Centenário de Terry-Thomas (ou International Talk Like Terry-Thomas Day)

The cad has a long and honourable place in British film tradition. In fictional terms, he (it is always a him) has his antecedents in the raffish army officers who inhabit the pages of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, in Mr Jingle, the flashy ne’er-do-well of Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, in the eighteenth-century rake, or in Patrick Hamilton’s anti-hero, Ernest Ralph Gorse. As seen in British films, he is liable to have a ‘magnificent masher’ of a moustache, drive a sports car and light up like a fruit machine whenever a woman takes his eye. Examples of this breed include Guy Middleton, the lecherous sports master in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), Donald Sinden’s louche young medical student in Doctor in the House (1954), and, most memorably of all, Terry-Thomas. Born Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens, he is the upper-class Englishman as bounder and poltroon, the type who cheats at sports (witness him as the crafty pilot in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, 1965, or as the master of one-upmanship on the tennis court in School for Scoundrels, 1960). He uses every underhand method at his disposal to get his hands on money and women. He rattles off his dialogue in a nasal whinny and snorts rather than laughs. In Terry-Thomas’ case, the gap between his front teeth, which stick out beneath his moustache like tusks (he has a well-nigh permanent, insincere smile affixed to his face), invariably makes him look all the more untrustworthy.

Searching for stars: stardom and screen acting in British cinema – Geoffrey Macnab

Grandes Tumblrs da Humanidade: Fuck Yeah! Peter Cook

Hitler was a very peculiar person, wasn’t he. He was another dominator, you know, Hitler. And he was a wonderful ballroom dancer. Not many people know that, he was a wonderful little dancer, he used to waltz around with a number “8” on his back. The only trouble was, he was very short, and peopleContinuar lendo “Grandes Tumblrs da Humanidade: Fuck Yeah! Peter Cook”

Feliz dia do Tartan.

Suddenly, a large wind blew my kilt high up above my waist, exposing me to everybody. That day, they made me their king…
(Craig Ferguson imitando Sean Connery)

Sellers – Powell: Peterloo Day

Ten years before, when I was preparing to make Ill Met By Moonlight, Peter came for an interview as one of the partisans. He is described in my notes as “a sort of India rubber owl”. And now he was, demonstrably, the greatest actor that the electronic age had produced. He was a master ofContinuar lendo “Sellers – Powell: Peterloo Day”

Cem anos de Basil Dearden

Basil Dearden was born on 1 January 1911 in Westcliffe-on-Sea as Basil Dear. His youthful interest in amateur dramatics led to him entering the theatre as an actor, but he quickly moved behind the curtain to become a stage manager. In 1931 he went to work for theatre producer Basil DEAN as his general stage manager, subsequently making the same shift into films that DEAN had, joining him at Associated Talking Pictures (ATP) whereDean was studio head. He changed his name to Dearden to avoid any confusion with his boss. When Michael Balcon took over the ATP studios at Ealing, Dearden remained. During the late 1930s he worked on a number of Ealing films, including five George Formby vehicles, usually as writer or associate producer. His directing career began on three comedies featuring another of Ealing’s music hall stars, Will Hay, with Dearden co-directing with Hay.
His first solo effort was The Bells Go Down (1943), which paid tribute to the wartime heroism of the Auxiliary Fire Service. The film’s art director was Michael Relph and his meeting with Dearden marked the beginning of a remarkable collaboration which was to last nearly thirty years. As a director-producer-writer team they became the most prolific film-makers working at Ealing. It was, perhaps, their role as studio workhorses that led to a rather poor critical reputation, with commentators dismissing their work as routine, well-meaning but dull. In retrospect, this assessment of their Ealing output seems inadequate. There are films which certainly fit the 1940s Ealing ethos in terms of adopting a realist style and dealing with contemporary issues, but Dearden and Relph frequently showed a preference for subjects which raised wider moral issues. The Captive Heart (1946) is a moving POW film, whilst Frieda (1947) deals sympathetically with the prejudice facing a German woman who, through marriage, finds herself living in postwar England. The Blue Lamp (1949) tackles juvenile crime within an exciting thriller format (a technique that was to become a trademark), but is best remembered for Dirk Bogarde’s intense performance as a young tearaway. A number of their films deal with the difficulties of postwar readjustment, from the melodramatic The Ship that Died of Shame (1955), through the documentary approach of Out of the Clouds (1955), to the crime caper The League of Gentlemen (1960). The latter was made after the demise of Ealing, but within its genre narrative offers a remarkably cynical depiction of a group of ex-soldiers who find themselves discarded in postwar Britain.
However, the sober realism that predominates in these films doesn’t tell the full story of Dearden’s output in this period. Notable among his other films are the gloriously melancholy costume piece Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948), with its sumptuous colour cinematography and rich production design, and the whimsical comedy The Smallest Show on Earth (1957), which pays nostalgic tribute to the magic of film-going in a style close to the tradition of the Ealing comedies. Dearden also provided a section for Ealing’s macabre portmanteau film Dead of Night (1945). Another reason for Dearden and Relph’s poor standing may have been this eclecticism, which didn’t sit comfortably with the strictures of the auteur theory.
In the late 1950s Dearden and Relph embarked on a series of ‘social problem’ films which explicitly tackled topical themes within a deliberately audience-pleasing entertainment format, often using the crime genre. Sapphire (1959) was among the first British films to deal with racial tensions, while Victim (1961) was groundbreaking in depicting the way that homosexuals were subject to blackmail under contemporary laws. The film was credited with being central to the subsequent decriminalisation, and eventual legalisation, of homosexuality. Violent Playground (1958) again dealt with juvenile delinquency and Life for Ruth (1962) focused on an ethical clash between religious fundamentalism and modern medicine. These films, which have become intrinsically associated with Dearden and Relph, drew a good deal of criticism on the grounds that their timid liberalism failed to fully address the complexity of the issues involved, and that the attempt to frame the topics within fairly conventional storylines drained them of any sense of conflict. The recent, and more sympathetic, reassessment of their work has tended to place the films in context, showing the risks they took in making a film like Victim, as evidenced by the fact that it effectively ended Dirk Bogarde’s Rank contract.
Their later films shifted on to safer ground, but still threwup a number of interesting items including the spectacular epic Khartoum (1965) and the modest, but neatly executed, supernatural thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), with Roger Moore as a dull man whose exciting alter ego is released in a car crash. In a ghastly irony,Dearden’s career was brought to a premature end when he died as the result of a car accident on 23 March 1971. Dearden’s considerable output is certainly uneven, particularly in the early 1950s, so it’s unsurprising that some critics dismissed him as all too typical of the restraint and mediocrity which has sometimes beset British cinema. However, his work has gradually been given more of the due it deserves. The sheer variety of his output shouldn’t obscure the consistency of his concern withmoral issues tackled within clear social settings.

British Film Directors: A Critical Guide – Robert Shail

Blake Edwards (1922 – 2010)

Top-5 coisas a serem agradecidas: 1- O gato mais famoso do cinema por Mr. Orange 2- Parceria com Henry Mancini 3- Peter Sellers versus David Niven 4- Peter Sellers versus George Sanders 5- Andrews & Edwards – um dos casais mais bonitos no quesito diretor/musa.

Top-dúzia: David Niven

The hardest thing in the world to do, for a director, is a comedy. If you do a drama, that doesn’t quite come off, you may still have a fairly good drama, but if a comedy does not come off, you’ve got a disaster. There’s no covering up with a comedy. They’re frightfully hard to write, very difficult to direct, and they’re not at all easy to act, as a matter of fact.

Centenário de James Mason – Parte 1

– I have a passion for James Mason. – Is he good? – Absolutely terrific. So attractively sinister! Taurus, the bull, you know. – Very obstinate. – Really? Diálogo de Festim Diabólico (Rope, Alfred Hitchcock, 1948) Certa vez li uma definição certeira de que Mason nos anos 40 era a personificação de Heathcliff, Mr RochesterContinuar lendo “Centenário de James Mason – Parte 1”

Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1967

1- O Diabo é Meu Sócio (Bedazzled, Stanley Donen)Taí finalmente algo importante, o filme do senhor meu marido, George Spiggott, também conhecido como diabo, satanás, coisa ruim, capeta, etc etc etc ou nas palavras do próprio: I’m the Horned One. The Devil. Como deve ser óbvio, sou meio idólatra para com Peter Cook (gênio! gênio!).Continuar lendo “Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1967”

Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1969

1- Um Beatle no Paraíso (The Magic Christian, Joseph McGrath)Yul Brynner é uma drag cantando para um Roman Polanki bêbado, Laurence Harvey faz um show de striptease representando Hamlet, Richard Attenborough treina Graham Chapman em Oxford, Christopher Lee é um vampiro, Raquel Welch é a gostosa habitual, Spike Milligan é um guarda e Graham StarkContinuar lendo “Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1969”

25 atores – Parte 2

Nota: Desta vez abri uma excessão para a televisão com um dos meus scotchs favoritos, pois nada que ele tenha feito no cinema pode equivaler aquele escocês maluco daquele seriado mais maluco ainda. Certo, eu poderia até colocar aquele Jesus Cristo, mas apesar de ter abandonado o catolicismo quando tinha dez anos, a culpa católicaContinuar lendo “25 atores – Parte 2”

A Batalha dos Sexos ( The Battle of the Sexes, 1959 )

Este título foi empregado de forma totalmente equivocada, não é uma batalha entre homens e mulheres que se refere esta pequena pérola do diretor Charles Crichton (conhecido sobretudo por Um Peixe Chamado Wanda), mas sim uma batalha cujo resultado sabemos há muito tempo: a industrialização fria e impessoal contra os velhos moldes artesanais envoltos deContinuar lendo “A Batalha dos Sexos ( The Battle of the Sexes, 1959 )”

A Fúria de um Bravo (Never Let Go, 1960)

Por razões mais do que claras isso tudo me lembra Samuel Fuller. Por razões não tão claras um promissor John Guillermin deixou a Inglaterrra e foi dirigir filmes duvidosos nos EUA. C’est La Vie. Nota: O arraso de trilha sonora fica por conta de, para variar, John Barry.

O Fino da Vigarice ( Caccia alla volpe / After the Fox, 1966 )

Algo que me deixa perplexa é como existe tanta gente que se impressiona ao ver uma comédia anos 60 do Vittorio De Sica e sempre mencionar o fator incredulidade por tais filmes saíram da mesma veia do homem que dirigiu Umberto D. e Ladrões de Bicicleta. De Sica é um dos maiores diretores cômicos daContinuar lendo “O Fino da Vigarice ( Caccia alla volpe / After the Fox, 1966 )”

Centenário de Lucien Ballard

O homem, o mito, o diretor de fotografia.

A Loteria da Vida (The Wrong Box, 1966)

Posso encher isso aqui de “AVE MARIA! AVE MARIA! AVE MARIA!”, aos menos é isso que se pensa ao se deparar com um filme que reúne 4 dos seus grandes heróis: Michael Caine, Peter Sellers, Peter Cook e Dudley Moore, mas na verdade um estado de êxtase completo não necessita nada além do que meiaContinuar lendo “A Loteria da Vida (The Wrong Box, 1966)”

A Show Called Fred (1956): Os Goons na TV!

PARTE 2 –  PARTE 3 Achei essa coisa raríssima e tinha que dividí-la com a humanidade. Esses são os caras que mudaram toda a história do humor mundial, esses são os lendários Goons em sua versão visual já que originalmente os Goons se serviam de transmissões radiofônicas. Não há medidas para a minha alegria deContinuar lendo “A Show Called Fred (1956): Os Goons na TV!”