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View Diary: Friday Night at the Movies: Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) (56 comments)

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  •  Excellent diary (7+ / 0-)

    'The Red Shoes' is one of the greatest ballet films of all times - yes, it even rivals 'American in Paris' the plot which I find somewhat dated-not the dance numbers. Moira Shearer is just outstanding. Now that you mentioned it, I have to rent it since I haven't seen it in a long time.

    •  thanks / actually, both films.... (6+ / 0-)

      .....are rather dated, although The Red Shoes has perhaps a greater sense of "timelessness" about it, as there's no sense that a devastating world war has just taken place, given the sheer color of the movie.  Plus, if nothing else, An American in Paris has that one shot where Gene Kelly walks by a Winston Churchill look-alike, which really dates that film :) .

      One nice little touch in The Red Shoes, or perhaps two, is the scene where Julian Craster plays the score of the ballet on the piano.  That whole scene is mostly in long shot, except for one brief cut that shows Ratov (Albert Bassermann).  Also, at the end, after Lermontov makes the announcement about Vicky Page, the only real close-up of the reaction of the company, besides Lermontov himself, is of Bassermann as Ratov.  Bassermann was the most famous German theatre actor of his day, but he fled the Third Reich and made his way to the US, speaking no English.  Even if I've heard an account that Powell was rather harsh at times towards Bassermann during the filming, Powell giving Bassermann those close-ups in the final cut sort of made up for it.  The Red Shoes was Bassermann's final film, if I have that right.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 07:16:12 PM PDT

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      •  While I love Gene Kelly (3+ / 0-)

        An American in Paris is quite likely my least favourite of his films.  I don't particularly like his character, and other than set dance pieces (not all of which I enjoy) I find it annoying.  

        On the other hand, I fell quite in love with him in Brigadoon (I guess I shouldn't admit that), and think that Singing in the Rain is the best movie ever made.

        •  kind of interesting that "The Red Shoes".... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annetteboardman, Nisi Prius

          ....presaged An American in Paris, in terms of the long dance sequence in the one giving license for the later film.  But on the whole, the film does somehow seem just a tad pretentious.  Oscar Levant is fun, though, particularly in that "egomaniac" sequence where he's playing all the parts, the conductor, the orchestra musicians, the pianist, and the audience.

          I sort of have a soft spot for Brigadoon myself when I've seen it on TV, even though I wouldn't call it a "great" film.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 09:29:49 PM PDT

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