Archive for The Manxman

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Is This a Nightmare?”

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2009 by dcairns

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Must have a look at what Murnau images I’ve got to hand, he seems like somebody one could have fun with, splicing shots together from different movies. But maybe his visual style changes too much from film to film? Suggestions for who else I could try?

The Latest Hitch

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2009 by dcairns

Okay, so the idea was, now that for the first time in my life I can say I’ve watched all the silent Hitchcocks still known to exist, why not throw the pieces in the air and assemble a new one? Hitchcock is ideally suited to mix-and-match montage (see any documentary about him) because his shots are so strong, and so surreal at times when viewed out of context (CUT: from Joseph Cotten turning straight to the camera, to Norman Lloyd plummeting from the Statue of Liberty, to Jimmy Stewart sitting bolt upright in bed). I was going to whip something up with my el-cheapo editing programme, but the thought of inputting all the material was rather daunting, so I just did THIS ~

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I’d like to see more blogs make their own foto-romans and fumetti. Frame-grabbing images from movies feels SLIGHTLY creative, and this feels like the logical next step. Maybe we should attempt a blogathon on this theme?

Intertitle of the Week: Mannish Boy

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by dcairns

What shall we do when there are no more silent Hitchcocks? Actually, I’m rather looking forward to opening up Intertitle of the Week to some of the stylish and crazy title cards I’ve discovered outwith Hitch’s canon. Meanwhile ~

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A first for Shadowplay, I think — an intertitle with a footnote.

This was actually pretty common practice back in the day, with INTOLERANCE being a key text. Griffith was anxious to impress upon his viewers the historical accuracy of what they were seeing (it’s generally not very accurate at all, of course) so copious footnotes explain how his images have been researched. Here, part of THE MANXMAN’s appeal is its local flavour, so rather than simply replacing “deemster” with plain English, the island terminology is used to add authenticity and an exotic flavour to the procedings.

This intertitle’s main purpose, however, is to set a new scene. In this, it draws upon the tradition of the theatre programme, and actually survives in modern cinema in the form of superimposed titles that say things like “Paris, France,” or “Five Years Later”. The intertitle was a hardy beast, not easily slain by the arrival of sound — I shall be alert to its appearance in Hitch’s early talkies…

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