Another discussion of — if not a classic — a still remembered film, on Hollywood, and — to add a cherry on top — with the great Karen Black.
An expensive flop in its day, The Day of the Locust maintains a cult intrigue for its critique of Hollywood and descent into madness. It’s new for both of us, and we discuss the qualities its cast brings, what could be better about its industry commentary, its moments of surprisingly graphic violence, and who, or what, its titular locusts are.
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.
With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.
Eavesdropping at the Movies will be podcasting on John Schlesinger’s fascinating The Day of the Locust, so an evaluation of the film in greater depth will follow. For now, I just want to signal two moments in the film that I found beautiful and that I’d like to go back to:
The first: Faye Greener’s wishes, shot through with darkness and gorgeously back-lit by Conrad Hall. By the end, Karen Black appears with a halo as her face falls into shadow; Greener a saintly character clearly already lost and headed to murkier pastures:
The second: the glorious little tap-dance Burgess Meredith chooses for his ex-vaudevillian character, now reduced to selling door-to-door but giving the day a bit of uplift with his heels: