Archive for March 17, 2009

Shadowplay Shadows #1

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on March 17, 2009 by dcairns


Beautiful shot from MURDER!, absent from the German version, MARY. Hitchcock seems to have executed his contractual duties on that one as hurriedly as possible.

What’s most gorgeous about the shot is that the shadow moves up the wall as we watch, signifying the approaching hour of execution. Hitch must have had a big light on a crane, or else let it slight down its lighting stand, to create the time-lapse sunset effect. More on MURDER! tomorrow.

The Man with the Deadly Lens

Posted in FILM with tags , on March 17, 2009 by dcairns

A nice fellow rejoicing in the name of VintageEuroTV has posted some very interesting film-related stuff on VousTube. The personalities involved are mainly speaking English, so don’t be put off by the language at the start. This is the mighty Richard Brooks. Does everybody have a favourite Brooks film? IN COLD BLOOD does it for me.

Film Directors With Their Shirts Off and On

Posted in FILM with tags , , on March 17, 2009 by dcairns


Richard Lester in a game of shirts versus skins. Lester is among the most frequently shirtless of filmmakers, possibly because he made so many films in Spain. Yet when he DOES wear a shirt, it can be quite impressive.


I really love his THREE and FOUR MUSKETEERS films. I think the genius idea, which nobody seems to even try and copy, is to do lots of research into the period, and spin the comedy directly out of that. Well, that gives you the comedy environment (both comedy and history = tragedy + time), the action is moved forward by the characters trying to behave like swashbucklers in a cinematic world where the laws of physics are a little more unforgiving than they were in the day of Flynn and Fairbanks. There’s some rather good slapstick in the PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN movies, whose writers admire Lester’s “period romps,” but it’s not the same thing at all, because those films have nothing outside the frame to be serious about.