Tish Tash

Newly forthcoming from Criterion — Frank Tashlin’s rock ‘n’ roll live action cartoon THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT. I was delighted to be asked to celebrated the film’s widescreen colour photography (by Leon Shamroy) in a visual essay edited by Stephen C. Horne.

Bad timing prevented me from including the following passage:

Hired to shoot a test of Janet Gaynor for The Young in Heart, Shamroy was disgruntled to learn that other cinematographers were competing for the job. While the great Karl Struss took twelve hours to light his test, Shamroy knocked his off in twenty minutes, and got the job.
Shamroy was gruff, short-tempered, and had a high opinion of his own skill: “Lee Garmes will never see the day that he’s as good as I am, and that goes for anybody in the motion picture business,” he declared. He only acknowledged one possible superior talent: “God was a great photographer. He’d only gotten one light.”

So here it is for you to enjoy.

The disc streets in April.

Saw some NEW films this week — look out for reactions to THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH and LIQUORICE PIZZA, both of which I substantially dug.

9 Responses to “Tish Tash”

  1. Daniel Riccuito Says:


  2. Oh, I have the book — a proud exhibit in the Shadowplayhouse! Love your essay.

    I would like to get ahold of the old Edinburgh Film Fest book on Tashlin, but it is excerpted heavily in that study. The late Peter Bogdanovich’s interview in Who the Devil Made It? is also invaluable.

  3. Simon Kane Says:

    Really looking forward to your Licorice Pizza piece. Everyone I know loved it, but I found its fantasy of consent too weird to enjoy. I so miss PTA showing off.

  4. I DON”T miss it. PTA is ALL ABOUT “Showing Off” He’s a slightly more articulate Quentin Tarantino

  5. architekturadapter Says:

    Is this ment to be a compliment (comparing PTA to QT) ?
    Is “showing off” a sign of quality ?

    Unfortunately, I do not dig PTA at all, who, in my (maybe blinded) eyes is much overrated (as is QT). “Boogie Nights” and “There will be blood” are the ones I watched without beeing disapointed.

    I haven’t seen the liquid pizza yet, and I doubt I will, but I will read with interest the things David (C) has to say about it.

    Much more exciting : “the fuzz” about “The girl can’t help it!” – a film – I must admit – I still haven’t seen, but I will !

  6. Simon is using “showing off” as a compliment, DE isn’t.

    It depends on whether you find yourself in tune with an artist’s sensibility. Orson Welles’ showing off is impressive, and underpinned by a unique, thoughtful and quirky worldview. I’m unconvinced by the thought in QT. PTA seems to keep his true thoughts close to his chest, he’s harder to read.

  7. architekturadapter Says:

    I agree.
    B; Tavernier was known for changing his mind about movies / directors over the years and he did it in a convincing way, so maybe some day I shall be (more) in tune with PTA.

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