Camp’s Defining Films

Susan Sontag’s aesthetic film references get a Brooklyn retrospective

Baseball: “Bang the Drum Slowly,” John D. Hancock, Robert De Niro, 1973.

Politics: “The Candidate,” Michael Ritchie, Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvin Douglas, 1972.

Sex: “Casque d’or,” Jacques Becker, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, 1952.

Journalism: “His Girl Friday,” Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, 1940.

Greenwich Village: “Next Stop Greenwich Village,” Paul Mazursky, Christopher Walken, 1976. (If Holly Golightly lived in Greenwich Village, we have to switch.)

I don’t know if any of these possess an “effortless smooth” maintenance of tone, or are triumphs of irony over tragedy. Maybe in fact they all do, except for “Casque d’or,” which wraps irony and tragedy into one tight knot as Signoret stares down from a rented window at the execution of the only man who’s ever lit her up. That may not be camp, but it’ll do.

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