Archive for May 26, 2009

The Bride

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by dcairns


My crappy photo doesn’t do justice to Guy Budziak’s lustrous print of Elsa Lanchester as the Bride of Frankenstein, but I wanted to show it off: Guy made a present of it when we met in New York recently. Check out his Film Noir Woodcuts here.

Elsa is modeling a hairstyle copied from Queen Nefertiti, and for variety make-up designer Jack Pearce and director James Whale decided to give her throat-scars rather than forehead scars — in his initial research, Whale had reportedly discovered that there were two ways to get at the brain. I don’t quite follow the anatomical reasoning, nor see why Boris Karloff’s head would necessarily be flat, but it’s cool that there was research. The audience gets that there’s a reason for something happening, even if they don’t understand what it is.

The Third Dimension

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on May 26, 2009 by dcairns


CORALINE is really good. I mean, really. The puppets overact, and the climax is not as exciting as the sub-climax, but these are quibbles. Henry Selick’s visuals and Bruno Coulais’ music are so consistently inventive and charming. (The music, the best I’ve heard in a recent film, doesn’t sound too much like anything else in movies, except maybe VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS a little. It was recorded in about four different countries. a ridiculous rigmarole that turns out to be well worthwhile.) It’s finally a film that makes good use of Neil Gaiman’s writing.

But LISTEN, here’s what you have to do. When the movie ends, there will be a small group of kids dancing around in front of the screen. Join them. If there aren’t any, be the first — start a fashion!

When you get so close to the screen that you can’t see the edges, well, alright, everything does go a bit smeary and out of focus. BUT, you are now in the frame, so close to the 3D figures which swoop out of the screen (flying terriers! Terrierdactyls, if you will) that you have to duck and swipe as they come at you, and then you realise, those kids weren’t dacing, they were dodging and weaving, trying to stay out of the path of the fast-moving winged canines, and so are you.


“That was the most enchanting experience I’ve had in a cinema in ages!” exclaimed Fiona.