Archive for Douglas Trumbull

“Like a forest is your child…”

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on October 28, 2011 by dcairns

…dangerous and filthy?

SILENT RUNNING, Douglas Trumbull’s sci-fi eco-fable, was sure fun to revisit, though Fiona found the sentimental journey downright painful — she likes the film, but it’s so tied up with childhood memories as to be traumatic. It does seem like the willfully naive narrative works best when you’re a kid, and re-seeing it in adulthood calls for the kind of suspension of grown-up reasoning Cocteau proposes as a prerequisite for viewing LA BELLE ET LA BETE.

My review of the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray is here, care of Electric Sheep. And goddamn it, I *LIKE* the Joan Baez songs, so there.

Buy it — Silent Running (1971) (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]

Silent Running [Masters of Cinema] (LTD Edition Steelbook) [Blu-ray]



Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on July 16, 2011 by dcairns

After seeing Terrence Malick’s TREE OF LIFE, I feel like I’ll be ready to write about it when I’ve spent as long thinking about it as Malick did making it. But I do note it as another entry in the remarkably consistent oeuvre of visual effects supremo Douglas Trumbull, dating all the way back to — what’s that you say? 1968’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY? Well, possibly, but I was thinking of CANDY, from the same year (pictured).

Well, maybe I can be nudged into saying more in the comments section.

This Blog is on Drugs

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2008 by dcairns

This blog is great when you’re high! LOOK:

The colours, man...

Would you Adam n Eve it?

space face

The doors of deception

red mist

wide of the mark

Take drugs! Be like Richard Widmark!

Actually, while the flu medication I’m taking “may cause drowsiness”, the hallucinatory feeling I have is probably more due to the illness itself, whatever it is. So, ringing in the ears, sweating and shivering, and a curious heightened awareness, or do I mean UNawareness?

“Everything is strange.”

Dragged myself into work and on the bus back, played odd tunes on my Nano, with the result that the world fell into musical step: Nino Rota’s “Carlotta’s Gallop” from EIGHT AND A HALF caused the whole of Princes Street to move at 16fps, jerky silent movie people all enacting a Jacques Tati pantomime of exaggerated body language in perfect time to the music. As I moved my focus from one person to another they all seemed to snap into character and walk, talk, gesture or even SMOKE to the beat.

As the bus Trumbulled into deepest Leith (TRAINSPOTTING country) the music slowed and so did the people, too unhealthy to actually display actual animation, but the synchronisation remained perfect. I tried looking at my fellow passengers to see if they were also part of this inner movie, but that was just HORRIBLE. Too close!

I’m very very amused by the idea of both Fellini and Otto Preminger taking L.S.D. under controlled laboratory conditions, with teams of medicos on hand to monitor their progress through the doors of perception and presumably somehow prevent their consciousnesses from expanding TOO FAR, until their heads exploded like the guy in SCANNERS, and with tape machines whirring to record all the marvellous psychedelic insights that poured from their blubbering mouths. Fellini, at any rate, recorded his psychotropic experience, but never listened to the tapes. But I think it’s fair to say the experience did have some impact on his work.

Roger Corman took a more informal approach, tripping with friends at Big Sur.

‘I spent the next seven hours face down in the ground, beneath a tree, not moving, absorbed in the most wonderful trip imaginable. Among other things, I was sure I had invented an utterly new art form. This new art form was the very act of thinking and creating, and you didn’t need books or film or music to communicate it; anyone who wanted to experience it would simply lie face down on the ground anywhere in the world at that moment and the work of art would be transmitted through the earth from the mind of its creator directly into the mind of the audience. To this day, I’d like to think this could work and it would be wonderful. I think of all the costs you could cut in production and distribution alone.’

That last sentence may be the most delightfully, touchingly square thing anybody ever said about the L.S.D. experience. And while THE TRIP, which Corman was researching, uses a lot of pseudo-psychedelic movie cliches and doesn’t feel researched AT ALL, Corman’s vision of drug art directly inspires a dialogue scene in his later GAS-S-S-S, OR, IT BECAME NECESSARY TO DESTROY THE WORLD IN ORDER TO SAVE IT, where the hero proposes that movies should be produced quite literally IN CAPSULE FORM:

‘Are you saying that some drug dealers are going to become movie producers?’

‘I’m saying that some of our motion picture studios are going to become drug pushers.”