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Friday, 31 July 2020

No hawks or hand-saws : Re-visiting North by Northwest (1959)

No hawks or hand-saws : Re-visiting North by Northwest (1959)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


31 July


No hawks or hand-saws : Re-visiting North by Northwest (1959)









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Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Outline for a proposed film 2.0 : Primavera [or Dario ?] - or The Mandrake Serenade

Outline for a proposed film : Dario [or Primavera ?] - or The Mandrake Serenade

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


16 July

Outline for a proposed film : Dario [or Primavera ?] - or The Mandrake Serenade

Reap what ye shall sow


For Rosy and Brent


1. Maria Mandragora and Michael Hope meet at a performance of Verdi's Otello, and, talking during the interval, become friends : he is in Milan for a year during his degree (Italian and French), and she is older, and did not go to university, but has already established herself in business, buying and selling rare recordings as Mandragora

2. They are close, but never lovers - something holds him off, even at romantic operas at La Scala, and he never quite trusts Vincenzo Argenta, Luigi's father, who was widowed early, after the birth of Maria's younger sister Primavera (away, in Manchester, at Royal Northern)

3. Michael and Maria write to each other when he returns to the family home in Lancaster (where he sings in a church choir), before completing his degree
4. A year or so on, Maria is visiting Primavera in Manchester (who chose to stay there, despite giving up on becoming a professional singer) and, to see Maria again, Michael (who has never met Primavera) is invited to a party that she is throwing in Maria's honour

5. Primavera works there in music publishing, and Michael works for a company that makes travel arrangements for musicians

6. Unknown to Michael, Maria and Vincenzo (who is also visiting, but not in evidence at the party) contrive for Primavera and him to meet early on at the party (of which Primavera is also unaware), and bewitch them both with love-potions

7. The effect is such that they abandon their wontedly cautious behaviour and disappear to the roof-garden, where they kiss and pet heavily, then return to the party separately

8. As the party continues, so does the effect of the love-philtres, and Primavera (having told Maria how struck she is on Michael) manages to suggest privately that Michael should stay the night, who, without his usual level of reserve, agrees

9. One of the last to leave, Maria had earlier seemed to slip out of the party and to have brought back a chilled bottle of a quality Italian sparkling wine for Primavera (and Michael), but, in fact, she gets the bottle from Vincenzo, and lets him in (to hide in the roof-garden ?), when she returns, as the bottle will knock Primavera and Michael out soon after they take it to bed, and, when Vincenzo has seen that they are unconscious, he will let Maria back in, who rapes Michael to orgasm while he watches / listens next door, afterwards emptying away all but a small residue in each glass (and leaving the empty bottle, as if the couple had consumed its contents)

10. FF through a montage or other telling of Primavera's being mortified that she does not remember the vigorous love-making, without protection, that proves to have made her pregnant, and that, although Michael also does not have any conscious memory of that first time, he seems never to find her or her love-making exciting, and yet they marry and stay together because of their son Dario, with only the distant attentions of his grandfather and apparent uncle, except for family visits

11. The suggestion that, although they are a couple out of duty, they do not even find themselves blessed by Dario (or vice versa), and that, not just through teething, etc., they have never been able to rely on undisturbed sleep, and that they move to be near Michael's parents to have their support with childcare and a detached property where tensions with neighbours no longer arise

12. Yet tensions repeatedly happen, when Dario pesters and pesters to be allowed to play in the garden, but invariably wreaks destructive wonders on it, as soon as anyone's back is turned (which behaviourally mirrors their life with him in microcosm), so that Primavera finally asks Michael to fence off the garden and gives Dario his own patch of the garden near the house, where nothing that he plants he does not soon uproot or trample on - until three seeds are given to him by Michael's old choir-mistress, as part of Dario's Christmas present, all of which, now oddly assiduous, he feeds and waters into vigorous life, as he approaches his seventh birthday

13. Dario's screams and rages at night have finally subsided, but Michael and Primavera, driven mad by a shrieking of unidentifiable origin at night, have resorted to heavy-duty ear-plugs, which means that they are unaware that, after arriving on Dario's birthday on an early flight, Maria and Vincenzo have been greeted at the door by Dario, and proudly shown his three established plants - which so repulse and horrify Vincenzo, at some gut level, that he wrenches them out of the ground, unaware of their shrieks, and that first Maria, and then Dario, fall down dead behind him, and we see him - as if at the end of Mozart's Don Giovanni - reached for by arms and pulled down, through the patch of soil, and into Hades


ENDS

© Copyright Belston Night Works 2020




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Outline for a proposed film : Dario - or The Mandrake Consignment

Outline for a proposed film : Dario - or The Mandrake Consignment

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


16 July

Outline for a proposed film :
Dario - or The Mandrake Consignment

Reap what ye shall sow


For Rosy and Brent



1. Luigi Mandragora and Nancy Hope meet at a performance of Verdi's Otello, and, talking during the interval, become friends : she is in Verona for a year during her degree (Italian and French), and he is older, and did not go to university, but has already established himself in business, buying and selling rare recordings

2. They are close, but never lovers - something holds her off, even at romantic operas in The Arena, and she never quite trusts Maria Argenta, Luigi"s mother, who was widowed early, after the birth of his younger brother Dario (away, in London, at The Guildhall)

3. Nancy and Luigi write to each other when she returns to the family home in Suffolk (where she sings in a church choir), before completing her degree

4. Several years on, Luigi is visiting Dario in London (who chose to stay there, despite giving up on becoming a professional singer) and, to see Luigi again, Nancy (who has never met Dario) is invited to a party that he is throwing in Luigi's honour

5. Nancy works for a company in London that makes travel arrangements for musicians, and Dario works in music publishing

6. Unknown to her, Luigi and Maria (who is also visiting, but not in evidence at the party) contrive for Dario and her to meet (of which Dario is also unaware), and bewitch them both with love-potions

7. The effect is such that they abandon their wontedly cautious behaviour and disappear to the roof-garden, where they kiss and pet heavily, then return to the party separately

8. As the party continues, so does the effect of the love-philtres, and Dario (having told Luigi how struck he is on Nancy) manages to ask Nancy privately to stay the night, who, without her usual level of reserve, agrees

9. One of the last to leave, Luigi has seemed to slip out of the party and to have brought back a chilled bottle of a quality Italian sparkling wine for Dario (and Nancy), but, in fact, he gets the bottle from Maria, and lets her in (to hide in the roof-garden ?), when he returns, the bottle will knock Nancy and Dario out soon after they take it to bed, and, when Maria has seen that they are unconscious, she will let Luigi back in, who rapes Nancy to orgasm while she watches / listens next door, afterwards emptying away all but a small rresidue in each glass (and leaving the empty bottle as if the couple had consumed its contents)

10. FF through a montage or other telling of Dario being mortified that he does not remember the vigorous love-making, without protection, that proves to have made Nancy pregnant, and that, although she does not have any conscious memory of that first time, she seems never to find him or his love-making exciting, and yet they marry and stay together because of Lucia, with the distant attentions of her grandmother and apparent uncle, except for family visits

11. The suggestion that, although they are a couple out of duty, they do not even find themselves blessed by Lucia (or vice versa), and that, not just through teething, etc., they have never been able to rely on undisturbed sleep, and that they move to be near Nancy's parents to have their support with childcare and a detached property where tensions with neighbours no longer arise

12. Yet they repeatedly happen, when Lucia pesters and pesters to be allowed to play in the garden, but invariably wreaks destructive wonders on it, as soon as anyone's back is turned (which behaviourally mirrors their life with her in microcosm), so that Dario finally fences off the garden and gives Lucia her own patch of the garden near the house, where nothing that she plants is not soon uprooted or trampled on - until three seeds that are given to her by Nancy's old choir-master for Lucia's at Christmas, all of which, now oddly assiduous, feeds and waters into vigorous life, as ahe approaches her seventh birthday

13. Lucia's screams and rages at night have finally subsided, but Nancy and Dario, driven mad by a shrieking of unidentifiable origin at night, have resorted to heavy-duty ear-plugs at night, which means that they are unaware that, after arriving on an early flight, Maria and Luigi have been greeted by Lucia on her birthday and proudly shown her three established plants - which so repulse and horrify Maria, at some gut level, that she wrenches them out of the ground, unaware of their shrieks, and that first Luigi, and then Lucia, fall down dead behind her, and we see her, as if at the end of Mozart's Don Giovanni reached for by arms and pulled down, through the patch of soil, and into Hades


ENDS


© Copyright Belston Night Works 2020


However, Rosy [#UCFF's esteemed editor at TAKE ONE] then gave these notes... :

Gender flip all the characters and I’ll exec produce. And don’t come back to me with a Considine attitude.


[In obedience to which dictates [which assuredly reference #UCFF's Q&A comments on Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur (2011)], we then derived version 2.0...]





Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Nine Lessons with Messiaen : La nativité du Seigneur on DVD

Nine Lessons with Olivier Messiaen : La nativité du Seigneur on DVD

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


26 July

Nine Lessons with Olivier Messiaen : La nativité du Seigneur on DVD,
performed by Jennifer Bate on the organ of Norwich Cathedral




Programme :

1. La vierge et l'enfant

2. Les bergers

3. Desseins éternels

4. Le verbe

5. Les enfants de Dieu

6. Les anges

7. Jésus accepte la souffrance

8. Les mages

9. Dieu parmi nous


La nativité du Seigneur is a strange piece, except seen as fairly static, winter-suited meditations, which rely on juxtaposition ('Les bergers' (mvt 2) or 'Le verbe' (mvt 4)), rather than development, or only on gradual, if essentially slow, re-working of the material at a microscopic level.

'Les enfants de Dieu' (mvt 5) is where the work first takes flight, although it then reduces to contemplation to close. 'Les anges' (mvt 6), with its scurrying or dance-like steps, also has a toccata, at its end.

We see Bate's hands, on the four manuals of the console, much before 'Jésus accepte le souffrance' (mvt 7), but this is the first and only time that we see the pedals (perhaps not much in use before then ?). It is succeeded by 'Les mages' (mvt 8), which re-visits earlier, somewhat fractured material.

'Dieu parmi nous' (mvt 9), after its bold opening bars, and a quieter re-statement of a familiar sequence, chirpingly and then, accretingly or consolidatingly, and via a wild prefiguring chord, builds towards the celebrated finish's testament - much used as an organ voluntary - to Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit, and the summative and echoing gestural pillars of the last chords.


As a DVD, it is equally strangely filmed, whatever benefits we might expect from seeing an organist perform, who was at the height of her powers.


[...]




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Re-visiting, decades on, The Masque of The Red Death (1964)

Re-visiting, decades on, The Masque of The Red Death (1964)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


17 July

Re-visiting, decades on, The Masque of The Red Death (1964)






Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Flint Lives Matter : Anthony Baxter's FLINT (2020)

Flint Lives Matter : Anthony Baxter's FLINT (2020)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


10 July
Flint Lives Matter : Anthony Baxter's FLINT (2020)











Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Re-visited, as a film, The Trip (2010)

Re-visited, as a film, The Trip (2010)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


7 July


Re-visited, as a film, The Trip (2010)







Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 6 July 2020

Lessons from Booth and Cleese on Government (3rd edn)

Lessons from Booth and Cleese on Government (3rd edn)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


4 July

Lessons from Booth and Cleese on Government (3rd edn)






Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)