Friday, July 06, 2007


You may be inclined to wonder why certain blogs exist, but not at PilgrimAkimbo -- because Tucker Teague has already answered that question for you. That wonderfully written and honest post is a good gateway into PilgrimAkimbo because it gives you an indication of what Tucker, and his writing, is all about -- and just why it's there on your computer screen. But even if Tucker hadn't given us that post it would be abundantly clear why PilgrimAkimbo is out there: the man can write, and he has no shortage of film interests and opinions. Tucker's tastes are truly wordly, as evidenced by his love for African films, notably those of Ousmane Sembene. Tucker made a few New Year's Blogger Resolutions, and we can only hope those are going well, especially if it means more posts about educating his young daughter about film.

A FEW QUESTIONS, SIRS: 'Tarantino. As in, “Hey Mr. Cool, why is it that you spend so much energy, so much creative brain power, so much talent making films that, while entertaining and sometimes pushing boundaries, rarely have any value beyond their shiny surfaces?”

'F. Coppola: Why did you stop making great films? Did you get scared?

'Speilberg: Why did you put the red-coat girl in Schindler's List? I though it was too cheesy and distracting.

'Eisentsein: Why didn't you come to the US and make films? oh... there are so many "whys."'

OUTSIDE THE LINES: 'Sometimes I feel that the whole idea of genres is too limiting. Film Noir, for example, is a great genre, and having a way to name it helps, but where is the boundary? The same goes for comedy. On the other hand, I think I understand all genres – at least I can’t think of one I don’t. As for directors, there are many that I don’t care for, or would not make the films they make, but “getting” a director is generally rather easy – if only because the variety of human experience and psychological nuances is so varied and that being open to that fact is just a part of growing up, so getting a director is often just a matter of letting them be who they are and not struggling to fit them into a box. If there are any directors I don’t “get” I would have to say they come from cultures that are very different from mine. I love Japanese and African film, but I can’t say that I truly understand them at a deep level. The gulf between our cultures is too great. On the other hand, the most important aspects of being human are universal.'

TRUE: 'When, in Umberto D., Umberto sinks to begging and then can’t do it; or the helicopter attack sequence in Apocalypse Now; or the stair massacre sequence in Battleship Potemkin; or the “Gotta Dance” scene in Singing in the Rain; or the “Who are you?” moment in Lawrence of Arabia; etc. etc. If I didn’t have many of these kinds of instances, or more importantly, if I wasn’t’ the kind of person who could have these kinds of experiences, then I couldn't call myself a lover of film and I would have no reason to have a film blog.'

ARE YOU GOING TO BUY THAT DVD, SIR?: 'Will I want to watch it more than once? Will I want to share it with others? Will I want to study it closely?
NOW PLAYING AT PILGRIMAKIMBO CINEMA: 'Given that this is a fantasy kind of question, I will begin by being infinitely wealthy so that I can show any film I wish and all showings are free to the public. Second, many of the films would have an introduction provided before the viewing, possibly by a local film critic or teacher. Also, I would encourage mingling and discussion afterwords, possibly at the associate coffee house and/or pub next door. Also, as another aside, I have always wanted to have a theater where people could bring their sleeping bags and the films are projected on the ceiling. Anyway…

'Movie marathon: 24 hours of movies about Clowns. More seriously (slightly), I would like to have a LOTR BBQ - one rule: cannot show up in costume.

'Double bills: 400 Blows & Lonely are the Brave; Matewan & Harlan County USA;

'Themed week: (heavy) The Holocaust and film; (light) Greatest comedies of the 1970s; or a week centered around films shot by a particular cinematographer.'

STUNTMAN TUCKER: 'I have always loved films. I used to make them as a kid, and I even dreamed of being a stuntman. When I first realized that films could be more than merely fun entertainment for kids (Herbie, The Apple Dumpling Gang, et al) was when my dad took me to see Lawrence of Arabia sometime in the mid 1970s at a little revival theater. I was stunned. From that moment onward I began to seek out films that could offer me that kind of depth and power. Eventually, and years later, I found myself in the old Telecommunication and Film dept. at the University of Oregon (now defunct) studying film. There is where I began to write about film. More recently, I have begun again with my modest blog, not so seriously yet, but enough to keep my mind engaged.'

WANNA SEE A MOVIE?: 'Sometimes I wonder if watching movies is something I dreamed I used to do. Life has been so crazybusy the past couple+ years that the frequency of my film viewing has been erratic and sporadic at best. If I am lucky I see a couple a week, if not I see one every two weeks (which appalls me, frankly). I used to watch many a films a week, often one a day in college, and several each weekend. But there is a bright spot; I have been introducing the cinematic art to my daughter (7 years old!) and that has given me the chance to see a few more films. Part of the reason has to do with the fact that many of the films I like she shouldn't watch until she’s older. I would like to stay up and watch them, but alas, I go to bed early so I can get up early to do homework before real work. So it makes sense to pick films she can watch too. Lately we have seen several Hitchcock films, among others.'

DEFENDING YOUR ART: 'In general, when it comes to art, I defend no one. If a filmmaker, genre, school, or filmmaking union town cannot defend itself, then it deserves it’s fate. However, I do champion some, including some Hollywood directors and producers. I don’t really have an issue with Hollywood anymore than I do with all popular art and culture purveyors. What really makes the worst of Hollywood any different than the worst of any other culture creators? If people didn’t buy their products these company(s) would have gone out of business. So who’s to blame?'

DAYS OF PAST ... FUTURE?: 'The late 1980s/early 1990s were great for me. I had the freedom to see many, many films. I had access to many films – film department and working at a video store. I was teaching television production. I was studying independent filmmaking. And I had many great discussion about films with my friends and classmates. I am hoping to have another great era in the future. We'll see.'

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