Long Day’s Journey into Night (Embassy) Eugene O'Neill's Long Day’s Journey into Night is the full statement of the early autobiography that he had disguised and used partially in several plays. Beyond the Horizon (1918) is about two brothers, one of whom is tubercular; the doomed couple in All God’s Chillun Got Wings (1923) have his parents' first names; other plays contain further references and derivations.
Ship of Foolsby Katherine Anne Porter(Atlantic-Little, Brown; $6.50) Katherine Anne Porter has published her first novel at the age of 72, and since she spent 20 years on it, we must assume it will be her only novel. She forecast the book in 1940 in the preface to the Modern Library edition of Flowering Judas: [These stories] are fragments of a much larger plan I am still engaged in carrying out.
Gray, ranging from the pearliest shade to the edge of black, is the tonality of Ingmar Bergman's new film Through a Glass Darkly. A bare, ruined choir of an island in the Baltic; a few stone cottages; a few trees; an old hulk of a fishing boat; marsh and naked field. The light and the milieu are cleansed to the point of abstraction, like simplistic modern architecture. On this small island is the summer home of a novelist, whom we see with his adolescent son, his married daughter, and her doctor-husband.
Michelangelo Antonioni's new film The Night is so perfectly congruent with our concerns, so piercingly honest, that it is close to a personal experience. Such an acutely subjective reaction is not always the purpose of art, but it is his purpose and he achieved it.The story is spare. In Milan live Giovanni and Lidia, a novelist and his wife, childless, in their thirties, married some years, affectionate with each other but no longer in love.
The Immediate Experienceby Robert Warshow(Doubleday; $4.50) Robert Warshow died in 1955, aged 37, taking with him a serious mind and a valuable disrespect for acceptances. A number of his essays and reviews, mostly from Commentary and Partisan Review, have now been published under the title The Immediate Experience, and the collection underscores the pathos of his early death. Warshow was one of the best of a school of literary, theater, and film critics that has risen in this country since the thirties.
Tropic of Cancerby Henry Miller(Grove; $7.50) Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer is now published in this country in an unlavish edition of 518 pages set in big type at a price of $7.50--and this in spite of a large first printing. The interest of the price is that here it relates to the content of the book--not, as is usual, to its length or format. The publisher knows that the public knows the book's reputation and is willing to pay much more than is currently charged for books of similar production cost. This gives, from the start, a different atmosphere to its publication.
La Dolce Vita(Astor)A young idealist comes up from the provinces and is corrupted by the depraved city. This perennial theme now reappears in La Dolce Vita, surely the most loudly-heralded foreign film ever to be seen here. With many virtues, this latest Federico Fellini work suffers unfairly from advance blather; and suffers fairly by comparison with Antonioni's L’Avventura, which deals with some of the same matters.Corruption, or at least skill in rascality, is well under way when we first meet Marcello, a young Roman journalist.
At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London. For the eleven years of his career no Antonioni film has been released here. Now at last comes L'Avventura, which is the sixth of his works.The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art. We may even "like" this film, but those first ten minutes indicate that liking it is not the primary point.
At last. Michelangelo Antonioni is an Italian director who has just made his seventh film and who is so highly esteemed abroad that there has already been an Antonioni Festival in London. For the eleven years of his career no Antonioni film has been released here. Now at last comes L’Avventura, which is the sixth of his works. The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art.
Arthur Miller, in his plays, has done some representative worrying for all of us about certain defects and defeats in contemporary life. Now he has broken a five-year silence with a screenplay called The Misfits in which he expresses further concern. The premise is promising: a Chicago girl goes to Reno for a divorce, and there meets three Western men. She is desperate for reliable human relationships, they are in a last-ditch fight against the diminution of large-scale life.