Archive for Gustave Dore

The Monday Intertitle: All Change

Posted in FILM, Painting with tags , , , , on September 9, 2013 by dcairns


I see the influence of Gustave Dore’s print of Newgate Prison — which also influenced a shot in CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

Well, it seems that just by being so excited by being in America that I forgot what day of the week it is, the Sunday Intertitle is now the Monday Intertitle on a full-time basis. And why not?



Very excited to get my hands on a copy of VARIETE, the seminal example of “the unchained camera” from Germany — nice to see E.A> Dupont at his best, too, a fiery fresh talent raging to explode the constraints of cinema, rather a tired old man than going through his paces on dreck like THE NEANDERTHAL MAN.


But I haven’t watched it yet — still getting caught up with Greenwich Mean Time and getting used to the sudden breezy weather this side of the pond. Soon… the glimpse I have had indicates swirling camera moves, bold graphic compositions, low-life wallowing worthy of Sternberg, and a disgraceful picture quality which needs to be corrected with at least a DVD release. One for Masters of Cinema or Criterion? Am I jumping the gun, demanding such treatment for a movie I haven’t even watched yet? Maybe, but I don’t think so…

Q – The Winged Arrow

Posted in FILM with tags , , on February 26, 2010 by dcairns

Time’s winged arrow is fired into the far-flung future by filmmaker “Q”, AKA Gaston Quiribet, who depicts the future of London in this amazing trick-film from 1924. The film actually looks back to the trick-films of early cinema (you know, earlier than ’24) as well as forward to a nightmare vision of a flooded London (which may yet come to pass).

Thanks to London’s Screen Archives for posting this film, and to Neil Lockwood for bringing it to my attention. It makes a nice addition, I think, to the Film Preservation Blogathon hosted here and here, partly because the images show the ravages of time in places, and partly because the melted, bubbling mess that “Q” uses to liquify his images and then translate them into their future selves, is a vivid analog of the process of decay experienced by celluloid itself as it moves forward in time.

The combination of past and future decay here reminds me of Gustave Doré’s Victorian vision of a post-apocalyptic London —

Thanks to Neil Lockwood. Donate to the cause of film preservation here.

Quote of the Day: Crouching monster, Hidden city

Posted in FILM, literature, Painting with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2008 by dcairns

london belongs to me 

‘London, the crouching monster, like every other monster has to breathe, and breathe it does in its own malignant way. Its vital oxygen is composed of suburban working men and women of all kinds, who every morning are sucked up through an infinitely complicated respiratory apparatus of trains and termini into the mighty congested lungs, held there for a number of hours, and then, in the evening, exhaled violently through the same channels.

The men and women imagine they are going into London and coming out again more or less of their own free will, but the crouching monster sees all and knows better.’

night train

Words from Patrick Hamilton’s The Slaves of Solitude, images from Gustave Dore’s London and David Lean and Noel Coward’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER.


Just read that David Sherwin has been writing a script of Hamilton’s book. Genius Sherwin, who wrote Lindsay Anderson’s Mick Travis Trilogy, must have stacks of unproduced scripts (THE MONSTER BUTLER and THE GARDEN GNOMES BEGAN TO BLEED are but two), but I would really like to see this one come off…