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  1. #61
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    The Elysian fields where on in the western margins of the earth encircled by Oceanus. Oceanus was considered the ocean of the world - certainly sounds like Saunton Sands which is on the west coast of England surrounded by the Atlantic. Powell when he shoots that scene when Peter is walking in to the dunes makes sure the shot is very spectacular even dream-like the sea gets special attention, I very much like that part we are already being set up for something quite mystical.



    Simon
    Jack Cardiff's camera work helped. They wanted some sort of mist to gradually lift and so reveal the beach. Jack just breathed on the lens. As the misting cleared it gave just the effect they wanted. Sometimes the simplest effects are the best - but it helps when you're working with the best in the business who have a lifetime of experience and know all the tricks



    Steve

  2. #62
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Yes - that is a good point. Those opening exchanges are powerful between both of them.

    She is a powerful presence all through the film, but she is not a fully dimensional person at the beginning. I compare her with Bob Johnson, where we know all we need to in a short time. She seems rather mysteriious. I have mentioned her voice, because she doesn't have an accent. So even that made it impossible to place her.
    Born in Detroit but she travelled around quite a lot from a young age. Miami Beach High, The Actor's Studio, she worked a lot in New York.



    She wrote a very readable autobiographical cook-book, "Loose in the Kitchen" (North Hollywood, Calif.: Domina Books, 1975). In it she tells the story of her life interspersed by various meals, and recipes, shared with friends.



    It was that book that first told me where they filmed the camera obscura scenes. She mentioned the village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey. And when I went there, there it all was, very much still recognisable.







    That wooden building isn't a church, it's the village fire station, dated 1911. The bell in the tower calls out the volunteer firemen when they are needed.





    And by a lovely coincidence (or is it?) that's only about 3 miles from there they filmed the Chaucerian pilgrims at the start of A Canterbury Tale



    Steve

  3. #63
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Well, Simon - you are making a good case, I must say.



    When I first read about the symbolic representation of our two nations, I thought it might be far-fetched. But it is becoming increasingly compelling.


    I also think Peter is just as symbolic as June.



    Peter could easily be seen as representing Britain's struggle - he's on the verge of death which could be seen as the later part of the war when Britain was indeed actually in the decline, described as uncommon - this could easily be translated as Britain being part of Europe but being separated from the whole, the chess could be translated as the war itself with June nonplussed interest being America's standoffishness and then you have the book room that Peter wants to be around which could easily stand for Britain's history and importance in the literary world.



    Simon

  4. #64
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Jack Cardiff's camera work helped. They wanted some sort of mist to gradually lift and so reveal the beach. Jack just breathed on the lens. As the misting cleared it gave just the effect they wanted. Sometimes the simplest effects are the best - but it helps when you're working with the best in the business who have a lifetime of experience and know all the tricks



    Steve
    How wonderful - mist/mystical, I like that.



    Simon

  5. #65
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    When I first read about the symbolic representation of our two nations, I thought it might be far-fetched. But it is becoming increasingly compelling.
    Well, I've only watched Blimp and Life&Death again recently and I thought they were both positively obsessed with the relationship between Britain and America...................



    And Britain being at war all the bloody time..........



    And taking the mickey (pardon me) out of Churchill............

    They even made him the boring cricket commentator on the radio in heaven I noticed...........



    Naughty men............




  6. #66
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Well, I've only watched Blimp and Life&Death again recently and I thought they were both positively obsessed with the relationship between Britain and America...................
    Colonel Blimp as well?



    And Britain being at war all the bloody time..........
    Yes - That's one of the themes that came through very clearly for me - how terrible it must have been for those who lived through the Great War to face the prospect of another war such a short time later. It makes the courage of the Brits in 1940 stand out even more. (It also makes the idealistic pacifist groups of the 1920s and 30s more comprehensible, however wrong-headed they ultimately were. I didn't go through the trenches so I can hardly judge others.)



    The personalizing of that theme in Colonel Blimp had an unexpected power through the episodic presentation of Candy's life. P&P, together with editor John Seabourne, did an outstanding job of creating a quiet cumulative impact. The destruction of one London home had the power of a newsreel because it was personalized.

  7. #67
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Well, I've only watched Blimp and Life&Death again recently and I thought they were both positively obsessed with the relationship between Britain and America...................



    And Britain being at war all the bloody time..........



    And taking the mickey (pardon me) out of Churchill............

    They even made him the boring cricket commentator on the radio in heaven I noticed...........



    Naughty men............



    The cricket commentator was Howard Marshall, a regular sports commentator



    IMDb min-biography:

    Howard Marshall was a master of the spoken word. He earned a place in cricket history as the first BBC broadcaster to commentate reports of the game. He was an Authentic while at Oxford. He became well known to thousands of radio listeners for his descriptions of boxing, rugby football and events during the second world war in North Africa and Western Europe, including the D-Day landings at Normandy in 1944. He also wrote cricket and rugby reports for "The Daily Telegraph" for several years.



    I've never heard anyone suggest that it was Churchill before



    Steve

  8. #68
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Well, I've only watched Blimp and Life&Death again recently and I thought they were both positively obsessed with the relationship between Britain and America...................
    Colonel Blimp as well?
    Well there's a small scene in WWI where Clive goes to the RTO (Railway Transport Officer) and finds that it's being run by a group of Americans. So there's a bit of confusion over terminology - and when he mentions the Boer War they've not heard of it.



    But hardly "obsessed"



    Steve

  9. #69
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    The cricket commentator was Howard Marshall, a regular sports commentator
    That was their 'covers' story........ Sounded very reminiscent of Winnie to me. Winnie's a huge historical hero but as I recall the British electorate booted him out as soon as they had *won* the war. I see no reason those movie-makers wouldn't also have shared those sentiments.



    Other than the coincidence of the tonality, I felt the length of the radio extract was meant to give viewers a chance to recognise who they were *getting at* and *get* the joke............. I'd have to watch it again to be more specific, but I seem to recall the commentator said not that much about cricket, as such.



    Mind you, if I'm the only one that ever got the joke, they didn't do a very good job did they............

    But hardly "obsessed"
    But surely one of the 'essences' of Blimp was that he lived in some 'British Past' and the future was an 'American' go-getting one that took fighting wars as something to be done as efficiently as possible, where winning was the point, not merely playing some game. Those young British soldiers *cheating* by starting the *war* early were pure Americans in their attitudes and behaviour, I thought.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    ... But surely one of the 'essences' of Blimp was that he lived in some 'British Past' and the future was an 'American' go-getting one that took fighting wars as something to be done as efficiently as possible, where winning was the point, not merely playing some game. Those young British soldiers *cheating* by starting the *war* early were pure Americans in their attitudes and behaviour, I thought.
    That is one of the most profoundly and deeply insulting examples of anti-Americanism I have ever heard - and you intended it that way. You are no fool. But you see: neither am I.



    It is also, by the way, just about the most ignoble and ungentlemanly thing it is possible to say in the circumstances, so you might want to take a look at yourself.



    It is time for me to leave this place for another long break. No need to show me to the door.

  11. #71
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    That was their 'covers' story........ Sounded very reminiscent of Winnie to me. Winnie's a huge historical hero but as I recall the British electorate booted him out as soon as they had *won* the war. I see no reason those movie-makers wouldn't also have shared those sentiments.

    Other than the coincidence of the tonality, I felt the length of the radio extract was meant to give viewers a chance to recognise who they were *getting at* and *get* the joke............. I'd have to watch it again to be more specific, but I seem to recall the commentator said not that much about cricket, as such.



    Mind you, if I'm the only one that ever got the joke, they didn't do a very good job did they............
    Well it didn't sound anything like Churchill to me and I even if it was, I don't see how you think that would be getting at him





    But surely one of the 'essences' of Blimp was that he lived in some 'British Past' and the future was an 'American' go-getting one that took fighting wars as something to be done as efficiently as possible, where winning was the point, not merely playing some game. Those young British soldiers *cheating* by starting the *war* early were pure Americans in their attitudes and behaviour, I thought.
    No, no, no. Totally the wrong end of the stick and as Tim says, very insulting to Americans.



    The message was that the British must learn that modern war, especially against the Nazis, couldn't be fought by the old methods where you did your best but it didn't really matter if you won or lost, it was how you played the game.



    Theo explains very clearly that fighting an idea like Nazism is unlike fighting any war in the past and that sometimes it will be necessary to use unorthodox and unethical methods - which we did.



    Go back and watch it again



    Steve

  12. #72
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    The message was that the British must learn that modern war, especially against the Nazis, couldn't be fought by the old methods where you did your best but it didn't really matter if you won or lost, it was how you played the game.

    Theo explains very clearly that fighting an idea like Nazism is unlike fighting any war in the past and that sometimes it will be necessary to use unorthodox and unethical methods - which we did.



    Go back and watch it again



    Steve
    Yep this is how I see Blimp, absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Americans, it has everything to do with Britains archaic culture - time to grow up and move on - otherwise you will be left behind.



    Simon

  13. #73
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Its interestig to read this: I would never have known that Anglo-American relations were a significant - let alone central - theme in the film if I had not been watching for it. I knew about the mandate through Powell's autobiogaphy and this forum.
    The expression often used to describe American servicemen at the time was "Overpaid, over-sexed and over here". This was prevalent from about the time they started arriving in large numbers for the build up to D-Day in about 1944.



    Remember that by that time the British people had been at war for 5 years. Their homes had been bombed killing many of their friends and relations, they were on a strict food ration and hadn't had many luxury good for years. Most of their young men, their sons, brothers and fathers had been abroad fighting, getting captured, wounded or killed, in North Africa and the Far East or they had been on convoy duty bringing in the few supplies that did make it here.



    Then the Americans turn up. They are better paid and better dressed than British servicemen. They have access to all sorts of luxuries that haven't been seen for years like chocolate, nylons and even simple things like chewing gum and fruit. They turn up at local dances and bring their new music with them, jazz, big band music, and the new dances that go with them. Of course they are going to appear glamorous to the young ladies and the British people, in uniform or not, aren't going to get a look in. It's no wonder that there was a lot of ill-feeling.



    Steve

  14. #74
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    The expression often used to describe American servicemen at the time was "Overpaid, over-sexed and over here". Steve
    But does it have really any resonance in the story of Blimp?



    I would say no it does not, although some people might like to dwell on that short line in the story, I for one like to look at the bigger picture.



    It's funny Powell said that he considered himself a very un-British film maker and I would agree but yet it is easy to see from his films that he is a very British and an exceptionally English person his depictment of Canterbury and the surrounding areas gives a feeling of someone who profoundly loves the country that he was born and lived in. Yet he takes his own country and turns it inside-out in many of his films - many might see that as traitorous, whereas I see it as looking at us as a country inwardly and saying what can we do to improve or go forward, it must of been a very brave stance to take at the time for The Archers, they were not only showing Britain for all it's glory but also showing it's fallibilities.



    This is what makes them timeless they look forward but yet they respect the past even if it was wrong in some parts.



    Simon

  15. #75
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    But does it have really any resonance in the story of Blimp?

    I would say no it does not, although some people might like to dwell on that short line in the story, I for one like to look at the bigger picture.
    No, sorry, it wasn't meant to be about Blimp. It's back to what the thread was originally talking about, AMOLAD. The Archers were asked to come up with a film to try to do something about the bad feelings between the allies towards the end of the war. So they came up with a romantic fantasy!

    Remember that they wanted to make AMOLAD in 1945. But the story required that they have Technicolor and all the Technicolor cameras in the world (there weren't many of them) were in use making training films for US servicemen. And there wasn't much Technicolor film stock in the country either.



    So while they waited they made IKWIG!



    It's funny Powell said that he considered himself a very un-British film maker and I would agree but yet it is easy to see from his films that he is a very British and an exceptionally English person his depictment of Canterbury and the surrounding areas gives a feeling of someone who profoundly loves the country that he was born and lived in. Yet he takes his own country and turns it inside-out in many of his films - many might see that as traitorous, whereas I see it as looking at us as a country inwardly and saying what can we do to improve or go forward, it must of been a very brave stance to take at the time for The Archers, they were not only showing Britain for all it's glory but also showing it's fallibilities.



    This is what makes them timeless they look forward but yet they respect the past even if it was wrong in some parts.



    Simon
    I have often said that Powell was an Englishman with a world view, quite rare at the time. And when he was combined with Pressburger, an outsider looking in, it's no wonder that they came up with some films that had a view that was totally different to what everyone else was doing.



    Steve

  16. #76
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    Powell was an Englishman with a world view, quite rare at the time. And when he was combined with Pressburger, an outsider looking in, it's no wonder that they came up with some films that had a view that was totally different to what everyone else was doing.



    Jeez. Not "no wonder" I believe. It really is a wonder, a unique and unlikely partnership that will never be re-created. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett came close in their acerbic Hollywood hits, but Powell and Pressburger were unexpected and perfect partners in films from grim reality to poetic fantasy.



    As Butch Cassidy said of his relentless pursuers: "Who are these guys?"



    Yeah. Who were these guys, Mickey Powell and Emeric Pressburger? I dunno, but together they gave us 14 years of fascinating, never-the-same movies.

  17. #77
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Powell was an Englishman with a world view, quite rare at the time. And when he was combined with Pressburger, an outsider looking in, it's no wonder that they came up with some films that had a view that was totally different to what everyone else was doing.



    Jeez. Not "no wonder" I believe. It really is a wonder, a unique and unlikely partnership that will never be re-created. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett came close in their acerbic Hollywood hits, but Powell and Pressburger were unexpected and perfect partners in films from grim reality to poetic fantasy.



    As Butch Cassidy said of his relentless pursuers: "Who are these guys?"



    Yeah. Who were these guys, Mickey Powell and Emeric Pressburger? I dunno, but together they gave us 14 years of fascinating, never-the-same movies.
    I love it



    It's no wonder that they were different to the films everybody else was making. The wonder is that they fitted together so well and that the total was so much more than the sum of the parts.



    The range of genres is another astounding thing about their work. That their films are all so different from each other as well as from what was considered normal at the time.



    Steve

  18. #78
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    Remember that they wanted to make AMOLAD in 1945. But the story required that they have Technicolor and all the Technicolor cameras in the world (there weren't many of them) were in use making training films for US servicemen. And there wasn't much Technicolor film stock in the country either.



    Steve
    I don't think there was a Technicolor camera stock - the cameras just used three ordinary monochrome negatives receiving colour-filtered light with the dye transfer processes happening later in the chain - mind you I could be wrong and will happily stand corrected if so.



    Ah Shere - a lovely village that I visited numerous times before hearing of the AMOLAD connection.



    I've always thought the naked boy was an entirely innocent atmospheric invention that has been distorted by some in our paedophile-obsessed age.



    Funny thing - when I first saw this film many years ago I thought my enthusiasm for it was unique. The innocence of youth.....

  19. #79
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    I don't think there was a Technicolor camera stock - the cameras just used three ordinary monochrome negatives receiving colour-filtered light with the dye transfer processes happening later in the chain - mind you I could be wrong and will happily stand corrected if so.



    Ah Shere - a lovely village that I visited numerous times before hearing of the AMOLAD connection.



    I've always thought the naked boy was an entirely innocent atmospheric invention that has been distorted by some in our paedophile-obsessed age.



    Funny thing - when I first saw this film many years ago I thought my enthusiasm for it was unique. The innocence of youth.....
    It's still quite rare for people to think that there's any sexual meaning to the naked goat-herd. I read a lot that people have written about this film, and it's hardly ever mentioned. When it is, it's more a puzzlement at it being there than anyone thinking there's anything wrong with it.



    I think that all colour film stock was in short supply. But the bigger problem was in getting a Technicolor camera



    It's a shame that this film is still quite difficult for many people to see. But we do keep hearing about a planned region 1 DVD



    Steve

  20. #80
    Senior Member Country: Canada
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    " It's a shame that this film is still quite difficult for many people to see. But we do keep hearing about a planned region 1 DVD "



    Take heart, North Americans. We can hope that Criterion will follow their recent 49TH PARALLEL and new THIEF OF BAGHDAD with AMOLAD. Criterion has released much of the PnP catalogue with excellent DVDs.



    In the meantime, the inexpensive Carlton AMOLAD is just fine for those of us with region-free players.

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