Archive for January 11, 2008

And featuring James Stewart as “The Moustache”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 11, 2008 by dcairns


One of the hallmarks of the really great filmmakers, like Alfred Hitchcock and his titles designer Saul Bass, is that they will go right to the edge of absurdity at times, trusting the audience not to laugh, and assuming that some idiot like me isn’t going to come along and RUIN THE PLEASURE OF A GREAT FILM for you with some Stupid Joke that you will henceforth be forcibly reminded of whenever you attempt to enjoy one of the greatest pictures ever made.


“A principle’s a principle!”

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2008 by dcairns

~ A line from Sean O’Casey’s JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK.

A shot from the opening of Alfred Hitchcock’s JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK:


A street sign points out Barry Fitzgerald.

A shot from the opening of  Martin Scorsese’s NEW YORK, NEW YORK:

pointy pointy

A neon sign points out Robert DeNiro.

Euphoria #15

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2008 by dcairns

My old cyber-mucker Benjamin “Lucan” Halligan unhesitatingly chose this extract from Michael Cimino’s film maudit HEAVEN’S GATE as his moment of Cinema Euphoria.

But I’m not sure exactly what it is in the scene that affects him so — he hasn’t spelled it out for me. Let’s not worry about it, and just enjoy Miss Huppert and Mr. Walken (who has a winning way with a hat) and sleepy Mr. Kristofferson and Cimino’s slow, methodical pacing and elliptical style, which so upset the suits at United Artists (along with his going MASSIVELY over budget, admittedly).

My favourite story in Stephen Bach’s exasperated account of the film’s making, Final Cut, is the one about how Cimino’s perfectionism would obey its own perverse rules. When ace producer Denis O’Dell’s first name was misspelled with two Ns in the film’s credits, Cimino refused to have the title re-done. I’m inclined to agree with MC here: Dennis should have two Ns, damnit!

O’Dell, who worked alongside John Lennon on HOW I WON THE WAR, is also name-checked on the song You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), a Goon Show style comedy song which is the B side of the last ever Beatles single. He is referred to on it as “Denis O’Bell.”

Better luck next time, Dennis!