Archive for December, 2008


Posted in FILM with tags , on December 31, 2008 by dcairns


My pick of the year, sort of, is up at THE AUTEURS. Go!

Hello, Sailor

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by dcairns

I’ve just written a piece on title sequences for The Believer magazine, so this kind of thing is on my mind:

Simply amazing title sequence for… well, it tells you what it’s for. I must get around to watching this movie, especially since I saw MADEMOISELLE, Tony Richardson’s other Jeanne Moreau flop (the two films, made back-to-back, almost killed his career). Far from being the disaster of legend, MADEMOISELLE is fascinating and staggeringly beautiful.

I’ve had a slowly decaying VHS copy of this one for YEARS, and all I’ve looked at is the titles. Which are simply amazing.

Designed by Alan Aldridge, who also designed THIS —

Which was produced by my old friend Lawrie Knight, in Holland. He’d been working in commercials, and somehow got mixed up in this, despite not knowing who the Pink Floyd were. He noted with amusement that the management of the very respectable Dutch hotel they stayed at were mortified when the band came down to breakfast in tattered T-shirts.

He also saw them getting paid: from a suitcase full of cash. Wads were distributed.

And he also listened to many many complaints from the animators, saying that Aldridge’s designs were exactly the kind of thing that is most labour-intensive and impractical to do in animation. (Nowadays, with CGI, the situation has reversed — lots of identical things and patterns moving in space = incredibly easy.) Lawrie, knowing nothing about animation, just told them to get on with it.

“…an area the size of Belgium…”

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by dcairns

From NURSE EDITH CAVELL. Dull film — director Herbert Wilcox shows little of the panache of his sado-psycho-romance THE SEVENTH VEIL, except during a few scenes of peril late in the proceedings, and prefers to shoot the action from as far away as possible — but notable for being the RKO release (from 1939) which supplied CITIZEN KANE with the theme for its fictional “News on the March” newsreel. I always assumed that was a spoof score by KANE’s composer, Bernard Herrmann, but it turns out to be another example of the cost-cutting that led to footage from SON OF KONG being recycled in the Welles masterpiece (I have since disproved this).

“No, not Binche! And they were just going to get a public library…”

In NURSE E, the theme basically stands as the Belgian national anthem, and maybe it is. I must ask my Belgian friend to hum the national a. of her country. Who knows, maybe generations of Belgians have been laughing at CITIZEN KANE (or saluting it?) behind our backs.