Monday, March 14, 2016

The un-written poignancy in “Blueberries For Sal”

A friend of mine, for reasons that remain charmingly obscure, was at a yard sale and decided to put aside a copy of “Blueberries for Sal” for me. This person could not have known that the author, Robert McCloskey, was something of a touchstone for me, even though this particular book never held all that much appeal. I had ever even read it. I am a “Burt Dow, Deep-water Man” man myself.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tina Fey and Jackie O.

Why do I have the feeling that this poster:

Was inspired by this iconic image....

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Our film "Family Trees"

About 20 years ago, in the wake of the indie film movement, we decided to make a movie in New Hampshire. This is the result. The director was Ralph Morang. The photography was by Ron Wyman. The script was by me. The two leads are excellent.

There are some wonderful moments here, and there are glimpses of Portsmouth, NH, and other areas in the Seacoast as they were back in 1997. The film was screened at the IFC Festival in New York.

Check it out here:

Monday, February 1, 2016

"The Night America Trembled"

Can you make a television show about Orson Welles without mentioning his name? It turns out you can — and you can swear while you do it. Who says the 50s were dull?

By Lars Trodson

“The Night America Trembled,” a 1957 episode of the highly respected live television program “Westinghouse Studio One,” may be the only drama about Orson Welles that doesn’t actually feature Welles himself.

The broadcast may also include another historical anomaly: It seems to contain the first time an actor swore on American television, only no one seems to have noticed.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Review of Welles' "Chimes At Midnight"

With a resurgence of interest in Orson Welles' "Chimes At Midnight," this 2009 essay on the film might be of interest. At the time, the film was available on YouTube, but those with early memories of the site may recall that no one could post a clip longer than 10 minutes. You had to watch the film in 11 parts. It was certainly not ideal, but it did give those of us who had always wanted to see the film a chance to have a look. Even in this tiny format, the film was formidable. It is satisfying to see, less than a decade after this rudimentary screening, the world is now welcoming "Chimes At Midnight" and it is being shown all over the world. It is recognized as one of the great films — if not, perhaps, the greatest — by Welles. It is certainly one of the most exhuberant and evocative films ever made from a work by Shakespeare. — Lars Trodson

Here, from April 14, 2009, is my review:

Remembrance Of Things Past: "Chimes At Midnight" by Orson Welles

By Lars Trodson

Orson Welles was the most nostalgic of the modernists. 

He was recognized for the way he told a story, not for the stories he invariably chose to tell. "Citizen Kane" is pulpy, after all, and steeped in the past. It was elevated by the elegance and vision of the photography and acting, and the wit of the screenplay. And then came "The Magnificent Ambersons," (1942) which mourned the loss of a more innocent America at just the time when Americans were fighting for their way of life. “The Stranger" gave audiences a view of small town life disrupted by a Nazi scourge. “Touch of Evil” reeks of the past. All of these are potboilers, and all are graced with great cinematic flair. Welles was creating a new vocabulary for movies, but almost strictly from a visual point of view. Other than through the visual medium, he did not have anything terribly new to say.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Monday, December 14, 2015

The limits of art; the boundaries of obsession

By Lars Trodson

Something in me didn’t even want to pick up the book.

Something felt unfinished; I wasn’t focused when I wrote it but I didn’t want to admit that. I'm talking about when my second novel, “Tide Turning,” came out. I did not feel the rush of excitement I felt with the first book. Not because the experience of having a novel published was old hat, it was rather because I just didn’t feel I had done a good job. I felt I had let everybody down. I was half-hearted about its very existence, and when people who read the book said that it didn’t quite work, I tried to suggest that they were looking at it in the wrong way. I said they perceived it as a mystery when they should be reading it as a character study. That seemed to help some, but I knew, deep down, that even that approach would not explain away the book’s shortcomings.