Archive for Lindsay Anderson Archive

Which?

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by dcairns

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Borzagean Interactivity…

It was very exciting when I first saw MOONRISE, on a tape borrowed from the Lindsay Anderson Archive. I was in the presence of greatness, clearly. It’s a movie that drags the poetic language of silent cinema into the ’50s and fuses it bodily with noir and with Frank Borzage’s own distinctive brand of spirituality. Not like anything else. If you haven’t seen it, the only thing I can compare it to is NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, which likewise adapts silent cinema notions of stylisation and film narrative to a more modern idiom. And it ends with a man hugging a dog, a tactile feel-good image that puts a big smile on my face.

And then, as was often the way, I struggled to find any more Borzage to see. The few things I was able to get, like HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN and MANNEQUIN, didn’t seem quite as exciting or personal as MOONRISE. They seemed minor, but as often happens when I get into a filmmaker’s work, deeper immersion makes me start thinking that there’s no such thing as minor. So they’ll be worth going back to.

Now I have access to much more of the Borzage canon, and I’m preparing to dive in for Borzage Week. So what should I be watching? Any suggestions gratefully received. I may also follow my own wayward instincts and pursue some obscurities for the hell of it, but I’m keen to check out anything that gets a good name here.

(As Arhur may recognise from the image above, one movie certainly due for a watch is MAN’S CASTLE.)

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