26 December 2006

Real Location # 5 - The House on Telegraph Hill

"The house on Telegraph Hill, as seen in the film, did not excist. The mansion was superimposed photographically on an actual site in Telegraph Hill, at 1541 Montgomery Street. As in the film, the property sits on a dead end cliff at the edge of Telegraph Hill."

From 'San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present' by Nathaniel Rich, 2005.

Rich goes on to describe Julius Castle, the building that is actually on the site and has been since 1922 and how the decor of this restuarant resembles that of the house in the film. Sadly when I visited, as can be seen below the building was closed for refurbishment which was a real shame. However I was very pleasantly suprised at how this location was in close proximity to another delightful Noir location...

The view from 'The House on Telegraph Hill'.

Gene Tierney

Film and stage beauties # 19: Lola Jensen

Reverse reads:

A series of 54, No. 45 Lola Jensen.

A series of real photographs now being issued with Black Cat Medium Cigarettes. Carreras Ltd (ESTD 1788) Arcadia Works, London, England.

IMDB entry for Lola Jensen, link.

More on 2006, a year in review

Thanks to all those that took part in this. I'm going to work on trying to put the results on here in the next day or so.

In the meantime if you feel like another survey Edward Copeland at Edward Copeland on Film wants to know your best and worst best actress winners Oscar winners ahead of the Oscar nominations. For me it's just a feeble excuse to post a picture of Julie Christie, who I saw walking around the National Film Theatre the day Kenneth Anger gave an introduction to his films.

Edward Copeland's latest Oscar Survey, link.

I just took a quick look at the listings, aside from 'Flags of Our Fathers' and 'The Wizard of Oz' there is little else on. Looks like the better new releases are being saved for the New Year. I'm not complaining, Eureka/Masters of Cinema brought out a nice box set of every Buster Keaton short spread over four discs, I'm currently half way through disc 2.

Coming attraction: Esma's Secret

10 December 2006

Jack Cardiff at Goethe Institut

Jack Cardiff interviewed by Richard Leon.

Jack Cardiff had worked as Assistant Cameraman on ‘Knight without Armour’ for which Marlene Dietrich was the star in 1937. To publicise the new Marlene Dietrich Collection (18 DVD’s, Universal) from the Goethe Institut screened ‘The Devil is a Woman’ which I hadn’t seen so I thought I’d attend, as I’d thoroughly enjoyed the Jack Cardiff event at the National Gallery earlier in the year.

Jack Cardiff shared recollections of working with Dietrich. By his early 20’s he was now behind the camera, having started in films as a child actor. Cardiff was intrigued by Dietrich’s devotion to Josef von Sternberg, Cardiff felt that the devotion almost manifested itself in a religious way. Cardiff was keen to learn about, for the example the overhead lighting techniques employed by Sternberg who he respected.

Sternberg had been the person most associated with lighting and photographing Dietrich and thus in turn her fascination with lighting and how she would look was picked up on by the young Cardiff for this 1937 British made film, after all the Cameraman and his team would be the ones to make her look beautiful.

Cardiff recalled how in one bath scene Dietrich decided not to wear the customary skin coloured costume normally used for nude scenes and instead preferred to play the scene naked. He further recalled that she fell out of the bath and landed on some newspaper which he cut out in the shape of her behind and that she signed for him, which he still has somewhere.

Cardiff’s view was that Dietrich wasn’t one of the great actresses and by this I understood it to mean perhaps he didn’t think much of her technical ability and that she wasn’t a studious in rehearsals and getting underneath the skin of the role as some.

My thanks to my friends at the Powell and Pressburger Appreciation Society for bringing this screening to my attention. I had never attended a screening at the Goethe Institut, the cinema is quite basic in terms of comfort but the programme is varied. Tickets for this event were £3, which has to be one of the cheapest screenings I have ever attended in London. Jack Cardiff was intervied by Richard Leon, a publicist.

Goethe Institut, link.
IMDB entry for 'Knight without Armour' link.
Marlene Dietrich: Movie Collection, link.
My earlier post; Jack Cardiff in Conversation at the National Gallery, link.
The Powell and Pressburger Appreciation Society's website, link.

03 December 2006

2006, a year in review

Seeing as all the magazines, newspapers, websites will conduct a poll of their critics favourite films of 2006 I thought that I might do something similar but poll the film blogging community, those to visit and those who edit film related blogs.

What qualifies?
Any film realeased theatrically or commercially during 2006.
Films shown at film festivals in 2005/04 that then were released in 2006 would qualify.

Please exclude
Re-releases, such as 'L' Armée des ombres' (Army of Shadows) as I'm trying to understand which of the new films that came out are seen as the better ones. Although I fully appreciate that often a re-released film from Jean-Pierre Melville will be a lot better than the mainstream fare.
If you saw a new film at a film festival this year but it hasn't been released yet then please exclude that.

If there are any fellow film bloggers out there willing to help promote this then please email me and I will send you the code so you can put it on your site.
I'll close the survey at 00.00 on 25th December and announce the results shortly thereafter.

Vote for your favourite films in 2006, Click here to take survey

More on real locations

Earlier this year I'd read an article in The Times about the growth of film location tourism. It seems several of the West London borough council's have clubbed together to produce this leaflet highlighting locations used in mostly recent films.

My earlier post, link.
Hounslow's council's link, sadly the PDF link is broken but the article is still live, link.