A los maestros, con cariño/XVII
El cinecrítico, académico y pintor Manny Farber (1917-2008) acaba de morir. Iconoclasta y provocador, prefirió siempre el cine "termita" sobre "los elefantes blancos". Es decir, el cine aparentemente menor -las llamadas B-movies- sobre los grandes autores endiosados y los espectáculos hollywoodenses de apabullante presupuesto. Habría que revisar su libro Negative Space y, en especial, su canónico ensayo "White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art". Un ejemplo de su prosa, aquí:
"As a moviemaker, the businessman side of Sturges was superficially dominant. He even seems to have begun his career with the intention of giving Hollywood a lesson in turning out quick, cheap, popular pictures. He whipped together his scripts in record-breaking time, cast his pictures with unknowns, and shot them faster than anyone dreamed possible. He was enabled to do this through a native aptitude for finding brilliant technical shortcuts. Sturges tore Hollywood comedy lose from the slick gentility of pictures like It Happened One Night by shattering the realistic mold and the logical build-up and taking the quickest, least plausible route to the nerves of the audience. There are no preparations for the fantastic situations on which his pictures are based and no transitions between their numberless pratfalls, orgies of noise, and furniture-smashing. A Capra, Wilder, or Wellman takes half a movie to get a plot to the point where the audience accepts it and it comes to cinematic life. Sturges often accomplishes as much in the first two minutes, throwing an audience into what is generally the most climactic and revelatory moment of other films".