Film Theory: Relevance; Timeliness; Arthur Penn

Film Theory: Relevance; Timeliness;

Arthur Penn’s 1960s movies, Bonnie, Alice Restaurant, Little Big Man are so acutely barometers of the moment, but when the moment passes, these timely movies recede, ceasing to be just films but cultural artifacts.

Penn was a filmmaker with acute sense of the times’ anxieties and fears.

Thomson: But his talent and instinct like that faded

Penn was too dependent on collaborations.

Penn’s films are interrogations of failure, lyrically and violently structured

Viewers are asked to share the POV of the characters (criminal or otherwise)

His urge to expose the structure of narrative, to make visibleĀ  how it works and how the viewers should respond to it.

Viewers are forced to make acknowledgment of loss

The helplessness of knowing (Kolker, 62).