White Dog

1895-1999
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Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:13 pm

I just got my Criterion newsletter, and the trivia question this month states that they are releasing the film early next year. I am excited to get to watch it again.
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Postby Penelope » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:22 pm

Precious Doll wrote:
FilmFan720 wrote:I caught up with it on Wednesday, and it is quite a remarkable film. It is one of those films that still haunts the back of my mind, two days later. I hope it is out on DVD soon so you all can catch up with it.

I saw White Dog about three times in the early 80's and it still haunts me.

I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since seeing it Monday night; I dearly hope these rumors of a DVD release are true--it truly is a must-see film.
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston

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Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:28 pm

FilmFan720 wrote:I caught up with it on Wednesday, and it is quite a remarkable film. It is one of those films that still haunts the back of my mind, two days later. I hope it is out on DVD soon so you all can catch up with it.

I saw White Dog about three times in the early 80's and it still haunts me.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Postby FilmFan720 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:12 pm

I caught up with it on Wednesday, and it is quite a remarkable film. It is one of those films that still haunts the back of my mind, two days later. I hope it is out on DVD soon so you all can catch up with it.
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
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Postby rain Bard » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:00 pm

Hey, at least you Chicagoans had a week to catch this.

In San Francisco it played only a single screening, on a double bill with U-TURN at a Castro Theatre tribute to Ennio Morricone. I missed it to attend a friend's one-night-only art event.

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Postby Sabin » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:44 pm

GODFUCKINGDAMMIT!
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:38 pm

Penelope wrote:Nope, I just called the theater's office and they confirmed it's playing this week only. :(

I'll have to catch it tomorrow, then.
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Postby Penelope » Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:21 pm

But it is playing Saturday June 9 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY....
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

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Postby Penelope » Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:06 pm

Nope, I just called the theater's office and they confirmed it's playing this week only. :(
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

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Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:22 am

They only have this weeks schedule up, and it is only scheduled for Tues and Wed. However, many times they will carry their films over into the smaller space the following week, so it may be there still next week.
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Postby Sabin » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:38 am

WHAT?!?

Am I going to fucking miss 'White Dog'?!
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Postby Penelope » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:50 am

FilmFan720 wrote:I've been hoping to catch this sometime this week...glad it is worth seeing.

Better do it quick; if I'm not wrong, the Music Box is showing it only 2 more days: today (Tuesday) and Wednesday.
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

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Postby Precious Doll » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:31 am

Glad to hear you admired White Dog Penelope. It was one of the best films released during the 1980's.

It also has an interesting history. At one time Roman Polanski was slated to direct the film.

Aside from not releasing the film in the U.S., Paramount didn't release the film theatrically in overseas markets either.

Thankfully the did allow independent distributors pick the film up instead which is how I saw it during 1982/1983. I recall it getting very good reviews but tanked at the box office.

However Paramount did release the film on video in Australia later in the 80's. The cover was terrible, a white dog with blood around it's muzzle. I think they were trying to capture the horror market. I know there is also a pirated DVD version around on the net for sale which is taken from a video release of the film with German subtitles.

However I will wait for the DVD release. White Dog is around the top of my DVD wish list.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:00 am

I've been hoping to catch this sometime this week...glad it is worth seeing.
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Postby Penelope » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:06 pm

Just got back from seeing Samuel Fuller's White Dog (1982), blessedly on the big screen.

Kristy McNichol is an actress who hits a white German Shepard one night driving in the Hollywood Hills; she takes the dog in, and he saves her life when a rapist (a white man, it should be pointed out) invades her home. But the dog's attack sensibility is clearly demonstrated when he attacks a fellow actress (Lynne Moody) on a commercial set. McNichol takes the dog to an animal trainer (Burl Ives), who advises her to put the dog down when he realizes the dog has been trained to specifically attack black people. But a maverick trainer (Paul Winfield) is determined to "cure" the animal, believing that no matter how "carefully taught" racism is, it can be erased from the mind.

In a way, it's easy to see why Paramount executives panicked when they saw the final result: this is a deeply unsettling and ultimately pessimisstic parable about racism, and which bluntly (but brilliantly) makes its points in the thriller genre. Apparently, the movie never received a U.S. theatrical release (tho it was released to great acclaim in Europe), only popping up briefly on HBO sometime in 1983 or 1984 (I seem to recall seeing it listed in the HBO guide around the same time as another barely released McNichol film, 1982's The Pirate Movie, was in regular rotation on the channel, but I never got the chance to see the Fuller film at the time). As far as I know, there was never a VHS release in the states, either; but rumor has it that Criterion is working on a release--which is perhaps why this newly refurbished print has been shown lately, first in New York and now here in Chicago.

White Dog is clearly a movie designed to push the audience's buttons, and, in fact, it reminded me--if only through intent--of another film I saw recently for the first time, Michael Heneke's Funny Games: both movies set up a traditional scenario, but the audience's hopeful expectations are consistantly--and horrifyingly--dashed. The attack sequences are disturbing on so many levels--the basic thrill of horror mingled with the disturbing realisation of racist intent, as well the technical prowess on display combined with a distinctly dark humor (the attack on the commercial set--stunningly edited and photographed--for example). Even in the film's quieter scenes, the script (co-written by Fuller and Curtis Hanson) offers up throw-away lines amid thought-provoking set-pieces (such as the scene in which the dog threatens McNichol's erstwhile lover [Jameson Parker] during an argument). Definitely aiding in the effectiveness of the film is Ennio Morricone's exquisitely haunting score.

I do hope that White Dog will soon be available on DVD (hopefully with Hanson providing some commentary) so that this neglected work of art can finally be appreciated; at the very least, I'm glad that I finally got to see it, especially on the big screen.
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston



"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster


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