Duck Amuck

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

This film has been so written about. And most justifiably. Let me only make these two little comparisons. With Manet’s The Fifer (1866), especially with its provocatively indistinct or undefined background. My undergraduate art history teacher said that this one was the real writing on the wall, in some ways, a modernist gauntlet, thrown resoundingly down in front of the salons and the academies and all the conventions. Look out! It’s kind of like the first chord progressions—are those chord progressions? Is this composition going to have any key at all?—in the Prelude to Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. 1865 too!

With a second thing. Read/watch Samuel Beckett’s Act Without Words I, which actually premiered about four years after Duck Amuck. (We were speculating about Buñuel and Bugs. Why not Beckett?) It’s really funny too. Or cruel. Or funny. Or …