Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Get Carter

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 11 Oct 2000

On Tue, 10 Oct 2000, Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

> >The original is a great film, something the big studios just couldn't do
> >nowadays: a crime film that really requires careful watching. The
> >narrative is elliptical, as is proper for hardboiled fiction, and there
> >are no exciting climaxes which they now depend on. I just don't want to
> >see the original film to be ruined.
> with all due respect, I beg to differ, Juri.

Let me return to this question. What I wrote earlier was to say that the narrative style has changed so much from the seventies when "Get Carter" was made. There are influences of French new wave, a bit of Bresson perhaps, more than a bit of American new wave crime films. In
"Get Carter" Hodges & co. use the narrative techniques that aren't deployed anymore. Tarantino claims that he loves Godard, but I haven't seen any reference to this in his movies. He doesn't use jump cuts. He doesn't mix moving image with boards saying something about Marx or Vietnam. The Coen bros. are postmodern, but their narrative style is one of style and glamour, thirties screwball comedy and fluent editing and camera movements. "Twilight" is a Ross Macdonald-ish pastiche, with touching melancholy. And so on. These are movies of a different era and I would like to claim that the era of "Get Carter" was much bolder when it comes to movie making. "Get Carter" comes from an era when the directors and movie makers wanted to trust people, wanted to be able to tell stories without pointing out the motives at every instance. And without showing action. Haven't yet seen the new Carter, but I have a feeling that they show action more than is necessary. And as we all should know, when less is shown, more is seen. I think this is what hardboiled means.

And now back to work.


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