Archive for Jane Gardner

The Sunday Intertitle: The Milk of Inhuman Kindness

Posted in Fashion, FILM, MUSIC, Painting, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2017 by dcairns

A fantastic event at L’Institute Francaise last week — Lobster Films’ magnificent restoration of Marcel L’Herbier’s science-fiction romance L’INHUMAINE, accompanied by my colleagues from THE NORTHLEACH HORROR Jane Gardner and Roddy Long on keyboards and violin and introduced by our friend Rolland Man.

I’d seen this projected before, and of course found it visually stunning, but with sharper picture and better accompaniment, L’Herbier’s achievement becomes even more apparent, his daft story more involving. Combining his aesthetic ritziness — designs by the best architects (Robert Mallet-Stevens), production designers (Autant-Lara & Cavalcanti), fashion designers (Paul Poiret) and artists (Fernand Leger) — with the fashionable tropes of cinematic impressionism — a school founded entirely upon sequences of delirium, hysteria and drunkenness (superb) — he fashions a hysterical melodrama propounding his own perverse and peculiar ideas — anticommunist, anti-mystic, technocratic — and serves up a mad lab climax that anticipates both METROPOLIS and FRANKENSTEIN.

Leger’s intertitles weren’t very clear, and seemed weirdly SHRUNKEN in the previous copy of the film I’d accessed, so it was lovely to see them so crisp, their forms mirroring the groovy kinetic sculptures that form mysterious pieces of lab equipment, used to save heroine Georgette Leblanc from a deadly snake-bite.

Such is the dazzling power of the imagery that nobody else we spoke to spotted Mme. Leblanc’s nipple as it escaped her Grecian-style gown. Here, purely in the interests of proving Fiona & I did not imagine it, is the nip-slip.

I have been informed that my blog is BANNED at the BFI because their servers detect nudity and come down hard on it. If this is true of all our cultural bodies, I wonder how the art galleries manage to function.

 

Advertisements

Call of the Yukon

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2017 by dcairns

I’m off to Bo’ness again, which can mean only one thing —

The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema is once more upon us, and I’ll be checking out Nell Shipman & Bert van Tuyle’s THE GRUB STAKE, with a new score by my chum Jane Gardner (who scored THE NORTHLEACH HORROR for me).

I’ve never seen a Shipman film, but we have all come to trust the Hippodrome, so I’m quite sure it’s going to be excellent. I’ve also come to trust that Bo’ness won’t have any cafes with wi-fi, so you can expect to hear from me in about twelve hours.

The Valentine’s Day Intertitle: Gold-Digger of 1928

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on February 14, 2016 by dcairns

vlcsnap-2016-02-13-22h02m36s153

A break from our Mary Shelley explorations!

Off to Kirkcaldy, in the Kingdom of Fife, today, to see D.W. Griffith’s 1928 BATTLE OF THE SEXES, with Phyllis Haver as Marie, introduced laughing hysterically while reading Little Women at the beauty salon. This jazz age comedy is something of a departure for Griffith, who had rather steered clear of comedy since THOSE AWFUL HATS in 1909. Apparently it’s rather good, and the buzz of a live audience and live score make it irresistible.

vlcsnap-2016-02-13-22h02m40s194

Accompaniment by Jane Gardner, Hazel Morrison and John Burgess. I shall report back!