The Forgotten: Sharps and Flats (1928)

Probably the single most influential piece of film criticism in my life is Manny Farber's piece on Preston Sturges, and in particular his paean to the Sturges stock company ~

"They all appear to be too perfectly adjusted to life to require minds, and, in place of hearts, they seem to contain an old scratch sheet, a glob of tobacco juice, or a brown banana. The reason their faces--each of which is a succulent worm's festival, bulbous with sheer living--seem to have nothing in common with the rest of the human race is precisely because they are so eternally, agelessly human, oversocialized to the point where any normal animal component has vanished. They seem to be made up not of features but a collage of spare parts, most of them as useless as the vermiform appendix."

There are things I don't love about Farber—his insistence upon virility as a

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