Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mystic Garrett Fort

Garrett Fort is another of the Hollywood writers that worked for and with Meher Baba. Garret Fort is best known for his screen adaptations of horror melodramas such as Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931) as well as genre-defining swashbucklers like Mark of Zorro (1940).

Garrett Fort with Meher Baba in Nasik, India, 1934
But Fort had another side, a mystical side, and one might wonder if it in fact found expression in these supernatural tales and tales of the extremes of human experience. There is a website devoted to quotes by Garrett Fort from his most famous movies. Quotations from Garrett Fort.

  • "Possibly there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your psychiatry, Mr. Garth." 
  • "To die, to be really dead, that must be glorious.... There are far worse things awaiting man than death." 
  • "For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you are a wise man, Van Helsing." 
  • "She was beautiful when she died—a hundred years ago." 
  • "I never drink—wine."

Fort did not just do horror films and swashbucklers. He also was the principle writer on the film adaptation of the novel, Applause (1929), which has been recognized as a culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant film by the National Film Registry.

Film writer Manuel Cintra Ferreira has written of its innovative direction in use of dialogue and sound and the influence these played on films to come:
It is well-known that the arrival of sound brought a revolution in film-making. But. . . the early times were marked by disorientation on how to master the new technique. The cinematographic idiom, having reached a splendorous high by those years, was made to regress almost to its early stages by the demands of the complicated sound machinery, still cameras restricted to the recording of long dialogue declamations in tedious closeups, such that some commentators did not anticipate a sustained future for the “talkies”. Mamoulian’s role in inverting the slippage was profound, eventually making sound and talk an essential element of the narrative in cinema. Applause, his first work in Hollywood, is from the outset an inescapable witness of this process of change, exploring voice off and sound overlay, which, at the time, technicians considered impossible. . . Applause became. . . the true “first great sound picture in the world."

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your new articles and beautiful pictures as well. Thank you.