The GQMF is strong in this one.
So, yeah, I have just been to see Big Screen Spy In Black. Now, we all know I’m not as big a Conrad
obsessive mentalistfan as some folk around here *cough* Lila *cough* so I always feel a bit bad getting to do things like this that will make them eat cushions in envy. But, hey, I know you guys were there in spirit with me, gnawing on your knuckles to keep all the inappropriate noises in.
It’s the first of a Powell & Pressburger At War season at my local indie cinema (*falls over* *gets up again* *falls over again* *repeat to fade*) and dear Christ what a great thing it is. It’s a gem of a film anyway, but it’s been a while since I saw it, and my P&P
obsession passion mentalism- actually let’s go with obsession has only grown and grown, especially my Pressburger obsession. So to see it Big Screen was glorious. And Conrad is just fucking tremendous, of course. (An inappropriate noise may have escaped me on first sighting. Come on, you know how I love a man in a cap and leather jacket.) I feel a Clothing Bingo spam coming on.
Also very pleasing was that there were lots of folk there. And the “butter” line got the biggest laugh.
In two weeks time it’s 49th Parallel. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when we get to the commune….
*squeeeeeeee* Bless you & your inappropriate-noise-making self! And I would probably flail in my seat once they get to the commune in 49th Parallel, cos I still haven’t gotten to see Anton on the big screen yet…let alone Anton in overalls. (!!)
Crikey, it’s been a while since we had a Clothing Bingo! Have you got your fat pens and cards ready? Excellent. Onwards!
The Spy In Black is unusual in Clothing Bingo terms in that it’s more a celebration of the capsule wardrobe. With just a few key pieces, you too can infiltrate enemy lines and - more treacherous still - survive the weather in the Shetland Islands.
We start, as I feel all films should from now on (see also: Ich War Jack Mortimer), with a divine leather jacket and smart cap combo. Stubble and Marius Goring optional if you think you can carry it off. Excuse me a moment.
Now, this is fine if you’re larking about on a submarine, but you can’t go into dinner like that. You need a uniform, teamed with a crisp white shirt and tie. It’s still comfy enough to relax in while you tell your amusing tales of life at sea.
Here we see the cap (so smart!) and uniform teamed with the more casual and rugged polo neck jumper. Perfect for everyday wear.
Now, in a Clothing Bingo tease, this is the only appearance of the tweed suit, because Connie has decided that he wants to travel light, and he’s a man who knows how to work his wardrobe efficently.
It’s a little acknowledged fact that it was illegal to make a war film without an appearance of goggles. The sheep are not, however, a legal requirement.
At this point, you may be concerned that Connie has only a shoulder bag’s worth of clothes and these lovely overalls to get through his mission. How will he do it? Fear not.
Marius Goring, A Matter of Life and Death, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946.
There are not enough words to express my love for Conductor 71
It’s clear from the novelization that the relationship between Julian and Vicki was written as tempestuous and on screen comes off as Ian Christy describes it, companionable. A big reason for this is the casting of Marius Goring in the role of Julian. Had they cast a more conventionally handsome and romantic leading man, and it is fun to think of perhaps Richards Todd or Burton who were getting their starts around this time, they would have had a more straight-forward love story. Marius to my mind, is a bit too old to be a convincing student— he was 34, but looked closer to 40 in parts of the film. But it’s more than that. The approach is mostly laid back and there is the troubling flirtation with Boris that is where Marius comes alive most. Some dialog at the end is greatly softened from the novelization. Gone is Julian’s demand that Vicki walk away from her ballet, the same way he’s walked away from his opera. Also in the novelization, Boris relented on the train and allowed Julian to come back but Vicki decided to try to leave then and doesn’t reveal that fact to Julian. This greatly changes the whole dynamic for me. This is a much more passionate Vicki who wanted to rebel and run away from the patriarchal clutches of Boris and the ballet family. And you have to wonder if Julian wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to go back to Lermontov had he been allowed. I think he would have, at least the softened version of Julian that we are presented in the film.
My biggest problem with The Red Shoes is that we don’t really feel Vicki’s pull away from ballet. We see Boris there, powerful, seductive and full of passion for her as well as promising her greatness and it’s tempting to just think she could easily walk away from Julian. It’s a fascinating film and my head wants to fix it, like some crossword puzzle that I can’t quite make fit.
so cute!!!!!! It’s like what Tintin would look like if he grew up! aw!
If Boris and Julian had a child together!
But, in the Boris Lermontov Breakfast Club scene, Julian matches both Boris and the room. Crikey! This film is a tangled web of interior decor and emotion.
Flirting! Boris can make you do his bidding just by looking at you while he eats a melon. That’s how he rolls.
Whereas here, Vicky and Julian not only match each other, they match the room. Yet again I am convinced that P&P cast people for their matching hair colour (like Roger and Deborah in Blimp). This is the start of the romance. As cinemaocd said, when Boris is watching them argue, he has no idea that he is watching a rom-com.
Being students of colour as we are, here we notice that Boris and Vicky have matching colour schemes, where Julian is wearing a stripy top that matches nothing, especially not Vicky. So at this point, Vicky is all about the Boris.
Also, Hitchcock nicked this whole thing for To Catch A Thief. Well, if you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.
He even used the suitcase label device in the Mediterranean section.
I concur with both of you :D I think it’s the crinkly hair (see also: Joseph Cotten) that puts me about. I can see the appeal but not for me. But he is outrageously attractive in AMOLAD. (Although, in my book, not the *most* attractive man in that.)
You mean Marius, right?
Or did you mean this, BAMF
A Matter of Life and Death