Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 57
  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,960
    Liked
    103 times
    The June 2009 SIGHT AND SOUND magazine had an article on Joseph Losey

    and the Pinter/Bogart films, as a new print of 'Accident' is doing the rounds of UK arthouse cinemas. One contributor is Ian Christie, who also writes about Jack Cardiff



    Check it out online, at:



    BFI | Sight & Sound | June 2009





    BFI | Sight & Sound | Joseph Losey & Harold Pinter: In search of poshlust times

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,605
    Liked
    151 times
    Joseph Losey's rebirth in Britain



    Joseph Losey was a wreck when he fled America for Britain. But the snobbery and injustice he found here inspired The Servant and other angry, masterful movies







    Joseph Losey would have been 100 this year, and it is worth paying attention to the anniversary. As a director, he was variable in achievement yet steadfast in ambition. He wanted to be as good as anyone, in a way that matched his tall, rangy, handsome self, his Ivy League education, his midwestern voice; he was thoroughly and idealistically American. In the 1930s, he became a dedicated *communist, ready to remake the world, which meant that his astonishing early career � The Boy with Green Hair, The Lawless, The Prowler, M, The Big Night � came to an end: Losey was obliged to come to England. And, in his own brusque way, Losey changed England and its attitude to the movies.



    He came, in 1952, because of the common language � and because *England housed other victims of the McCarthyite purges (screenwriter Carl Foreman met him at Heathrow). He might not have come had he known he was in for 10 lean years. He fell apart. He was subject to anxiety attacks and quickly decided that he had a bad heart. He could be neurotic, self-*pitying and self-dramatising, and all those things struck home. He *directed a *couple of plays in London, and did some television *directing, for which he was paid the equivalent of $100 a week under the table and received no credit. In time, he got a work permit.



    Losey began to marvel at 1950s Britain, where class, education, accent, money (or the suggestion of it) could let toffs, gents and frauds get away with murder. This was a time of fresh, often sour, voices nagging away at snobbery, unfairness and privilege; it was the moment of John Osborne, John Arden, working-class actors, the poetry of Philip Larkin, the critical writings of Kenneth Tynan, Al Alvarez and John Berger. "Angry young men" were at large, and Losey was a truculent, uneasy American ready to join the club.



    Gradually, he seems to have been tempted by this new subject matter. He found challenging company. When he made The Sleeping Tiger � a lurid melodrama about a psychiatrist who takes a hoodlum into his house � he had the wit to cast Dirk Bogarde as the hoodlum. Bogarde was then becoming a matinee idol, but he always nursed deeper and darker ambitions. Just as important was a meeting with Richard MacDonald, a designer from Bristol who was barred from the movies through a lack of union credentials, and worked clandestinely at first for Losey. The director continued to fight the system, struggling to find potential in a series of mediocre scripts. But the improvement was clear: in Time Without Pity (1957), The Gypsy and the Gentleman (1957) and Blind Date (1959). None of these films is perfect, but you can see Losey emerging as an English director, digging into the *national character.



    In 1962 he took a plunge into Europe, to make Eve with Jeanne Moreau and Stanley Baker. In hindsight, I think it's fair to say the film revealed a lot of *Losey's pretensions. But the disastrous experience of Eve (the film ran into censorship troubles) led directly to what remains Losey's key English work.



    That film is The Servant, an inspired elevation of trashy material through the screenplay by Harold Pinter (the decisive friendship in Losey's career); it was a chance to take on the key relationship in a decaying society, that of servant and master. Set almost entirely in one Chelsea house, The Servant *relied upon a series of related sets built by MacDonald, and the camera team of Douglas Slocombe and Chic Waterson. Jazz musician John Dankworth did the score. This film was a vindication of the team Losey had been building, and the pay-off in his friendship with Bogarde. This was the film (along with Victim) that changed the British public's *expectation of Bogarde.



    In one of those rare juxtapositions of life and justice, The Servant was an artistic and a *commercial success; and although it played poorly in America, it was at least acknowledged as a Losey film. In Britain, it opened up the possibility of modest budgets and searing social *impact: it now stands at the head of lines of work by John Schlesinger, Lindsay Anderson, John Boorman, Stephen Frears and so on. The subversive energy of The Servant left a deep mark on film and television for years.



    Of course Losey's English period was not over. But in time, Losey the European figure came to dominate the Brit. He had plans to go back to America, but they never came to fruition. Instead, he made a lot of films in Europe with international stars. A few were *exceptional � above all Mr Klein, with Alain Delon � but others seemed like prestige ventures: The Romantic *Englishwoman, The Assassination of Trotsky. The films of those last years now seem less impressive, less urgent than The Prowler or The Servant.



    When Losey died in 1984, it was in Britain. He had stayed a London *resident, when he wasn't off on the continent setting up big pictures. It may be that success undermined him more than failure. It's not the rarest thing that an artist is at his best when he believes he's a wreck. But for at least 15 years, Losey in England was just what we needed �



    A season of Joseph Losey's films is at BFI, London SE1, until 30 July. Box office: 020-7928 3232.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    278
    Liked
    0 times
    Michel Ciment's Converstaions with Losey is worth seeking out for those wanting to know more about the interesting life this man led before, during and after Hollywood. His life story would make a great film.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,472
    Liked
    120 times
    Nice to see The Gypsy & The Gentleman getting a mention. This contained a Regency rehearsal of the basic premise of The Servant, servant takes over master.



    Funnily enough I was just reading a snippet from June Laverick recalling how *Joe* treated her during the making of that movie............



    "This is an exciting melodrama set in Regency England and it was in this film that I spent a whole day immersed up to my neck in the ice-cold water of a country stream!........................ The director Joe Losey just remarked: "We'll keep pouring pots of boiling water into the stream to keep the temperature up a bit!........"




  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,386
    Liked
    7 times
    The Crimonal (1960), not mentioned above, is also an interesting movie.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Ireland seanflynn76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    458
    Liked
    11 times
    Seeing as they've released the boxset, I feel that it's a great shame that "Steaming" wasn't also released..........

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    6,953
    Liked
    399 times
    Quote Originally Posted by seanflynn76
    Seeing as they've released the boxset, I feel that it's a great shame that "Steaming" wasn't also released..........
    I agree. At least the BFI Southbank is screening STEAMING in July. Not to be missed.



    Barbara

  8. #8
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,659
    Liked
    144 times
    I'm looking very much for Blind Date on region 2, I think it's not edited yet....or shall it ever be

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,652
    Liked
    77 times
    The BFI in London is continuing its Joseph Losey season and this weekend (july 10th onwards) is screening a couple of rarely screened Losey films. "Boom" with Liz Taylor and "The Assasination of Trotsky" with Richard Burton and Alain Delon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Lithuania Cooper S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    485
    Liked
    4 times
    Some films are also on tour - Accident was playing in the Watershed when I was in Bristol last week. Haven't seen it for years, so it was great to see a new 35mm print of this on the big screen. Captures the period and setting perfectly, wonderful photography and a fantastic cast, including a brilliant little cameo by Pinter as a TV producer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: United States Reeldigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    249
    Liked
    0 times
    Mr. Losey was slated to direct the early Hammer science fiction film X THE UNKNOWN but the Commie-hating star Dean Jagger insisted that he be replaced. It was a pretty good movie but I suspect Losey could have given it more flare.

  12. #12
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,659
    Liked
    144 times
    Still no region 2 edition of Boom ??

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    619
    Liked
    2 times
    This morning I took this photo of Joe Losey's old house at 29 Royal Avenue, Chelsea:



    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/...2c206340_b.jpg





    The blue plaque states that he lived there between 1966 and 1984 yet popular film mythology holds that he lived here during the filming of The Servant in 1963. IMDb claims that The Servant exteriors were at No.30 Royal Avenue which is across the Avenue from No. 29.



    What's the truth?



    D.
    Attached Images

  14. #14
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    29,732
    Liked
    418 times
    Quote Originally Posted by dylan
    This morning I took this photo of Joe Losey's old house at 29 Royal Avenue, Chelsea:

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/...2c206340_b.jpg

    The blue plaque states that he lived there between 1966 and 1984 yet popular film mythology holds that he lived here during the filming of The Servant in 1963. IMDb claims that The Servant exteriors were at No.30 Royal Avenue which is across the Avenue from No. 29.



    What's the truth?



    D.
    Is there any discrepancy?



    Popular mythology holds that he lived there during the filming of The Servant.

    But does it also hold that it was filmed in his own house?



    Michael Powell lived 8 Melbury Road, W14 while he made Peeping Tom

    But the house used as Mark's house in that film was 5 Melbury Road - across the road and since demolished.



    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    619
    Liked
    2 times
    Some stories claim that he actually lived at No.30 while most take the line that he lived in Royal Avenue at the time. It now seems neither is correct.



    D.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    10
    Liked
    0 times
    Joseph Losey made some 'Auteur' worthy films, especially in collaboration with Pinter, such as The Servant and Accident. However he has made some others such as Modesty Blaise which have been suggested as some of the worst films ever made. Do you think he is an Auteur? Specifically what qualities/techniques in his Pinter films, especially in Accident, do you think qualifies him as an Auteur?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,472
    Liked
    120 times
    Quote Originally Posted by freyacreate

    Joseph Losey made some 'Auteur' worthy films, especially in collaboration with Pinter, such as The Servant and Accident. However he has made some others such as Modesty Blaise which have been suggested as some of the worst films ever made. Do you think he is an Auteur? Specifically what qualities/techniques in his Pinter films, especially in Accident, do you think qualifies him as an Auteur?
    Although he personally got quite huffy about "The Gypsy & the Gentleman", and later disowned it, it is a clear progenitor of "The Servant" and it is equally clear that Losey had something he was long burning to *say*, and said as he wanted in that later *classic movie*........ which presumably is one hallmark of an *auteur*.



    However he no doubt did some things for fun, like the rest of us......




  18. #18
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    29,732
    Liked
    418 times
    Quote Originally Posted by freyacreate

    Joseph Losey made some 'Auteur' worthy films, especially in collaboration with Pinter, such as The Servant and Accident. However he has made some others such as Modesty Blaise which have been suggested as some of the worst films ever made. Do you think he is an Auteur? Specifically what qualities/techniques in his Pinter films, especially in Accident, do you think qualifies him as an Auteur?
    What do you mean by "Auteur"?



    It's a term that was invented by some French critics in the 1950s and gained some credence for a while but has mainly been dismissed since then. It's meant to imply that the director has total control and is the sole author of a film, which is of course nonsense in a collaborative art like film-making. Either that or the director is such a martinet that he controls every little aspect of the film and nobody else is able to really contribute anything, they just do exactly what the director says. Not even Hitchcock, one of the most controlling directors ever, could manage that. There are aspects of his films that vary depending on who he was collaborating with



    Steve

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,960
    Liked
    103 times
    I agree with Steve here...........



    It is for example, complete nonsence to write books about directors like Martin Scorcese or Terry Gilliam (as Ian Christie has done) claiming that they are auteurs !

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,364
    Liked
    0 times
    I tried to read many eons ago a book from Andrew Sarris explaining who and who wasn't an auteur and it was all gobbly gook. Apparently, an auteur was any director Sarris liked.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Go Between by J.Losey
    By moonfleet in forum Your Favourite British Films
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 25-07-11, 09:27 PM
  2. Auteur Theory
    By OurBovinePublic in forum Media Studies
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 19-01-11, 06:18 PM
  3. The Damned (Joseph Losey 1963)
    By connoisseur in forum Your Favourite British Films
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 03-11-09, 09:26 AM
  4. Kazan/Losey
    By moonfleet in forum Publications
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 29-07-09, 11:01 PM
  5. The Joseph Losey Collection
    By DocRobertPepper in forum Latest DVD Releases
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 25-03-09, 09:57 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts