Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Entertainment Discussion Forums > Film Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18-10-2008, 13:03   #1
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Can some classic films be better appreciated on the small screen?

It is an ongoing adage that "feature films are best seen on the big sreen". Oddly, that seems to be even more true for many action-packed modern films with their heavy reliance on CGI and other Special Effects that seem more awsome in the theatre. This is a paradox in an era where going to the cinema is rapidly disappearing in favour of the high tech Home Movie systems and even better DVD transfers.

But stepping back to the times where movies could only be seen on the big screen, a lot of films considered today as classics did not do so well at the box-office - Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Night of the Hunter (1955) and 12 Angry Men (1957) to quote a few examples. Thinking about this, I felt that folk of those days must have considered going to the cinema as one of the major outlets for entertainment and might have found films like the 3 mentioned above not "entertaining enough". If one is taking one's family for a few hours of hard-earned fun and relaxation, there might have been some reluctance to sit through nearly 2 hours of bleakness of the Great Depression or Jury deliberations over a seemingly straightforward murder case - certainly no time or inclination for critical analysis. But watching those same films - perhaps repeatedly - in the comfort of one's own lounge gives the modern viewer the opportunity of that intelligent analysis and thereby put the film into an entirely different perspective. I am sure that I would not have been able to appreciate the finer points of such films had I only seen them in the cinemas at the time of their original release even if I had been the same adult back then as I am now.

Therefore, I think the DVD and the modern Home Cinema system gives some of us the opportunity to appreciate many classic films in a way that contemporary folk could never have done at the time. Please comment.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 14:17   #2
JoelCairo
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,123
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seeing movies on the big screen in a cinema, as opposed to seeing them on a small television at home, provided two main advantages.

First, the sheer size of the images generated far greater impact. For example in even routine Westerns, the villainous gunslinger moving slowly and menacingly towards the farm hand who has no skill with guns is alarming. A sexy actress is far more forceful when she fills the giant screen. Last week I showed a friend the "One Alone" sequence from Deep In My Heart on a 34" television and she agreed that Cyd Charisse was most impressive. Later I watched the same sequence through a projector and I assure you Cyd had twice the impact.

The second advantage was that watching in a darkened hall drew the audience into the movie because there were no distractions. (I am of course referring to the days when audiences knew how to behave in public and when consideration for others was a central element in our national culture.)

In my opinion the advantages of the big screen is not confined to certain types of movie.

We should also remember that now with very large screen televisions becoming quite normal - a 50" TV is no longer unusual - and with the price of home video projectors falling rapidly, it is possible to re-create large images in the home.

Undoubtedly people used to go to the cinema primarily for entertainment. Presumably some people would have disliked thought-provoking films but that is also true of films at home on DVD today. Why do utterly moronic modern films sell well on DVD? Not, I suggest, because they are thought-provoking. How do the sales figures for the Twelve Angry Men DVD compare with those for the latest Hollywood blockbuster DVD? Most DVD collectors have several DVDs which they have not yet watched because they are not in the mood for that kind of film.
JoelCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 14:56   #3
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelCairo View Post
In my opinion the advantages of the big screen is not confined to certain types of movie.
I agree with you totally myself. I think you might have missed the point that I am trying to make.

In the olden days, going to the cinema was one of the major outlets for entertainment for the masses and true connisseurs were as few and far between back then as they are now. Moreover, most people saw films once or twice and even some of those who could have done so, might not have had the opportunity to really appreciate a film like - say - 12 Angry Men, which is the only reason I can think to explain the relative failure of such a masterpiece at the box office. I first saw 12AM in the 1990s when I was in my late 30s and although I liked it right from the start, I might have been slightly "positively biased" because I already knew that it was a classic. But with each subsequent viewing, I have been able to appreciate the various brilliant nuances of the film in a way that would have been impossible with a single or even two cinema viewings that my doppelganger would have been able to do in the 1950s.

But as you say quite rightly, given the choice of watching 12AM on the TV or the Cinema today, I would most certainly choose the latter. But with very few exceptions, we do not get the chance to watch classics on the cinema screen this day and age. What I am saying is that by watching some classics repeatedly on DVD at home (as some of us do nowadays), we are able to appreciate older films in ways that our ancestors would not have had the opportunity to do with those same films at the time of their original releases.

Quote:
How do the sales figures for the Twelve Angry Men DVD compare with those for the latest Hollywood blockbuster DVD? Most DVD collectors have several DVDs which they have not yet watched because they are not in the mood for that kind of film
Cannot comment on the sales figures, but a watchword that you mentioned here is "mood". In the olden days, going to a movie was often planned in advance and so one could not guarantee the mood with which one arrived to see any particular film. Arriving at the cinema to see 12 Angry Men after a hard day at the office or weekend arguement at home might not have allowed Joe Bloggs to appreciate the film's finer points. But you and I have the option of sitting down to watch 12AM precisely when we feel like it, which goes a long way in being able to enjoy the film.

Last edited by Raigmore; 18-10-2008 at 15:05.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 14:58   #4
Spectre07
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: None Bothered
Posts: 5,806
Thanks: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Agree with Joel any film benefits hugely from being seen on the big screen.
Spectre07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 15:06   #5
Guest 23929
Xbox - KaRW/ PSN KaRW1
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,662
Thanks: 39
Thanked 154 Times in 110 Posts
This isnt to do with size of screen, though, its to do with re-watching, isn't it?
Guest 23929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 15:14   #6
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRW View Post
This isnt to do with size of screen, though, its to do with re-watching, isn't it?
Of course. The allusion to 'size' is merely to point out the difference between the cinema (where the screen is larger) and at home. The actual or comparative screen screen size has absolutely nothing to do with it. I am sure many projectionists or cinema managers were able to appreciate 12 Angry Men in the 1950s as much (or even better) as we are able to do today.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2008, 16:57   #7
Richie
Trusted User
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 23,671
Thanks: 238
Thanked 159 Times in 82 Posts
First time I saw '12 Angry Men' was on a tiny casio pocket tv in about 1990. It was still utterly riveting.
Richie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 06:40   #8
DanWilde1966
I no longer post here.
 
DanWilde1966's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5,006
Thanks: 28
Thanked 19 Times in 12 Posts
From my understanding of the subject, the Hollywood studio system was a response to the Great Depression - a streamlining of production that effectively kept the US film industry in existence. The studios churned out films (some of which became "classics", others pure dross) in the knowledge that these films would get automatic distribution in their own cinemas. Similarly, audiences had a much more habitual attitude to film-going. They went to the cinema rather than choose a particular film, so whether it was Grapes of Wrath or some minor and forgotten piece of trash, people went. This contrasts with the modern industry in which there are independent "package" productions, each one competing for audiences. So the "event" movie is now the norm: Kubrick spent the latter half of his careers making them. Cinema attendance is no longer habitual, because audiences choose which film they want to see depending on all sorts of factors. The role of marketing is crucial.

The issue of screen size is another matter. The thing about video and DVD is that they make films much more accessible. Film students no longer need to spend money paying for actual film reels and they are not constrained by having to watch films from beginning to end: they can access them at any point, replay (and study) particular scenes, and so forth. Films can be owned cheaply and in great number. They can indeed be watched in the comfort of your own living room.

Screen size is important. There's the whole panning and scanning problem on some videos and DVDs which deeply affects how a film is viewed. When 2001 was first screened on the BBC in 1981, some fool added his own stars in the dark parts of the letterbox image, making the SPFX look incredibly clumsy. For years the BBC would show The Man Who Fell to Earth panned and scanned, completely altering Roeg's frame compositions. Watching films in this way is a lesser experience than seeing the whole frame on the big screen. Some people argue that if you watch a movie on tv, the experience is so different from the cinema experience that you're effectively looking at a different film.

Then there's the question of audience. Hitchcock movies are an amazingly powerful experience when seen with an audience. Rear Window is utterly electric on the big screen, with a thrilled, completely-engaged audience. Is it the same on the small screen (however big your TV)? Nope, it isn't.
DanWilde1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 08:16   #9
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Quote:
=DanWilde1966;8282828] The thing about video and DVD is that they make films much more accessible. Film students no longer need to spend money paying for actual film reels and they are not constrained by having to watch films from beginning to end: they can access them at any point, replay (and study) particular scenes, and so forth. Films can be owned cheaply and in great number. They can indeed be watched in the comfort of your own living room.
Yes and to my way of thinking, it gives us an opportunity to 'dissect' a film - both to admire and criticise - something that obviously cannot be done at the cinema. Applying this to 12 Angry Men for example, I have played back several individual scenes in the film in order to admire the tricks used by Lumet and Kaufman in the limited space available. There is one memorable shot midway in the film that is taken from a corner of the room with a slight wide-angled lens showing the jurors scattered about during a momentary breather from their arguements when a thoughtful and slightly distressed Jack Klugman walks past very close to the camera. I thought that (like many other subtle takes in the film) was marvelously done.

Quote:
Screen size is important. Watching films in this way is a lesser experience than seeing the whole frame on the big screen. Some people argue that if you watch a movie on tv, the experience is so different from the cinema experience that you're effectively looking at a different film.
Et tu DW? If you read my second and third posts of this thread, I have already mentioned that this was not about a direct comparison of size between the big and small screen for watching any film, but the difference in the ability to appreciate the finer points of a classic during a one-off (or even two-off) visit to the cinema and the opportunity for slow critical analysis at home during 'in the mood' multiple viewings. Perhaps my choice of the words "small screen" in the title was inappropriate, but it certainly did not mean a "smaller screen" in the literal sense. While I enjoy watching a great film at the cinema as much as the next person, I was only stating that there are some things that you can do at home that you cannot at the cinema (and I did not just mean freezing the screen to nip to the loo )

Quote:
Then there's the question of audience. Hitchcock movies are an amazingly powerful experience when seen with an audience. Rear Window is utterly electric on the big screen, with a thrilled, completely-engaged audience. Is it the same on the small screen (however big your TV)? Nope, it isn't.
Now you're talking! Yes, I agree that being part of a good and appreciative audience can certainly add to enjoyment of a classic, but how many of those do you get at the cinema these days? And on a personal note, I have to confess that I enjoy watching Rear Window in the privacy of the Home Cinema with the wife, who also loves the film. During our several viewings, we have frozen one scene or another several times to point out excitedly to each other something that one or the other might have missed before - the latest one was a very dim and dark shot of the shirtless pianist in the background behind Lisa's right shoulder as she relaxed on the settee some two-thirds of the way into the film. That is the sort of thing that I meant we cannot do at the cinema.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 09:54   #10
JoelCairo
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,123
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
I agree with you totally myself. I think you might have missed the point that I am trying to make.
You're right. I missed your main point. Mind you, your thread title is misleading and, as KRW has pointed out, seeing films on a big screen and watching them repeatedly and analytically are two quite different things.

A few random thoughts:

Before television, going to the cinema was THE main form of entertainment for the majority. The only major alternative was radio in the home: cheap, badly designed, badly built valve radios using shoddy components and generating masses of distortion. In those days most films showed a profit. When television became available to large numbers of people, in the USA in the late 1940s and in the UK in the mid 1950s, cinema attendances went down rapidly and no longer was there any certainty that a film would make a profit. Consequently, the commercial failure of The Grapes Of Wrath is different from that of movies made in the 1950s.

That a film fails to find a large audience when first released is not caused primarily by the film having subtle details that are only appreciated after several viewings. The failure is caused mainly by the film not catching the public mood, and that applies as much to insensitive formula movies as to great masterpieces. One of my favourite movies is Love In The Afternoon - the Billy Wilder movie, not the French one. Love In The Afternoon was a commercial failure although, in my opinion, it is a quite brilliant film. It failed to catch the public mood because the narrative hinges on the then slightly shocking idea that a nice, well-brought-up, fairly innocent girl might enjoy sex. (She is fascinated by the reputation of a prosperous lecher. She goes to see him, stays for some dalliance and goes back the next day for more.) Prospective audiences in the mid 1950s found that idea distasteful, particularly as the girl was played by Audrey Hepburn, and objected even more to Gary Cooper playing a cynical Lothario. The audiences stayed away.

The second main reason a film fails to attract large audiences, both in the 1950s and today, is that word-of-mouth judgment is unfavourable. Most people pay scant attention to the opinions of professional critics but are swayed by the opinions of colleagues at work. If some-one who saw the movie on Sunday goes to work and tells his friends the film is disappointing, they will not go to see it the following Friday. From this fact came the theory that the last five minutes of a movie are the most important because they are the minutes which decide whether or not the audience will recommend the film to their friends. I will never forget the first time I saw Vertigo. I was enthralled by the movie, I was startled by the film's understanding of men's romantic impulses, I was convinced this was the most fascinating and haunting film I had ever seen . . . . . . . and then came that botched, crudely edited last scene. Because of the way the scene is cut - and only because of the way it is cut: there is nothing wrong with the basic idea - the woman's falling though the window is so glib, so facile that I threw up my hands in disgust. I walked out of the cinema bitterly disappointed. My guess is that most other people did too when Vertigo was first released and that their word-of-mouth killed the film's box-office potential. All of which leads to the opportunity to re-examine films at leisure.

Watching a film again and again certainly provides scope to appreciate subtle details, but this applies to all films and is not confined to thought-provoking, socially conscious movies. It enables the viewer, for example, to recognise that The Usual Suspects is a total fraud, plagiarising both Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and 20th Century Fox's I Wake Up Screaming, using "lying flashbacks" to deceive the audience and ultimately making no sense at all. Seeing a film umpteen times not only leads to a recognition of delicate nuances. It also softens the impact of a film's shortcomings. I have seen Vertigo so often that I am no longer irritated by the abrupt editing of that crucial scene. I don't even notice it.

Finally, we should not forget that in the old days before DVD, before video recorders, before television became totally dependant upon showing old movies, movie enthusiasts used to traipse all over their local area seeing films for the umpteenth time in repertory cinemas, sometimes known as flea-pits. I speak from personal experience here. In the 1960s Francois Truffaut stated that it was only after seeing a film six times that one could begin really to appreciate it. I remember when David Shipman introduced Joseph L. Mankiewicz at the NFT. Beaming confidently, Shipman asked the audience rhetorically "How many times have you seen All About Eve?" and followed this by declaring proudly "I've seen it ten times". I was surprised that he had seen it only ten times!

Last edited by JoelCairo; 31-10-2008 at 22:16. Reason: Typing mistake
JoelCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 12:24   #11
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelCairo View Post
You're right. I missed your main point. Mind you, your thread title is misleading.
Yes and sorry about that. The title erraneously conveys the message "on the TV screen rather than the one at the cinema" whereas it really is meant to say "in the privacy of one's home with opportunity for repeated viewings" or something like that.


Quote:
That a film fails to find a large audience when first released is not caused primarily by the film having subtle details that are only appreciated after several viewings. The failure is caused mainly by the film not catching the public mood, and that applies as much to insensitive formula movies as to great masterpieces.
Agreed. I suppose The Grapes of Wrath might not have appealed to a potential audience that had just exchanged the thores of the Great Depression to that of War in Europe.

Quote:
One of my favourite movies is Love In The Afternoon - the Billy Wilder movie, not the French one. Love In The Afternoon was a commercial failure although, in my opinion, it is a quite brilliant film. It failed to catch the public mood because the narrative hinges on the then slightly shocking idea that a nice, well-brought-up, fairly innocent girl might enjoy sex. The audiences stayed away.
I have not seen this one yet, but will make good some day soon. Wilder is one of my favourite directors. Back in 1957, I can only imagine the amount of outrage the theme would have caused across the American Bible belt . But I expect the more worldly audience over here would not have found it anything to get upset about.

I can understand the misgivings about the respectable looking Gary Cooper being cast as a Lothario but IMO Audrey Hepburn would be perfect for the part. In many of her films (and I don't mean Breakfast at Tiffany's), there have been many not-so-suble nuances that she enjoyed physical attentions of the opposite sex. Sabrina Fair, Funny Face (both of which came out just before Love in the Afternoon), Charade, Paris When it Sizzles and even Wait Until Dark. Hepburn developed her own brand of a very subtle 'come on' body language that was noticeable in those and a few other films.

Quote:
The second main reason a film fails to attract large audiences, both in the 1950s and today, is that word-of-mouth judgment is unfavourable. Most people pay scant attention to the opinions of professional critics but are swayed by the opinions of colleagues at work. If some-one who saw the movie on Sunday goes to work and tells his friends the film is disappointing, they will not go to see it the following Friday.
Agreed again and I have been a victim of that misjudgement myself. Of course, it works both ways and I have been to films that I absolutely loathed after listening to good reviews; Spielberg's Minority Report is a glaring example.

....but I do read and digest the views of some forum members.....

Quote:
I was enthralled by the movie Vertigo; I was startled by the film's understanding of men's romantic impulses.
Although Vertigo is a bit low down on my own list of Hitchcock films, I totally agree that it does capture a man's romantic impulses very well.....but romantic with a very big 'R'. A man in love does have a tendency to become quickly obsessional if denied and contrary to popular belief, this seldom has anything to do with his male ego.

But it you want to see a film that captures a 'respectable' man's hidden lustful impulses, by far the best is Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. I know that it is not everyone's cup of tea, but I think the film is a brilliant experience from purely a man's perspective. To really appreciate the film, you should watch it on your own at home (here comes that 'small screen' bit again! ) and try to put yourself completely in Cruise's shoes. On that particular score, EWS works far better than another Kubrick film Lolita.

Quote:
Watching a film again and again certainly provides scope to appreciate subtle details, but this applies to all films and is not confined to thought-provoking, socially conscious movies. Seeing a film umpteen times not only leads to a recognition of delicate nuances. It also softens the impact of a film shortcomings.

In the 1960s Francois Truffaut stated that it was only after seeing a film six times that one could begin really to appreciare it.
Right again. Since the advent of DVDs, repeated viewings and the inevitable dissection that follows has led me to admire some films that I had failed to appreciate at the cinema years previously while some others that I had thought were the proverbial bees knees have been cut down to size.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 12:38   #12
DanWilde1966
I no longer post here.
 
DanWilde1966's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5,006
Thanks: 28
Thanked 19 Times in 12 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
Et tu DW? If you read my second and third posts of this thread, I have already mentioned that this was not about a direct comparison of size between the big and small screen for watching any film, but the difference in the ability to appreciate the finer points of a classic during a one-off (or even two-off) visit to the cinema and the opportunity for slow critical analysis at home during 'in the mood' multiple viewings... I was only stating that there are some things that you can do at home that you cannot at the cinema (and I did not just mean freezing the screen to nip to the loo )
Point completely taken. I recall that my thoughts about Scorsese's Goodfellas (which I watched loads of times on the big screen, both in London and in New York at the time of its release) were much aided by having the film on video (and later DVD). Similarly with Oliver Stone's JFK: I was mesmerised by the film at the cinema, but was able to immerse myself in it much more intensely once I'd got the video back home. Special edition DVD extras heighten the experience even more, I suppose.

Quote:
I agree that being part of a good and appreciative audience can certainly add to enjoyment of a classic, but how many of those do you get at the cinema these days? And on a personal note, I have to confess that I enjoy watching Rear Window in the privacy of the Home Cinema with the wife, who also loves the film. During our several viewings, we have frozen one scene or another several times to point out excitedly to each other something that one or the other might have missed before - the latest one was a very dim and dark shot of the shirtless pianist in the background behind Lisa's right shoulder as she relaxed on the settee some two-thirds of the way into the film. That is the sort of thing that I meant we cannot do at the cinema.
Yep - I fully understand. In the case of Rear Window, all that background activity is all the more impressive when you take into account the amount of artificial light required to get a background image at all. Am I correct in recalling that water sprinklers in the studio were activated more than once during production owing to the heat of the arc lights? Colour film stocks weren't what they are now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelCairo View Post
I will never forget the first time I saw Vertigo. I was enthralled by the movie, I was startled by the film's understanding of men's romantic impulses, I was convinced this was the most fascinating and haunting film I had ever seen . . . . . . . and then came that botched, crudely edited last scene. Because of the way the scene is cut - and only because of the way it is cut: there is nothing wrong with the basic idea - the woman's falling though the window is so glib, so facile that I threw up my hands in disgust. I walked out of the cinema bitterly disappointed. ..Seeing a film umpteen times not only leads to a recognition of delicate nuances. It also softens the impact of a film shortcomings. I have seen Vertigo so often that I am no longer irritated by the abrupt editing of that crucial scene. I don't even notice it.
This is a solid point. My first experience of Vertigo was exactly the same. That ending came across as just... ridiculous. (It wasn't the first time Hitch had botched an ending; 1956's Man Who Knew Too Much, anyone?) But repeated viewings have meant that such problems are no longer a consideration and I can relish the rest of the great scenes without them being spoilt.
DanWilde1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 12:58   #13
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: STILL David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 8,065
Thanks: 399
Thanked 381 Times in 199 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966 View Post
It wasn't the first time Hitch had botched an ending; 1956's Man Who Knew Too Much, anyone?
While I would not go so far as to say the ending of TMWKTM was "spoilt", it did seem a bit hotch-potchy. But there is one brilliant mini-montage take just before the climax that often gets missed: Doris Day is waiting for James Stewart's arrival across the road from the church where their son is being held captive. The camera switches to the back of the church as the kidnappers smuggle the boy out through the back door into the car; but at the very top edge of that shot, the aforementioned sidewalk is just visible in the distance and the tiny figure of Day can be seen to turn quickly to her right. In the next shot, we see a close-up of Day as she does the same turn again.....to see Stewart's car coming around the corner. That trick is very easy to miss in a single viewing even on the larger screen of the cinema because of the foreground activity. I spotted in the 3rd or 4th time that I watched the film on DVD and 'rewound' to see and appreciate the scene again.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 13:04   #14
DanWilde1966
I no longer post here.
 
DanWilde1966's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5,006
Thanks: 28
Thanked 19 Times in 12 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
While I would not go so far as to say the ending of TMWKTM was "spoilt", it did seem a bit hotch-potchy. But there is one brilliant mini-montage take just before the climax that often gets missed: Doris Day is waiting for James Stewart's arrival across the road from the church where their son is being held captive. The camera switches to the back of the church as the kidnappers smuggle the boy out through the back door into the car; but at the very top edge of that shot, the aforementioned sidewalk is just visible in the distance and the tiny figure of Day can be seen to turn quickly to her right. In the next shot, we see a close-up of Day as she does the same turn again.....to see Stewart's car coming around the corner. That trick is very easy to miss in a single viewing even on the larger screen of the cinema because of the foreground activity. I spotted in the 3rd or 4th time that I watched the film on DVD and 'rewound' to see and appreciate the scene again.
There are similar shots in Vertigo and North by Northwest, and that whole approach to framing - pure mise en scene, if you like, as opposed to his usual montage - was something of a 50s signature for Hitch.
DanWilde1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 14:43   #15
JoelCairo
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,123
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore View Post
I have not seen this one yet, but will make good some day soon. Wilder is one of my favourite directors. Back in 1957, I can only imagine the amount of outrage the theme would have caused across the American Bible belt . But I expect the more worldly audience over here would not have found it anything to get upset about.

I can understand the misgivings about the respectable looking Gary Cooper being cast as a Lothario but IMO Audrey Hepburn would be perfect for the part.
I can recommend the Region 1 DVD of Love In The Afternoon. Audrey Hepburn was perfect. In fact the whole cast is good. Particular note should be taken of Gary Cooper's reaction shot when Maurice Chevalier tells him the Audrey Hepburn character is his, Chevalier's, daughter. In my opinion it is one the greatest reaction shots in all cinema. Anyone who wants to know how good an actor Gary Cooper was should look at that moment.
JoelCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2008, 12:55   #16
DanWilde1966
I no longer post here.
 
DanWilde1966's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5,006
Thanks: 28
Thanked 19 Times in 12 Posts
I suppose the other thing to bear in mind here is that we have access to so many films on the small screen now that we're completely spoilt for choice. We are saturated with them.

In the late 70s, I recall seeing two movies on TV for the first time: John Carpenter's marvellous Kubrick parody Dark Star and Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death. I was completely delighted by both and, of course, wanted to see them again. But unless I was lucky and a rep cinema was showing them, I had to wait two or three years for them to be repeated on TV. When I got a video recorder, these films (and North by Northwest) were the first ones I videoed greedily when they were aired.

If the small screen now offers endless opportunities to obsess over individual movies, the diminishing return is that it's possible to become so saturated with them, that like endlessly-listened to albums, there may be various titles (Apocalypse Now) that I'll probably never look at again. So if the small screen enables us to spot things in movies that we missed on the big screen, it also has the potential to dilute our delight, because seeing them is too easy.

Last edited by DanWilde1966; 21-10-2008 at 12:57.
DanWilde1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
12 Angry Men, Grapes of Wrath, Small Screen, The Night of the Hunter

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where to get cheapest small hd screen please Guest 30504 Suppliers and Shopping Forum 0 11-01-2007 21:10
Your Favourite Classic Screen Couples??? Guest 52145 Film Discussion 17 06-01-2006 15:32
Mudhoney to play classic album at small London show Guest 2758 Music Discussion 5 26-09-2005 01:39
28 Days Later On The Small Screen Guest 31794 Film Discussion 14 28-05-2003 01:06

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:14.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.qq
Copyright ©2000 - 2021 Network N Ltd.