Archive for Moving Image Source


Posted in FILM with tags , , on April 18, 2014 by dcairns


A piece with a long and silly history finally sees the light of day over at Moving Image Source. I wrote it probably four years ago with the Criterion website in mind, couldn’t place it there, and then failed to interest at least one other publisher (The Believer?) before submitting it to the last editor of — MIS right before he left the job. Anyhow, it can now be read, and I think it’s a good one. It certainly had WORK put into it!

“You’ll be lovelier each day, with fabulous pink Camay.”

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by dcairns

Fiona my partner’s one piece of film criticism to date is a profile of Henri-Georges Clouzot for the Great Directors series at Senses of Cinema, here. A traveling retrospective of his work prompted me to trespass on the same territory, so I’ve contributed a different-but-related overview to Moving Image Source. Think of them as an endearingly odd couple…

The BBC once ran a series of five minute interstitial shows called Close Up, in which celebrities picked favourite film scenes — George Romero picked the opening of TAKES OF HOFFMANN (Robert Helpmann weaving between three chairs), Marcel Ophuls picked the masked dancer from his father Max’s LE PLAISIR, and British Labour politician Dennis Healey picked the climax of LES DIABOLIQUES, and did a remarkable impersonation of undead Paul Meurisse, without the end of ping-pong ball contact lenses. I wish I had a copy.


Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by dcairns

Part two of B. Kite and Alexander Points-Zollo’s video essay, THE VERTIGO VARIATIONS, is now up at Moving Image Source. Recommend you head over and download the QuickTime movie rather than watching the streaming version, which necessarily is of inferior visual quality.

I contributed an idea to this one — as the filmmakers were looking for more ways to distort and disturb Hitchcock’s beautiful images, I suggested encoding the film at a very low bitrate. At its most extreme, this degrades the image to blocky Mondrian patterns which turned out quite beautifully. Although I have an official DVD of Edgar Ulmer’s STRANGE ILLUSION that’s almost as distorted.

I’m loving this series and looking forward to the third and final part — each episode promises to be stranger than the last. Here, much of the focus is on a part of VERTIGO you may never have seen, and which is universally despised by those who have seen it. Typically, Kite and Points-Zollo find a way to admire it…