Archive for March 1, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting

Posted in FILM with tags , , on March 1, 2009 by dcairns

Not exactly babysitting… he’s fifteen. I shall explain.

Fiona and I get to play at being grown-ups this week, looking after Louis, the son of friends. We’ll be zooming back and forth between our home, to tend to our cat, and the more upscale climes of Stockbridge, to tend to Louis. Not that he needs much looking after. I think mainly we’re supposed to stare at him to check that he hasn’t died.

So it’s possible that this week, things will be more family-friendly here on Shadowplay. Like, tonight, Fiona and Louis are watching a feelgood sports movie. I think it’s called THE WRESTLER.

I imagine you’ll hardly notice any difference though, especially as I already have a few pieces written for this week. Meanwhile, here is a rabbit:


From David Greene’s beautiful film I START COUNTING.

Intertitle of the Week: Mannish Boy

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by dcairns

What shall we do when there are no more silent Hitchcocks? Actually, I’m rather looking forward to opening up Intertitle of the Week to some of the stylish and crazy title cards I’ve discovered outwith Hitch’s canon. Meanwhile ~


A first for Shadowplay, I think — an intertitle with a footnote.

This was actually pretty common practice back in the day, with INTOLERANCE being a key text. Griffith was anxious to impress upon his viewers the historical accuracy of what they were seeing (it’s generally not very accurate at all, of course) so copious footnotes explain how his images have been researched. Here, part of THE MANXMAN’s appeal is its local flavour, so rather than simply replacing “deemster” with plain English, the island terminology is used to add authenticity and an exotic flavour to the procedings.

This intertitle’s main purpose, however, is to set a new scene. In this, it draws upon the tradition of the theatre programme, and actually survives in modern cinema in the form of superimposed titles that say things like “Paris, France,” or “Five Years Later”. The intertitle was a hardy beast, not easily slain by the arrival of sound — I shall be alert to its appearance in Hitch’s early talkies…