Archive for March 17, 2012

Dog People

Posted in Comics, FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2012 by dcairns

This is the opening of TOTO, a very early Jacques Tourneur made at Pathé-Natan. It’s rather fun, and shows the emphasis on visual storytelling that seems to have been the studio’s house style, whether the movie was farce or tragedy.

As far as I’ve gleaned, Maurice Tourneur was the top director at Pathé-Natan and he pestered Natan to give his son a directing gig (thanks to Chris Fujiwara for this). Jacques had done a lot of editing and assisting for his père. Junior got to direct a few of films, and in between he went back to editing for his dad, which fits in well with what I understand to be his quiet, modest nature. When he went to America he had to start all over again in the shorts department. It’s a strange historical irony that Jacques was directing at RKO during WWII, including the propaganda film about our friends the Soviets, while Maurice was stuck in occupied France directing entertainments for Continental, a German company.

Anyhow, as you can see, the film isn’t tonally what we associate with JT, but it has definite pleasures, including also this impressive crane shot, swooping down into  a close-shot on Albert Prejean ~

In other news — as the Vincentennial sinks slowly in the west, I contribute my last Vincent Price related bit of doggerel (I promose!) over at Limerwrecks, tackling the beloved Price swan-song that is EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. And also, an obituary limerick (an obiterick?) for the great Jean Giraud, AKA Moebius. Oh, I know he was more of a cartoonist than a filmmaker, but he collaborated with cineastes Dan O’Bannon and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and without those spacesuits he designed, the crew in ALIEN would have been walking around that planet NUDE. They would have perished like miserable swine.

Don’t forget to check out the numerous other lims on site — it’s a trove of some kind!