Saturday, June 29, 2013

Food in Original Story, "The Killers" (and later in Russian)

Ernest Hemingway (b. Oak Park, Ill, 1899 - 1961) wrote the short story "The Killers" one morning in a hotel room in Madrid. In hisnarrative, He,ingway employs food as an increasingly ominous bargaining medium, pitting the strangers against the counter man.




 ErnestHemingway.jpg


  WE must agree that one of the more obvious devices in this story is food.



July 1925, Pamplona, Spain. Hemingway at left.  
(Wikipedia)


Hemingway with Col. Charles (Buck) T. Lanham in Germany, 1944, during the fighting in Hürtgenwald.

a dark haired man with mustache dressed in army boots, tucked in muddy pants, shirt and vest, with a light haired man dressed in army clothing standing in front of rubble

Hemingway (b. Oak Park, Ill, 1899 - 1961)


  Many times published and re-published, "The Killers" is one of his best short stories.  It has been published and re-published often and adapted to film three time.

Hemingway won The Nobel Prize in Literature 1954.


          
Don Siegal  directed the "The Killers", 1964, in very different version  and one that did not appeal to Americans in the months after the asassinaton of JFK, 1963.
                                                         


The Killers Film Still
Stars Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson, and Ronald Reagan and is available at most video stores and many libraries.

Hemingway has always been a popular author in The USSR and later, the Russian Federation.



Russia's greatest recent film director, Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky  (b. Zavrazhye, USSR, 1932 --1985, Paris) directed his interpretation of The Killers in 1956 when he 
was a student [www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofHN3PTpVg].

 Numerous awards were bestowed on Tarkovsky throughout his lifetime. At the Venice Film Festival he was awarded the Golden Lion. At the Cannes Film Festival he won several times the FIPRESCI prize, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury. He was also nominated for the Palme d'Or two times. In 1987, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film to The Sacrifice.

 Posthumously, he was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1990, one of the highest state honors in the Soviet Union. In 1989 the Andrei Tarkovsky Memorial Prize was established, with its first recipient being the Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn. Since 1993, the Moscow International Film Festival awards the annual Andrei Tarkovsky Award.
Media Adaptations


  • Director Robert Siodmak's 1946 film The Killers is the first adaptation of Hemingway's story for the screen. It stars Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, and Edmond O'Brien and is available at most video stores and many libraries.
  •  
  • Director Donald Siegel's 1964 film The Killers also adap
  • ts Hemingway's story. Siegel's version









The first issue of Scribner's Magazine.  How The Story Opens:

The door of Henry’s lunch-room opened and two men came in. They sat down at the counter.
                   ‘What’s yours?’ George asked them.
                   ‘I don’t know,’ one of the men said. ‘What do you want to eat, Al?
                   ‘I don’t know,’ said Al. ‘I don’t know what I want to eat.’
          Outside it was getting dark. The street light came on outside the window. The two men at the counter read the menu. From the other end of the counter Nick Adams watched them. He had been talking to George when they came in.
         
                    ‘I’ll have a roast pork tenderloin with apple sauce and mashed potatoes,' the first man said.
                    ‘It isn’t ready yet.’
                    ‘What the hell do you put it on the card for?’
                    ‘That’s the dinner,’ George explained. ‘You can get that at six o'clock.’
          George looked at the clock on the wall behind th

he clock on the wall behind the counter.
                    ‘It’s five o'clock’
                    ‘The clock says twenty minutes past five,’ the second man said.
                    ‘It’s twenty minutes fast.’
                    ‘Oh, to hell with the clock,’ the first man said. ‘What have you got to eat?’
                    ‘I can give you any kind of sandwiches,’ George said. ‘You can have ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, liver and bacon, or a steak.’
                    ‘Give me chicken croquettes with green peas and cream sauce and mashed potatoes.’
                    ‘That’s the dinner.’
                    ‘Everything we want’s the dinner, eh? That’s the way you work it.’
                    ‘I can give you ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, liver –’
                    ‘I’ll take ham and eggs,’ the man called Al Said. He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned across the chest. His face was small and white and he had tight lips. He wore a silk muffler and gloves.
                    ‘Give me bacon and eggs,’ said the other man. He was about the same size as Al. Their faces were different, but they were dressed like twins. Both wore overcoats too tight for them. They sat leaning forward, their elbows on the counter.
                    ‘Got anything to drink?’ Al asked.
                    ‘Silver beer, bevo, ginger-ale,’ George said.




 In the 1920s Hemingway allied wih Gerture Stein in the name"lost generation," and the characters in "The Killers" project violence but act like clowns. George and Nick and their "nigger" cook are so  intimidated by the world's chaos, so unsophisticaed, that they cannot act.
The story does not carry The HEMINGWAY theme of "masculine strength." 

The dialogue's register is simple, reflecting the atmosphere of an unsophisticated American small-town , full capable noun of capabe of unsopisticated of taunting and innuendo, 
Minimalist in true Hemingway style









 Historical Context of the Story:

"The Killers" was written in the 1920s when organized crime was at its prime during Prohibition. Chicago was the home of Al Capone, and Hemingway himself spent time in Chicago as a young man. When things became too dangerous for the mob, they retreated to the suburb of Summit, where "The Killers" takes place. Not long before the story was written, the Chicago mob had killed a popular boxer of the time, Andre Anderson, who'd once knocked Jack Dempsey off his feet, likely Hemingway's source for the Swede [Wikipedia]



 Media Adaptations

  • Director Robert Siodmak's 1946 film The Killers is the first adaptation of Hemingway's story for the screen. It stars Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, and Edmond O'Brien and is available at most video stores and many libraries.
  • Director Donald Siegel's 1964 film The Killers also adapts Hemingway's story. Siegel's version stars Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson, and Ronald Reagan and is available at most video stores and many libraries.


Andrei Rublev 1966

Ivan's Childhood 1963


Andrei Tarkovsky’s Very First Films: Three Student Films, 1956-1960

The great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky made only seven feature films in his short life. (Find most of them online here.) But before making those, he directed and co-directed three films as a student at the All-Union State Cinema Institute, or VGIK. Those three films, when viewed as a progression, offer insights into Tarkovsky’s early development as an artist and his struggle to overcome the constraints of collectivism and assert his own personal vision.

The Killers, 1956:

Tarkovsky was fortunate to enter the VGIK when he did. As he arrived at the school in 1954 (after first spending a year at the Institute of Eastern Studies and another year on a geological expedition in Siberia) the Soviet Union was entering a period of liberalization known as the “Krushchev Thaw.” Joseph Stalin had died in 1953, and the new Communist Party First Secretary, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced the dead dictator and instituted a series of reforms. As a result the Soviet film industry was entering a boom period, and there was a huge influx of previously banned foreign movies, books and other cultural works to draw inspiration from. One of those newly accessible works was the 1927 Ernest Hemingway short story, “The Killers.”
Tarkovsky’s adaptation of Hemingway’s story (see above) was a project for Mikhail Romm’s directing class. Romm was a famous figure in Soviet cinema. There were some 500 applicants for his directing program at the VGIK in 1954, but only 15 were admitted, including Tarkovsky. In The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue, Vida T. Johnson and Graham Petrie describe the environment in Romm’s class:
Romm’s most important lesson was that it is, in fact, impossible to

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