Archive for October 19th, 2011

In yesterday’s I talked a bit about some of the films that I watch in the studio as I work, mainly talking about the real classics.  I didn’t mention some of my favorites simply for the fact that I can’t watch them in the studio.  Some are pretty self explanatory, like silent films or foreign films where attention to the screen is required to simply follow the basic storyline.  I have many, many of these great silent and foreign language films just waiting to be watched when I’m not busy in the studio. I’m not sure when that will be.

But there are other films that I can’t watch because of the  way in which they’re directed and put together.  They are simply too beautifully constructed to not watch, so  much being lost by not seeing every bit of the film.  Take for instance the films of David Lean.  I love so many of his films but seldom watch any of them for just this reason.  Lawrence of Arabia is a prime example.  The scene shown above is a wonder.  There is only a few words of dialogue.  The whole scene is simply two man at a desert well as a rider approaches from far across the desert floor, fading in and out in the haze of the heat as though he were a mirage.  It is almost silent but is filled with tension.  This is only one scene in a film filled with grand wide shots that speak volumes, scenes that should not be missed in order to feel the power of the whole film.

Or take a peek at Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter, set in Ireland in the early part of the 20th century.  The scenes set on a desolate beach as the local townsfolk who support the IRA struggle in a mighty storm with waves crashing all around them to retrieve a shipment of rifles coming in to shore.  It is one of the most amzing scenes in film, mainly because it was all real.  There was no computer generated effects, no wind machines.  This was a dangerous effort, almost as perilous as the scene it depicted.  How could I not look at something like that?

I’m not even getting into his other great films– The Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago or the sublime Summertime, with its spectacular scenes of Venice taken from a train on which Katherine Hepburn’s character arrives.  Nobody used the train as powerfully in cinema as did Lean.  His shots of the train wreck in The Bridge on the River Kwai or his shots of the train crossing the frozen desolation of Siberia in Dr. Zhivago are masterful.

Then there’s his earlier, less epic in scale work.  The moody Brief Encounter or his now classic takes on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist or Great Expectations are just perfectly put together films, beautifully shot and full of great nuance. These are the work of a master, a maker of films for adults.  Watching them is really a pleasure in itself. So why would I have something on that I couldn’t fully appreciate.  Makes me want to blow off the day and watch a David Lean film.



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: