No piece on William Cameron Menzies’ ADDRESS UNKNOWN (1944) could do justice to its many extreme and crazy angles. So before my post appears in the next week, here’s a preview ~

Big symmetry, shots thrown down or up, displacing the centre of interest to the top or bottom of frame, slashing diagonals, big bug-eyed faces — all the properties elucidated by David Bordwell in his recent essay, which makes my efforts seem a bit redundant. Still, you can read my meagre thoughts tomorrow.


5 Responses to “WCM”

  1. David Boxwell Says:

    AU: just when you think Menzies’ film actually represents (uniquely for the time), a Jewish exile getting revenge against a Nazi, the film resolves itself with a “twist ” that undermines that.

    That said, a visual masterwork. Ripe for reappraisal.

  2. David Boxwell Says:

    K.T. Stevens didn’t have to bus herself in to Hollywood and sit on a drugstore stool to get discovered. Sam Wood’s daughter just had to hang around her father’s dinner parties. That jaw! Those cheekbones!!

  3. It’s an impressively weird face!

    I didn’t think the twist undermined anything, but then I hadn’t seen the ethnicity of the avenger as a key element. I guess we’re robbed of an image of Jewish revenge, but a son destroying his father is arguably the strongest emotional charge the film had left in its arsenal. And the idea of a good German taking revenge against a bad one must have had good propaganda potential.

  4. I remember reading in Famous Monsters of Filmland, as a kid, that IFM was one movie they wouldn’t recommend for small children. This of course made me determined to see it.

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