Archive for Fritz Lang

The Big Box Set

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2017 by dcairns

Thrilled to be a part — or several parts — of Arrow Academy’s Four Film Noir Classics box set. I have provided video essays on Fritz Lang for SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR (House of Lang), and Joseph H Lewis for THE BIG COMBO (Wagonwheel Joe), both in collaboration with editor Timo Langer. Those were huge fun and should serve as helpful intros to the filmmakers work while hopefully providing interest and entertainment even to those who are very familiar with their oeuvres. For the hardback booklet (can a hardback be a booklet?) I wrote a piece on Robert Siodmak and THE DARK MIRROR, which puts me alongside pieces by Tony Rayns, Michael Brooke and Andrew Spicer, which is pretty good company to be in. I feel like a fraud!

This means the only film in the set I didn’t get to talk about is Abraham Polonsky’s FORCE OF EVIL. Awww, why not? I love that film!

Momo the crazy Tonkinese did nose this set onto the floor, but the incident wasn’t captured on camera. You’ll have to take his continuing enthusiasm for my work on faith.

The set is available now ~ here.

Advertisements

One out of one cats prefers it

Posted in Comics, FILM, Television with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2017 by dcairns

 

Wondering what to buy the cat in your life for Christmas? (Get that cat out of there!) Why not oblige the kitty with Fritz Lang’s DER MÜDE TOD? This 1921 silent German classic contains, along with the beneficial functional bacteria, all the key nutrients your cat needs, including Omega 6 fatty acids, and an umlaut. Also, the plastic casing seems to provoke some kind of fetishistic sniff/taste response.

I made a video essay for this one with Timo Langer, which I think turned out reasonably well, and you also get a fine Tim Lucas commentary track full of scholarly info. I was pleased to see we didn’t overlap too much, and he didn’t prove me wrong on too many key points, and while I felt he may have included one too many Spider-Man references, I top that in the shame stakes by dragging in the TV show Quantum Leap and the Bill Cosby film THE DEVIL AND MAX DEVLIN.

The Sunday Intertitle: Slap!

Posted in FILM with tags , , on August 27, 2017 by dcairns

After yesterday’s rare two-gif post, I thought I’d like to follow up Aunt Delilah’s neon sign with this one from my all-time favourite movie, HE WHO GETS SLAPPED. It’s not an original idea, though — I’ve seen a gif of this somewhere before.

One of the many things I like in the film is the positively Langian connection between intertitle and image, so that three questions raised verbally can be answered with a single picture, as I discuss here and here. But director Victor Sjostrom (billed as Seastrom) also merges image with image to make the same point, as when a globe of the world dissolves into a circus ring, the disc of sawdust embracing the earth’s equator like a Saturnian cummerbund.