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Friday, August 24, 2018

Robert Anton Wilson on Frank Capra

Frank Capra (Columbia Pictures public domain photo, via Wikipedia)

Young people supposedly don't like old movies, but those of us who enjoy classic cinema love Frank Capra, who directed It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life and many other well-remembered films. 

Jesse Walker -- author, pundit, Reason magazine editor and serious film buff -- recently went through his emails looking for something and ran across a Robert Anton Wilson comment on Capra, which he is kindly sharing with us.

This quote dates to 2004, and RAW is reacting to an article Jesse that sent him called "The Two Capras -- and My Capra" by Ray Carney. 

On 'tother hand, my Capra combines both sides -- a genuine love for American/Jeffersonian ideals and an urgent, at times terrifying clarity about the reality of fascist power in this country... That 'dialectical' vision gives his films their unique intensity, I think...his 'villains' really scare me and I really love his embattled heroes...

Perhaps SILENCE OF THE LAMBS comes closest to Capra in our time. Remove Clarice and it becomes merely depressing; remove Dr Lecter's super-powers and it becomes sentimental. But,  like Capra, Demme sees both sides: wise  innocence and intelligent evil...

-- Robert Anton Wilson

1 comment:

Jesse said...

While we're on the subject, I might as well post this here too.