He seems to run out of ideas towards the end, and ends with a straightforward lifting of material from his much finer "Verses."

Ibert: Jean, this came out fifteen years earlier than that.

Shackle: Hum. Still, as the noted film soundtrack composer T.E.Yorke might say, THUMBS DOWN.

Ibert: Have you no soul? Bah, don't listen to this man. It's an excellent piece from an underrated and forgotten period of Cale's work, and worth your attention. A big thumbs up from me.

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