Archive for The Terror

Let it Snow!

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on December 30, 2018 by dcairns

We’re moving ahead with the next Shadowcast… our exciting interstellar installment. Meanwhile, if you haven’t experienced our Winter Special, I highly recommend it. Featuring The Terror (2018), SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC (1948) and THE RED TENT (1969).

The Terror stars Professor James Moriarty; Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; John Lennon; Branwell Bronte; June Gudmundsdottir; and Aberforth Dumbledore.

SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC stars Pip; Mr. Meek; Sir Lancelot Spratt; Douglas Bader; Dracula; and Mrs. Ethel Shroake of 393A High Street, Leytonstone.

THE RED TENT stars Howard Beale; James Bond; Jill McBain; Capt. Potzdorf; and the voice of Colossus.

Do you like the soundscapes, by the way? I think the next ones will be shorter…

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The Shadowcast #4: The Frozen Wastes

Posted in FILM, Mythology, Television with tags , , , on December 21, 2018 by dcairns

OK, this is the big one.

Inspired by the dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes of Tim Concannon’s Music For Films podcast, I bought some sound mixing software and attempted something similar. The result is a big leap forward in terms of the Shadowcast‘s ambition — a feature-length mix of the usual dialogues (Fiona, me and Momo the podcat) with music, dialogue and sound, with the intention of creating a wintry experience that’s nice to listen to while sat by the fire or in a warm car, bus or train. You can drift off to sleep, read or surf the web, and drift back at will. As I continue to work on this format, I hope to put together shows you can listen to multiple times, more like music than chat.

You can download here.

Or listen right here:

It’s about seven minutes before we even start talking, to give you some idea. You can skip the overture or else skip the whole discussion and go straight to the outro, according to taste, but I think they go well together.

To encourage our efforts, please comment or criticise, and please, please, spread the word by social media or whatever other means are at your disposal. Review us on iTunes (no, I have no idea how you do that) and download all our shows multiple times just for the hell of it.

Discussed in this episode: The Terror; SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC; THE RED TENT.

Here’s the RSS feed which should let you access all the shows.

The Sunday Intertitle: Hot Air

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2015 by dcairns

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Roy Del Ruth was one of very few Keystone directors to graduate to anything resembling the big time — Capra was the exception, attaining far loftier status. While many small-time silent boys fell by the wayside when sound came in, RDR surprisingly was at the forefront of the talker boom at Warners, where his old dark house spookshow THE TERROR was apparently quite innovative, and he churned a host of fast-talking comedies with the likes of James Cagney.

SKYLARKING (1923) is one of those early slapstick shorts, starring a fellow called Harry Gribbon who has a funny name and lots of technique but just isn’t very funny. The movi also features Billy Armstrong as a recklessly destructive blind man who anticipates W.C. Fields’ sightless nemesis Mr. Muckle, and cameos by Scotsman Andy Clyde and Teddy the Dog. None of these made me laugh, but my eyebrows levitated as if painted with Cavorite at the sight of the sightless proto-Muckle. Had Fields already used a version of this character on stage?

I like the special effects, as Gribbon takes to the air, which benefit from incorporating camera movement along with double exposure for a dynamic and halfway convincing effect. And I like this intertitle, which could easily have been converted into dialogue for one of the peppy pre-codes RDR made later. Sennett films frequently recycled catchphrases and gags heard in bars in just the way Warner scenarists would do in the thirties.

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Oddly, the visual gags of the Sennett era didn’t generally make it into those films, even the comedies, apart from that riotous sequence with monkeys and custard pies in LADY KILLER — for zany imagery, you really have to look to Del Ruth’s later HORROR MOVIES (here and here).