Archive for December 15, 2009

Kaleidoscope

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by dcairns

This 1999 BBC documentary in the Reputations series uses stills and extracts from Hitchcock’s test footage for KALEIDOSCOPE / FRENZY, the movie he tried to make before TOPAZ. This material was assembled partly to convince Lew Wasserman and Universal to let Hitch proceed with the shoot. It may have had the opposite effect. In the late 1960s, nudity was still a controversial area — in just a year or so the film would probably have become quite safe for a major studio, but Hitch was just far enough ahead of fashion to run afoul of the risk-averse Wasserman.

The clip above shows the influence both of colour supplement fashion photography and Antonioni. Parick McGilligan, writing of this film in 1999’s Alfred Hitchcock, A Life in Darkness and Light, doesn’t seem to have seen the footage, talking about the movie’s European influence but conflating the nouvelle vague and Antonioni (both of whom, it is true, had greatly impressed the Master) and at one point referring to the proposed film as a black-and-white production.

We also get to hear from Norman Lloyd, currently being portrayed in ME AND ORSON WELLES, a film he’s been avoiding since he didn’t like the novel it’s based on. I saw the movie this week and hope to write something about it here on Thursday.

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