Archive for Tom Farrell

City Symphony

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on June 2, 2009 by dcairns

So, Rene Clair thinks reality mingles with fantasy in our memories? I’ll show him.


Snaps from my recent sojourn in le grande pomme. My local subway was the one from JACOB’S LADDER. I could relate to Tim Robbins in the sense that it’s one of those annoying stations where, if you venture onto the platform and find yourself on the wrong side, you have to exit the subway, cross the street, re-enter the subway and buy another ticket. 

In spite of this, I was never remotely tempted to walk across the tracks like a crazy fool as he does. Note also how, upon approaching what he suspects to be the third rail, he taps it with his foot to see if it is indeed electrified. Real New Yorkers never do this.


What Brooklyn looks like, in its Red Hook / Cobble Hill district. You’d think it’d be hard to find your way around in such a place, but I soon got the hang of it.


New York, more than most, is a city rubbed smooth by the currents of cinema. Everything there feels familiar, comfortingly filmic. In celebration of the municipality’s rich history of unrest and affray, actors uniformed in the guise of policemen strew gaily-coloured ribbons everywhere you look. Crime bunting.


Tom Farrell, Shadowplay’s special Nicholas Ray Correspondent, captured by camera-flash outside the Museum of Modern Art. Tom informs me that Film Forum in NYC is retrospecting Ray in July, and proposes I do something to cover it. Anyone for a Blogathon?


Many Americans decorate their domiciles with items likely to prove useful in an emergency — water-skis, life-belts (or “preservers” in the quaint parlance of the Amurrican), ships’ wheels, etc, turning their homes into sort of habitable utility belts. Given the fabled girth of the average “yank”, a belt the size of a house does not seem impractical.


The shops of New York are stuffed with products unavailable here in the Developing World. Invisibility is a popular lifestyle choice with a class of citizen known disparagingly as “suits.”



Posted in FILM with tags , , on August 7, 2008 by dcairns

Nicholas Ray, born this day 97 years ago. Thanks to Tom Farrell for the picture and the heads-up.

“Born. Lived. Interrupted. And it happens every day.”

Born. Lived. Interrupted.

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on June 16, 2008 by dcairns

Shadowplayer and Nicholas Ray associate Tom Farrell writes ~

“Nick Ray died on June 16,1979, here with daughter Julie and wife Betty in 1960.”

Seems apt that I received this just after posting a piece on the Dylan Thomas film — at one point Ray was going to film Dylan Thomas’ Edinburgh-set screenplay THE DOCTOR AND THE DEVILS, with James Mason and Barbara Steele. Looking at the Freddie Francis version that eventually got made, or at the new Thomas movie, for all its virtues of craft and decency, is a good reminder of why we need impassioned, ungovernable geniuses like Ray in the cinema today.