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In the Shadow of Yoknapatawpha

by Black Irish
In the Shadow of Yoknapatawpha by Black Irish
The Waters of Memory (1946) – Clarence John Laughlin At the beginning of 2012, I’d read only two of his short stories and made four unsuccessful attempts to read three of his novels, but then I managed to get into a Faulkner streak by completing As I Lay Dying, Intruder in the Dust, Light in August, Knight’s Gambit and Go Down, Moses in the first few months. Since then I’ve developed a passion for his work, admiring of course the prose but also it’s ability to evoke settings and people with the exactness of clearly-defined shadows in the afternoon sun. How it can suggest the psychology of an individual or a community without surrending… Read more

The Waters of Memory (1946) – Clarence John Laughlin

At the beginning of 2012, I’d read only two of his short stories and made four unsuccessful attempts to read three of his novels, but then I managed to get into a Faulkner streak by completing As I Lay Dying, Intruder in the Dust, Light in August, Knight’s Gambit and Go Down, Moses in the first few months. Since then I’ve developed a passion for his work, admiring of course the prose but also it’s ability to evoke settings and people with the exactness of clearly-defined shadows in the afternoon sun. How it can suggest the psychology of an individual or a community without surrending them completely to the reader; or can explore internal emotions, history and the nature of memory, recollection in a paragraph; and his sense of irony which equally makes for comic drama and grave humor.

In honor of one of my favorite authors, I thought I would put together this list of films which compliment his work. Not just direct adaptations, but others which explore time and memory, contain numerous expanding and/or incomplete plotlines, evoke sensuality from their landscape, or which otherwise handle the interalised emotions and moral complications from any combination of these factors. Whether the ‘influence’ is direct or merely reminiscient. In addition, I’ll include some of my favorite quotes or passages from Faulkner’s work as I come across them.

“They held the funeral on the second day, with the town coming to look at Miss Emily beneath a mass of bought flowers, with the crayon face of her father musing profoundly above the bier and the ladies sibilant and macabre; and the very old men―some in their brushed Confederate uniforms―on the porch and the lawn, talking of Miss Emily as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps, confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the past is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years.” - A Rose for Emily

“Grandfather called me again. This time I got up. The sun was already down beyond the peach orchard. I was just twelve then, and to me the story did not seem to have got anywhere, to have had point or end. Yet I obeyed Grandfather’s voice, not that I was tired of Sam Fathers’ talking, but with that immediacy of children with which they flee temporarily something which they do not quite understand; that, and the instinctive promptness with which we all obeyed Grandfather, not from concern of impatience or reprimand, but because we all believed that he did fine things, that his waking life passed from one fine (if faintly grandiose) picture to another.” - A Justice

“He had apparently come into town from the south―a man of about twenty-five as the town learned later, because at the time his age could not have been guessed because at that time he looked like a man who had been sick. Not like a man who had been peacefully ill in bed and recovered to move with a sort of diffident and tentative amazement in a world which he had believed himself on the point of su…rrendering, but like a man who had been through some solitary furnace experience which was more than just fever, like an explorer say, who not only had to face the normal hardship of pursuit which he chose but was overtaken by the added and unforeseen handicap of the fever also and fought through it at enormous cost not so much physical as mental, alone and unaided and not through blind instinctive will to endure and survive but to gain and keep to enjoy it the material prize for which he accepted the original gambit.” - Absalom, Absalom!

Yes. Maybe we are both Father. Maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished. Maybe happen is never once but like ripples maybe on water after the pebble sinks, the ripples moving on, spreading, the pool attached by a narrow umbilical water-cord to the next pool which the first pool feeds, has fed, did feed, let this second pool contain a different temperature of water, a different molecularity of having seen, felt, remembered, reflect in a different tone the infinite unchanging sky, it doesn’t matter: that pebble’s watery echo whose fall it did not even see moves across its surface too at the original ripple-space, to the old ineradicable rhythm thinking Yes, we are both Father. Or maybe Father and I are both Shreve, maybe it took Father and me both to make Shreve or Shreve and me both to make Father or maybe Thomas Sutpen to make all of us.- Absalom, Absalom!

“So he stopped again and stood while the grave, contemplative faces freed him once more of that impersonal and unbearable regard, and saw the two youths approach the bed and bend down in turn and kiss their father on the mouth, and then as one and leave the room, passing him without even looking at him. And sitting in the lamplit hall beside the old marshal, the bedroom door closed now, he heard the truck start up and back and turn and go down the road, the sound of it dying away, ceasing, leaving the still, hot night―the Mississippi Indian summer, which had already outlasted half of November―filled with the loud last shrilling of the summer’s cicadas, as though they, too, were aware of the imminent season of cold weather and of death.” - The Tall Men

“And as he talked about those old times and those dead and vanished men of another race from either that the boy knew, gradually to the boy those old times would cease to be old times and would become a part of the boy’s present, not only as if they had happened yesterday but as if they were still happening, the men who walked through them actually walking in breath and air and casting an actual shadow on the earth they had not quitted. And more: as if some of them had not happened yet but would occur tomorrow, until at last it would seem to the boy that he himself had not come into existence yet, that none of his race nor the other subject race which his people had brought with them into the land had come here yet; that although it had been his grandfather’s and then his father’s and uncle’s and was now his cousin’s and someday would be his own land which he and Sam hunted over, their hold upon it actually was as trivial and without reality as the now faded and archaic script in the chancery book in Jefferson which allocated it to them and that it was he, the boy, who was the guest here and Sam Fathers’ voice the mouthpiece of the host.” - Go Down, Moses

“They returned to the house. And then they began to arrive―the swamp-dwellers, the gaunt men who ran traplines and lived on quinine and coons and river water, the farmers of little corn- and cotton-patches along the bottom’s edge whose fields and cribs and pig-pens the old bear had rifled, the loggers from the camp and the sawmill men from Hoke’s and the town men from further away than that, whose hounds the old bear had slain and traps and deadfalls he had wrecked and whose lead he carried. They came up mounted and on foot and in wagons, to enter the yard and look at him and then go on to the front where Lion lay, filling the little yard and overflowing it until there was almost a hundred of them squatting and standing in the warm and drowsing sunlight, talking quietly of hunting, of the game and the dogs which ran it, of hounds and bear and deer and men of yesterday vanished from the earth, while from time to time the great blue dog would open his eyes, not as if he were listening to them but as though to look at the woods for a moment before closing his eyes again, to remember the woods or to see that they were still there. He died at sundown.” - Go Down, Moses

Favorite Works:

- Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
- Light in August (1932)
- The Sound and the Fury (1929)
- Go Down, Moses (1942)
- As I Lay Dying (1930)

- The Tall Men (1941)
- That Evening Sun (1931)
- Hair (1931)
- Mountain Victory (1932)
- Dry September (1931)
- Barn Burning (1938)
- That Will Be Fine (1935)
- Two Soldiers (1942)
- A Courtship (1948)

Most Anticipated:
- 3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926)
- 12:08 East of Bucharest (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006)
- Agatha et les Lectures Illimitées (Marguerite Duras, 1981)
- Allemagne 90 Neuf Zéro (Jean-Luc Godard, 1990)
- Anatahan (Josef von Sternberg, 1953)
- As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)
- Aurélia Steiner (Melbourne) (Marguerite Duras, 1979)
- Aurélia Steiner (Vancouver) (Marguerite Duras, 1979)
- Batang West Side (Lav Diaz, 2001)
- Black Dragon Canyon (Jay Keitel, 2005)
- La Caza (Carlos Saura, 1966)
- Century of Birthing (Lav Diaz, 2011)
- Children (Terence Davies, 1976)
- Les Choses de la Vie (Claude Sautet, 1970)
- Costa da Morte (Lois Patiño, 2013)
- Days and Nights in the Forest (Satyajit Ray, 1970)
- Deseret (James Benning, 1995)
- O Dia do Desespero (Manoel de Oliveira, 1992)
- Death and Transfiguration (Terence Davies, 1983)
- Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
- The Dust of Time (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 2008)
- Eternity and a Day (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 1998)
- Evolution of a Filipino Family (Lav Diaz, 2004)
- La Femme du Gange (Marguerite Duras, 1974)
- La Fleur du Mal (Claude Chabrol, 2003)
- Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (Lav Diaz, 2012)
- From What is Before (Lav Diaz, 2014)
- The Furies (Anthony Mann, 1950)
- The Gardener’s Son (Richard Pearce, 1977)
- Il Gattopardo (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
- The Great Flood (Bill Morrison, 2011)
- El Gran Calavera (Luis Buñuel, 1949)
- Hangman’s House (John Ford, 1928)
- Heremias (Lav Diaz, 2006)
- La Hija del Engaño (Luis Buñuel, 1951)
- Home from the Hill (Vincente Minnelli, 1960)
- Independencia (Raya Martin, 2009)
- An Investigation on the Night that Won’t Forget (Lav Diaz, 2012)
- L’Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (Straub-Huillet, 2008)
- I Was a Soldier (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1971)
- I Wish I Knew (Jia Zhangke, 2010)
- Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern (Peter Fleischmann, 1969)
- Des Journées Entières Dans les Arbres (Marguerite Duras, 1976)
- The Keeping Room (Daniel Barber, 2014)
- Un Lac (Philippe Grandrieux, 2008)
- Landscape Suicide (James Benning, 1986)
- The Little Foxes (William Wyler, 1941)
- The Long, Hot Summer (Martin Ritt, 1958)
- The Loss of Sexual Innocence (Mike Figgis, 1999)
- Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008)
- The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958)
- My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Aleksei German, 1984)
- My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog, 2009)
- Le Navire Night (Marguerite Duras, 1979)
- Nazarín (Luis Buñuel, 1959)
- The Neon Bible (Terence Davies, 1995)
- Noche (Leonardo Brzezicki, 2013)
- Numéro Zéro (Jean Eustache, 1971)
- L’Oeil de Vichy (Claude Chabrol, 1993)
- La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda, 1956)
- Privát Magyarország (Péter Forgács, 1988 – 2008)
- The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005)
- Raisin’ Cotton (Emma Knowlton Lytle, 1942)
- Le Rapport Karski (Claude Lanzmann, 2010)
- Ruby Gentry (King Vidor, 1952)
- Sanctuary (Tony Richardson, 1961)
- Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
- Shades of Fern (František Vláčil, 1984)
- She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1955)
- Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)
- Silence and Cry (Miklós Jancsó, 1967)
- Son Nom de Venise Dans Calcutta Désert (Marguerite Duras, 1976)
- So Red the Rose (King Vidor, 1935)
- The Sound and the Fury (Martin Ritt, 1959)
- Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950)
- Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
- The Story of Temple Drake (Stephen Roberts, 1933)
- The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)
- Swamp Water (Jean Renoir, 1941)
- Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette, 2003)
- The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk, 1958)
- O Thiasos (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 1975)
- Tobacco Road (John Ford, 1941)
- Tomorrow (Joseph Anthony, 1972)
- Track of the Cat (William A. Wellman, 1954)
- Two Gates of Sleep (Alistair Banks Griffin, 2010)
- Les Voleurs (André Téchiné, 1996)
- Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (Alanis Obomsawin, 2006)
- Wild Oranges (King Vidor, 1924)
- Wild River (Elia Kazan, 1960)
- The World Moves On (John Ford, 1934)

NOTE: If there are any films I have missed, please feel free to suggest any or whether any existing films don’t really fit, with reasons why as for either.

Added:
- The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
- The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)

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