By Andrew Dickos
Abraham Polonsky (1910-1999), screenwriter and filmmaker of the mid-twentieth-century Left, famous his writerly challenge to bare the aspirations of his characters in a fabric society based to undermine their hopes. within the technique, 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), sooner than he used to be blacklisted in the course of the McCarthy witch hunt.
Polonsky estimated cinema as a contemporary artist. His aesthetic appreciation for every technical part of the monitor aroused him to create voiceovers of city cadences--poetic monologues spoken through the city's everyman, embodied by means of the actor who performed his heroes most sensible, John Garfield. His use of David Raksin's ranking 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 family members tragedy.
Like Garfield, Polonsky confronted persecution and an aborted occupation in the course of the blacklist. yet in contrast to Garfield, Polonsky survived to renew his occupation in Hollywood throughout the ferment of the past due sixties. Then his imaginative and prescient of a altering society discovered allegorical expression in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, his striking anti-Western displaying the destruction of the Paiute insurgent outsider, Willie Boy, and cementing Polonsky as an ethical voice in cinema.
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Extra resources for Abraham Polonsky: Interviews
The decision that the universe as such is socially dangerous leads to the luxury of not having to struggle in the market place and obscures the truth that social systems change and agony is not man’s condition on earth. These are the long, dark steps leading down from the life of reason, of the passion, of accomplishment, the retreat from rational efforts to irrational abdication of the will. Such personalities are created for the concentration camps of authority, for the torture cells and agonized pleasure of self-abasement.
And here in the sea off the shores of Havana there is a victory and this time not only of the spirit but in fact. The old man returns safely and the boy returns to the old man. There is something to pass on. The story is a psychological self-portrait and Hemingway, it seems, would like to survive and hand down his wisdom and accomplishment. 28 a b r a h a m p o l o n s k y : i n t e r v i e w s Who can blame him? Like all mystics and idealists he lets reality in through the kitchen after nobly flinging it out through the parlor.
And like countless honest rebels he goes to the guil- a b r a h a m p o l o n s k y / 1 9 4 7 13 lotine. He has acted with all his will, tried to master existence. The defeat is his personal tragedy; the struggle, his gay contribution to his fellow men. The real conflicts that men must face in our world are permitted to operate in Monsieur Verdoux, although the artist lets them in through every device but a door. Somehow we are not satisfied by the film since it does not seem to have found an appropriate form for the conception.