Lumet, Sidney: The Film Artist–Part 4

There was nothing high-brow about Sidney Lumet as the dean of New York directors for four decades.

His best-known work, Prince of the City, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, reflects concern with relevant social issues: urban crime, corruption in the police force, the power and manipulation of the media, etc.   The pretentiousness that Lumet is charged with is unwarranted.  In fact, one doesn’t say “film” on a Sidney Lumet set–one says “movie.”  And one doesn’t talk about the director as an “auteur” with “vision” and “signature.”  “I’m constantkly being asked,” Lumet told a reporter in l982, ‘what’s the overall theme in your work?'” “I’m not an intellectual, and if there is a theme, I don’t want to know about it.  To me, the death of a great many awfully good creative people has been pretention.  They start believing what the ‘serious’ critics say about them.  It’s as if when the flag of protest–which is what a lot of us start with–is ripped out of their hands, they’re afraid to delve further into themselves.  So they take someone else’s definition and start trying to fit into that.”

The choice of themes and dramatic conflicts in Lumet’s movies, and the screen personae he favored have been consistent.  Indeed, Lumet’s films lend themselves to a fascinating inspection because of his attraction to particular themes and screen characters.  For example, many of his films are situated in the literary and theatrical worlds of New York (Stage Struck, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Deathtrap).  Several of his films have been personal, or semi-autobiographical.

In 1968, he directedBye Bye Braverman, the story of four Jewish intellectuals who, on their way to a funeral, reminisce about their dead friend Leslie Braverman, an avant-garde writer.  Based on Wallace Markfield’s humorous novel, Lumet described the film as one of “the most personal picture I’ve ever made.  These four post-Depression Jewish intellectuals are everyone I grew up with. Me, in fact.”

Most of Lumet’s protagonists are larger than life, but they are also imbued with extraordinary humanity.  This winning combination of traits, which makes the characters in his movies eccentric and credible, also brings them closer to their public, making them easier as objects of emphaty if not identification.

At heart, Lumet is a moralist, though not of the preachy kind.  Prince of the City (1981) considered by some to be his best film, is seen by Lumet as his “most grown-up piece of work.”  The dilemma of Robert Leuci, the real-life narcotics cop (played by Treat Williams) who went against the code of the police force (“protect your brother officer”) and the laws of ethnicity and class (“protect your friends: don’t rat”), was a nightmare about which no judgments were possible.  All Lumet could do, he said, was to portray the dilemma. “I know this is going to sound hard to believe,” he explained, “but I didn’t know how I felt about Leuci until I saw the rough cut, and then I said, ‘My God, this guy is a damned hero!  Of the twelve reasons why he did what he did, four may have been despicable, but at least that many were selfless.  But until the end I didn’t know it.  That’s why I didn’t want a (Dustin) Hoffman or a (Al) Pacino to play the lead.  You would have been on their side automatically.”

In this film, Jerry Orbach plays the only narcotics detective to remain defiantly corrupt. Orbach remains loyal to the personal code, even though the code is perverse and destructive.  “The reason people applauded when Jerry goes in and knocks over the prosecutor’s desk,” Lumet reasoned, “is that they’re thrilled to see one guy holding ‘true,’ not reversing himself.  But those are the easy emotions.  I’m more interested in the motives that aren’t so easy.  The humanity as well as moral ambiguity.”  This might explain why Prince was not as successful at the box office as Serpico, another police story, though one that had a more traditional hero and a clearer resolution.

“What I’m really interested in,” Lumet said, “is what happens to your compassion, what happens to your grace, your vulnerability, after so many years in the pressure cooker.  I want to know if any humanity remains.”  This theme has been consistent in Lumet’s work.  The stories he likes are built on characterization, plot, and they have a common denominator, an insistence on emotional truth.

Holding that all good directors have been versatile in their choice of subject matter, Lumet has directed a wide range of movies with a good deal of success.  For example, he made forays into elegant psychological thrillers (The Anderson Tapes, Murder on the Orient Express) adaptations of literary classics (View from the Bridge, Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Broadway plays (Deathtrap), musicals (The Wiz), romantic comedies (Just Tell Me What You Want), political satires (Network).  When Lumet is doing “glitz” rather than “grit” (Murder on the Orient Express), he will give it his best professional shot, bring the movie in below cost, then go home to a nice dinner.  However, he is at his best directing urban dramas, police-crime stories (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Prince of the City, Q&A) which became his defining genre and thus his contribution to the American cinema.

These efficiency and versatility have caused Lumet to be attacked by some critics for photographing stage plays, for having no discernible signature as a director, for placing speed and economy above all else in making movies.  “It’s ridiculous to say I lack a style,” Lumet says in response to the critics, “because I don’t have an identifiable ‘look’ to my frames.  Some dopes can only recognize ‘cinematic technique’ if it’s focused on a mountain or the sky.  They keep confusing cinema with scenery.”

“I want to find a way of telling real stories in abstract terms that make it even more real.  Dog Day Afternoon was about as far as he could go with naturalism and improvisation.    Network was a big step away from that: “In the beginning of the movie, everything is done in natural light.  But slowly, everytime Faye Dunaway comes in, it gets more artificial.  By the end, when they’re sitting around deciding to kill Peter Finch, it’s a perfect Ford commercial, and the camera gets corrupt, too.”  Prince of the City is perceived as realistic, but it’s very stylized.  The closest lens to what the eye sees is approximately 35 or 40 millimeter, but those two lenses were never used in the picture.

In The Verdict, everything was auburn, yellow, red, and deep green.  Lumet wanted only “old colors, warm, not cool, which is young.”  His rationale for that was that “this movie is about a man who suddenly realizes he’s getting old and corrupt, and I want the audience to feel what it’s like, damn it.”

In recent years, Lumet’s concentration shifted more from the narrative to the visual elements, because, as he put it, “I take the acting for granted now.  I’m assuming I’m going to get what I want. I’m just too old to fool around.”  Lumet vows he won’t work with “anyone who cokes, or with any kind of exhibitionist.  Who needs it?”  Lumet likes working as an independent director who can control his work from rehearsal to final print.  In Hollywood, he observed, “the costume department, the set department, the cutting department, they all insist on doing things their way….I can’t work like that.”

The stories he likes best are built on characterization, not logic or plot, and they embody emotional truth.  At their best, Lumet’s movies are intelligent, witty, entertaining and challenging of their audiences.  The director’s worldly but lucid perception has served him well in pacing and balancing the comic and dramatic aspects of his screen characters and films’ narratives.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88