The Production Designer

Look out! The result of a long-term plan bears fruit, as the latest issue of The Believer hits stateside newsstands. Cradled within its crackling leaves, a new piece by me, detailing the work of William Cameron Menzies.

You can buy it via Amazon here ~

The Believer, Issue 79: March/April 2011 Film Issue

Thanks to David Bordwell and Glenn Erickson for their trailblazing work here and here and here and here.

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9 Responses to “The Production Designer”

  1. This is really exciting! I loved reading the first Bordwell piece you listed, and I’ll have to keep an eye out for this as well.

    Also, that Invaders from Mars poster is REALLY weird. Which is to say, I guess, that it does the movie justice, since Invaders (as I remember it) stands out from even the oddest of Cold War sci-fi.

  2. Cool!

    Invaders From Mars is a key film from my childhood. It’s a Perfect Nightmare.

  3. Watching it again through the lens of Glenn’s appreciation was illuminating — as usual, assuming that everything is there for a reason helps one uncover that reason and appreciate what the filmmaker is up to. In this case, it’s a dream/bubble gum card/experimental film.

  4. Randy Byers Says:

    Thanks for the pointer to Glenn Erickson’s article, which I somehow hadn’t seen before despite being a devoted reader of his blog. I really look forward to reading your article too. I’ve read the Bordwell pieces a couple of times already. Dave Kehr has also written some good stuff about Menzies in the recent past.

  5. I’ll have to check back for D Kehr’s stuff, I think I may have missed it. Thanks for the tip-off!

  6. Randy Byers Says:

    His review of the Alice in Wonderland DVD is part of it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/movies/homevideo/28kehr.html

    His blog post connecting to this review had a great discussion too, as I recall, but I can’t get it to load at the moment. The comments are cut off with an error message:

    http://www.davekehr.com/?p=522

  7. Ah yes, I recall seeing it now. Another case where appreciation trumps condemnation: I heartily agree with all the negative comments about the Menzies Alice, and I’ve made a few myself, but Kehr’s focus on the positive is more illuminating.

  8. Randy Byers Says:

    Just picked up my copy of the magazine at Bulldog News here in Seattle today, and I was delighted to see that includes a DVD of PEOPLE ON SUNDAY, which I’ve long wanted to see. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but it’s licensed from Janus, so I’m hopeful that it’s high quality.

  9. Sure ought to be! A seminal work that helped start the careers of Wilder, Siodmak, Ulmer…

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