Monday, September 15, 2008

New York Times' Critic's Choice

The New York Times has posted this week's Critic's Choice DVDs; this week it includes a selection directed by William Cameron Menzies.

Menzies is best noted as a set designer during the silent era, but according to the article he did try his hand at directing, most notably science fiction and fantasy (which I did not know).

Interesting brief, and the film sounds interesting, too. If anyone happens to see it, and would like to write a review, please let me know!


Blogger Unknown said...

This is a book that demanded to be written. William Cameron Menzies has always been one of my heroes. He is the man who brought a unique gift for visualization to such films as Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad, Gone With The Wind, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, as well as minor films from the silent and sound era that deserve to be seen just for his sets and compositions. He is also celebrated for two of the (few) films he directed, Things to Come and Invaders from Mars. How fortunate for us that James Curtis took on the job of chronicling Menzies’ life and work. His books on Spencer Tracy, James Whale, W.C. Fields and other towering figures have proven his mettle. This one presented a different challenge, as the focal point is Menzies’ prodigious and powerful work rather than his private life. Yet Curtis offers a solid narrative that should captivate any true film buff. With the cooperation of Menzies’ family, and the active participation of his late daughter Suzie, Curtis has had access not only to private correspondence but a generous number of beautiful, expressive sketches and finished designs. He was a superb draftsman who understood, as few others did, the nature of the film medium. With a lavish budget he could conjure fantasy images like the ones that make Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad so incredible. lawyer online abogado especialista abogado If money was tight, he knew how to build a partial set piece that would indicate a much larger backdrop. He could place objects in the foreground that added depth—and interest—to otherwise ordinary shots. Producers like David O. Selznick came to realize that Menzies could save him time and money during the pre-planning of a film by storyboarding it—common practice today, quite unusual in the 1930s and ‘40s.

July 2, 2016 at 12:37 PM  

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