Friday, July 17, 2009

Directors Were So Much Cooler Back in the Day...

Just look at how awesome Nicholas Ray and Fritz Lang are. Directors really need to start rocking the eye patch/monocle look...or, like Lang, the eye patch under the monocle!

Oh, and what they say is pretty interesting, too.

The following clips are taken from the brilliant documentary A Personal Journey with Martin Scrosese Through American Movies. Enjoy.


  1. So this got me curious so I did some net-detectiving.

    With respect to Lang:

    ... suffered an eye injury as a cavalry officer in the Great War, necessitating the monocle which became a symbol of his dictatorial, “Prussian” style of directing in Hollywood. But in later life he suffered from progressive deterioration in the other eye, bringing on the eye-patch years — his bad eye became his good eye, and he now wore both monocle and patch

    And all I can find on Ray is that he lost an eye in the end of the 60s... does anyone have a clue why? Also, Raoul Walsh wore an eye patch, and so did John Ford (I think).

    And is it just me or does Ray have Jim Jarmusch hair? Or, technically, does Jarmusch have Ray hair?

  2. That makes sense about Lang. I was going to say that in the documentary there are a lot of interviews of directors that wear eye patches. Service in the war makes a lot of sense as an insight into why so many wear the eye patch.

    I think more directors should don the eye patch or monocle today -- think of how much less crap Spielberg would get if he wore an eye patch?

    And yes, Jarmusch does have Ray hair -- I also love how he's able to speak so eloquently while balancing that cigarette on the end of his mouth, hehe.

    Oh, and about Lang -- what do you think of his American Noir films? I think they are some of his best work, especially Scarlett Street with Edward G. Robinson; however, these films are often overshadowed by how influential (and brilliant) his German films are.

  3. They are having a major Nicholas Ray retrospective beginning this week at Manhattan's Film Forum with a one-week run of IN A LONELY PLACE, and then two day showings of his output, including the likes of REBEL, JOHNNY GUITAR and ON DANGEROUS GROUND among others.

    I plan to attend several and will report on my trips. You are most right to showcase him here!

  4. Sam:

    I love what Ray says in this clip. I look forward to your reports on the Ray festival. Sound neat. These are the times I wish I lived in a bigger city, because Salem would never get something cool like that -- but then I remember that I love small towns too much, hehe. The sacrifices we make...

  5. And John Ford had broken glass in his eye as a child - hence his. Maybe one eye makes you an ideal director - I thought from MS's documentary that both eyes are fine on these guys, they just do that because it's easier to focus through the camera - dont have to wait for your eyes to adjust back and forth from stereo and you get to see everything closer to the cinematic natural 2-D