23 September 2006

Jack Cardiff in Conversation at the National Gallery

Above: Jack Cardiff's autobiography 'Magic Hour' - with the portrait of Monroe by Cardiff.
Below: The event as described in the National Gallery leaflet.

On Wednesday night I attended the Jack Cardiff 'lecture' at the National Gallery. Ian Christie was interviewing the recently turned (18th Sept) 92 year old Cardiff. The evening was excellent. I arrived just in time and managed to get a seat vaguely near the front.

Christie was an excellent interviewer and asked intelligent probing questions with excellent visual aids that took the form of images from the National Gallery collection, stills from Cardiff's work as well as clips, on set photographs and portraits that Cardiff had taken including the one of Marilyn Monroe that graces the cover of his autobiography (above).

When talking about the masters Cardiff remarked that Vermeer would have made an excellent cinematographer and that Caravaggio was a master of movement. Cardiff, it transpired used to visit to the National Gallery often to view these paintings drawing inspiration as one of only four UK based cinematographers using the Technicolor process. He joked that Natalie Kalmus, wife of Herbert T Kalmus (one of Technicolor's founders) could be something of a pain and quite directional in terms of how the equipment should be used. Cardiff, took the Technicolor camera out into the field to shoot 'Western Approaches'.

The whole evening was filmed, not for use on a DVD but for uploading after editing to the National Gallery's website so that those who missed the event can see the whole evening. I was pleased as I managed to briefly meet Mr Cardiff afterwards and get my stuff signed. I also met up with my new friends from The Powell & Pressburger Appreciation Society and had a drink with them afterwards and met David Parker who took on the films of Powell & Pressburger as his specialist subject on BBC's Mastermind as well as the other cinema enthusiasts who are members of the group.

Western Approaches on IMDB. A clip was shown and it looks like a very interesting film and is available on DVD, link.
Jack Cardiff, A Source of Light - article on Sense's of Cinema by Maximilian Le Cain, link.
List of questions posed to David Parker on BBC's Mastermind, link.
The Powell & Pressburger Pages - the Powell & Pressburger Appreciation Society, link.
My earlier post on this event, link.

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