Historic Phantom Setsfsilentfilmfestival.blogspot.com
Brandee Cox, author of The Silent Treatment newsletter, alerted us to this petition—an effort to save Universal’s historic Stage 28, originally built in 1924 for The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Cha …

Historic Phantom Set
sfsilentfilmfestival.blogspot.com

Brandee Cox, author of The Silent Treatment newsletter, alerted us to this petition—an effort to save Universal’s historic Stage 28, originally built in 1924 for The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Cha …

fuckyeahalfredhitchcock:

Each sec from Hitchcock Film (Vertigo) - MOMA exhibit (via mark’s photo stream)

fuckyeahalfredhitchcock:

Each sec from Hitchcock Film (Vertigo) - MOMA exhibit (via mark’s photo stream)

15 notes

blindthoughts:

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, California.

My home away from home

(Source: eversolightly)

528,292 notes

normanbuckley:

Revisiting one of my regular lectures when I’m teaching:  HITCHCOCK AND THE PATTERNS OF VERTIGO:

http://bit.ly/1qtSIzM

Hitchcock said, “You can do anything you want with montage. Cinema is simply pieces of film put together in a manner that creates ideas and emotions.” VERTIGO is an amazing piece of work in terms of how little the dialogue matters to one’s experience of the film. Actually much of the dialogue feels dated, and more than a little ham-fisted (on the most superficial level, the plot is ridiculous), but the impact of the film’s visuals doesn’t feel dated at all. The power of seeing Kim Novak as Madeleine, moving across a room towards James Stewart, three different times in the film, on exactly the same axis, in exactly the same framing, creates an enormously potent motif that reinforces its themes. She’s presented over and over to the viewer in a manner that reinforces the character Scottie’s first and enduring experience of her, and the moment is always treated as dream-like. ”

Bravo, Norman.

20 notes

cinephiliabeyond:

Dick Smith, the renowned “Godfather of Makeup,” has died aged 92. As Rick Baker said so well, “there’s never going to be another Dick Smith. Dick is, without a doubt, the greatest makeup artist who’s ever going to live.” 

Within the embedded player below, you will find a rare documentary about legendary makeup artist Dick Smith featuring an interesting tour in his underground basement at his home that was turned into secret makeup lab. In this early interview, Mr. Smith talks about the achievements, techniques and procedures that he practiced to reach his notable old age makeup on Dustin Hoffman for Little Big Man  (1970).

Without Dick Smith, I would not be making movies. He was my mentor. The first time I came into contact with him was as a child. When The Exorcist came out, I bought his makeup kit in a toy store. It came with gelatin and molds and colors, and I did my own makeup effects at a very young age. It wasn’t until later that I actually wrote to Dick, explaining to him how much I needed to take his makeup-effects course because no one in Mexico was going to help me do effects for my first feature, Cronos. I said, “I cannot afford an American makeup effects artist. I have to sculpt, paint, design — I have to do everything myself!”

I finally met him in about 1987. I applied for the course and we met in New York. And he greeted me like he had known me for decades, he was so incredibly open and nice. He had dinner with my father and my mother and me and my wife, who was then my girlfriend. Dick came to be like part of my family. He was a guy that changed the way I see the art of making movies. He wanted to spread the gospel, the knowledge, amongst colleagues and amongst anyone who was interested in learning. Dick had a way of welcoming anyone new without prejudice or snobbery.

To this day, many of the principles that he taught me, I still apply to my own creations. Dick always said, “strive for realism.” So don’t strive to make a monster a monster. Don’t do an old-age makeup that is an old-age makeup. Try to actually create the face of an old man, a real old man, which is what he did with Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man and F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus. Don’t go for the effect; go for the reality. And that’s as true for a monster as it is for a piece of delicate prosthetic makeup. He also told me never to sculpt an expression into a piece of prosthetic. Many artists sculpt something that is already angry or screaming, and they exaggerate the facial lines of expression. He said not to do that, but rather to always sculpt the face in repose. That way you could let the actor imbue the prosthetic with his own character.

Sometimes I would go to New York and I would take a commuter train to Larchmont and spend the day with him. We’d be together the entire day, from morning, through lunch, until dinner, and then I would take the train back to Manhattan. We talked so much. And we wrote each other often. I have dozen and dozens of letters, from over the years, in which he would respond to every one of my photographs and drawings telling me what was wrong and what was right, so that I could continue learning. And that was a gift. He was willing to talk to anyone who wanted to know more about his craft. He changed not only my life, but the lives of hundreds of artists. —Guillermo del Toro on Movie Makeup Artist Dick Smith, His Friend and Mentor by Gilbert Cruz

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

It seems that we are losing so many artisan giants.

171 notes

Interior stairwell
Alexandria Hotel
July 2014 (at The Alexandria)

Interior stairwell
Alexandria Hotel
July 2014 (at The Alexandria)

Alexandria Hotel
July 2014 (at The Alexandria)

Alexandria Hotel
July 2014 (at The Alexandria)

cinephiliabeyond:


There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed—master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, and burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; “eternal values,” “immortality” and “masterpiece” were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility.
Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, and his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon’s head, an angel, a devil—or perhaps a saint—out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. —Ingmar Bergman, Four Screenplays via oldhollywood


In case you somehow missed it: this is just absolutely brilliant and by far the best interview with Ingmar Bergman I’ve ever come across: Ingmar Bergman: a conversation with the students of the American Film Institute. In addition to this, I would also recommend George Stevens Jr.’s marvelous book, Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age: At the American Film Institute.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

//

cinephiliabeyond:

There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed—master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, and burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; “eternal values,” “immortality” and “masterpiece” were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility.

Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, and his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon’s head, an angel, a devil—or perhaps a saint—out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. —Ingmar Bergman, Four Screenplays via oldhollywood

In case you somehow missed it: this is just absolutely brilliant and by far the best interview with Ingmar Bergman I’ve ever come across: Ingmar Bergman: a conversation with the students of the American Film Institute. In addition to this, I would also recommend George Stevens Jr.’s marvelous book, Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age: At the American Film Institute.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

101 notes

normanbuckley:

Revisiting some of my earlier essays. Considering Hitchcock and the mid-century American male. http://bit.ly/1k3uyhN

normanbuckley:

Revisiting some of my earlier essays. Considering Hitchcock and the mid-century American male. http://bit.ly/1k3uyhN

9 notes

cinephiliabeyond:

Alfred Hitchcock directs Dial M for Murder, 1953.

When discussing the film (officially his 45th) in François Truffaut’s A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock — a book-length transcription of 50 hours of conversation between the directors — Hitchcock said the picture was an example of him “coasting, playing it safe.” In the book they’re done with the film within three pages: “There isn’t very much we can say about that one, is there?” I disagree. Dial M for Murder has a romping plot, a gloriously slimy villain and — thanks to the fact that (as in Rope before and Rear Window after) the action is mostly constrained to one room — some of the weirdest, tricksiest camera work of Hitchcock’s career. —My favourite Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder by Henry Barnes

François Truffaut: Now, we come to 1953, the year in which you made Dial M for Murder.
Alfred Hitchcock: There isn’t very much we can say about that one, is there?
FT: I’m not so sure about that. Would you say this picture was made because it happened to be convenient?
AH: I was running for cover again. I had a contract with Warner’s at the time and was working on a scenario called The Bramble Bush. It was the story of a man who stole another man’s passport without knowing that the pass­port owner was wanted for murder. I worked on that for a while, but it wasn’t any good. Just then I found out that Warner’s had bought the rights to the Broadway stage hit Dial M for Murder. I immediately said I’d take it because that was coasting, playing it safe.
FT: It was filmed very quickly, wasn’t it?
AH: In thirty-six days.
FT: An interesting aspect is that the picture was shot in 3-D. In France, unfortunately, we only saw the flat version because the theater managers were too lazy to make the necessary arrangements for the distribution of Polaroid spectacles to the audiences.
AH: The impression of relief was especially in the low-angle shots. I had them make a pit so that the camera could be at floor level. Aside from that there were very few effects directly in relief.
FT: Among the objects projected in depthwere a lamp, a flower vase, and particularly the scissors.
AH: Yes, when Grace Kelly is looking for a weapon to defend herself. There was another shot of the keyhole and that’s all.
FT: Was the picture very faithful to the play?
AH: Yes. I’ve got a theory on the way they make pictures based on stage plays; they did it with silent pictures, too. Many filmmakers would take a stage play and say, ”I’m going to make this into a film.” Then they would begin to “open it up.” In other words, on the stage it was all confined to one set, and the idea was to do something that would take it away from the confined stage setting.
FT: In France we call that “ventilating the play.”
AH: Well, that whole operation boils down to very little. Let’s say that in the play one of the characters arrives in a cab. In the film they will show the arrival of the cab, the person getting out and paying the driver, coming up the stairs, knocking at the door and then coming into the room, and this serves to introduce the long scene that takes place in the room. Sometimes, if a stage character has mentioned something about a trip, the film will show the journey in a flashback. This technique overlooks the fact that the basic quality of any play is precisely its confinement within the proscenium.

FT: As a matter of fact, that concentration is the most difficult thing to work out in a stage dramatization. And more often than not in the process of being transposed to the screen, the dramatic effectiveness of a play will be dissi­pated.
AH: Well, this is where the filmmakers often go wrong, and what they get is simply some dull footage that’s been added to the play artificially. Whereas in Dial M for Murder, I did my best to avoid going outside. It happened only two or three times, when the inspector had to verify something, and then, very briefly. I even had the floor made of real tiles so as to get the sound of the footsteps. In other words, what I did was to emphasize the theatrical aspects.
FT: The effort at stage realism was even apparent in the soundtrack, which was far superior to Juno and the Paycock  and to Rope.
AH: Definitely.
FT: And this would also explain vvhy the trial was shown simply through a series of close­ups on Grace Kelly’s face against a natural back­ground and with color light revolving behind her, rather than to show the whole courtroom.
AH: This way was more intimate, you see, so that the unity of emotion was maintained. If I’d had a courtroom built, people would have started to cough restlessly, thinking, “they’re starting a second picture.” We did an interesting color experiment with Grace Kelly’s clothing. I dressed her in very gay and bright colors at the beginning of the picture, and as the plot thickened, her clothes be­ came gradually more somber.
FT: Before dropping Dial M for Murder, and particularly since we’ve discussed it as a minor effort, I should mention that this is one of the pictures I see over and over again. I enjoy it more every time I see it. Basically, it’s a dialogue picture, but the cutting, the rhythm, and the direction of the players are so polished that one listens to each sentence religiously. It isn’t all that easy to command the audience’s undivided attention for a continuous dialogue. I suspect that here again the real achievement is that something very difficult has been carried out in a way that makes it seem quite easy. And speaking of facility, I’m aware that it’s eas­ier to reply to criticism than to praise, but just the same, I would appreciate your comments.
AH: I just did my job, using cinematic means to narrate a story taken from a stage play. All of the action in Dial M for Murder  takes place in a living room, but that doesn’t matter. I could just as well have shot the whole film in a telephone booth. Let’s imagine there’s a couple in that booth. Their hands are touching, their lips meet, and accidentally one of them leans against the receiver, knocking it off the hook. Now, while they’re unaware of it, the phone operator can listen in on their intimate conver­sation. The drama has taken a step forward. For the audience, looking at the images, it should be the same as reaqing the opening paragraphs of a novel or hearing the expositional dialogue of the stage play. You might say that a film­maker can use a telephone booth pretty much in the same way a novelist uses a blank piece of paper.

The screenplay and the stage play on which it was based were both written by English playwright Frederick Knott, whose work often focused on women who innocently become the potential victims of sinister plots. The play premiered in 1952 on BBC television, before being performed on the stage in the same year in London’s West End in June, and then New York’s Broadway in October. [x]

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

104 notes