Saturday Night at the Movies

I realized I was in danger of having no posts two days in a row, something that has never happened in all Shadowplay’s existence. But I don’t feel right just saying that and calling it a blog post. I’d be wasting your time. So here’s an update.

I have three editors at work now on my feature-length video essay, two in Scotland and one in Milwaukee. Fortunately I’ve finished gathering interviews and drone footage, so apart from stealing movie posters off the internet, that’s done. Though I’m still making little animations to slot into it. Currently at work on a Dad’s Army-style animated map of Europe showing twin invasions. But I’m also mixing a soundtrack to run underneath the interviews. “Busy, busy, busy,” to quote Bette Davis.

Meanwhile we’re marking the passing of Christopher Plummer with a viewing of THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN, discovered in a fuzzy but correctly-letterboxed copy on YouTube. A neglected film in the Plummer canon, and one whose striking graphic compositions (director Irving Lerner was “an artist,” qua Scorsese) can now be properly appreciated, even if the image lacks sharpness.

7 Responses to “Saturday Night at the Movies”

  1. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    Irving “Murder by Contract” Lerner in an epic film ought to be something to see.

  2. It is! Quite odd to see a Royal Court experiment given the Lean treatment by a director whose visuals have a comic book punch.

  3. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Rarely has so accomplished an actor had such a Killer Bod! Plummer channels his “Inner Maria Montez” here to great effect. So sad to see him go as he was a fabulous person as well as a great great actor in films as diverse as “Stage Struck,” “Wind Across the Everglades, “Inside Daisy Clover” and more recently “Beginners,” “Inside Man” and “All the Money in the World.” When “Beginners” won him a Best Supporting Actor prize from LAFCA I got a chance to chat with him at length about all and sundry from Nick Ray (whose drug-dealing girlfriend tried to run him over with her car during the “Everglades” shoot) to Natalie Wood (who he adored like everyone else)

  4. Fiona and the gang ended up watching Murder by Decree where Plummer is a great Holmes and James Mason a beyond-great Watson, so I’m going to try to find an even better copy of Royal Hunt for a later session…

  5. Watched last night on your recommendation after claiming Plummer was average. I will never say that again. Gayer than The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian! He should have done brown-face every day of his life. Shaw’s anti-canonical speech, delivered while his character writhes in pain from an old stab wound, makes Malatesta sound like a liberal. AND(!) 1969 is a CHARACTER IN THIS FILM! Think of the crappily awkward cine-monsters that attempted to co-opt 60s counter-culture (THE SWIMMER — ICH!) while presenting themselves in classy aspect ratios. This one is SEAMLESS!!!!

  6. chris schneider Says:

    Perhaps we should think of ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN as the COBRA WOMAN of its day.

  7. Cobra Woman has more believable dialogue, but RHOTS is sexier.

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