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  1. #121
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Why does BLIMP need 'restoration' ? - the BBC showed a lovely print - why cannot ITV prepare a Blu-Ray from this ?

  2. #122
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julian_craster View Post
    Why does BLIMP need 'restoration' ? - the BBC showed a lovely print - why cannot ITV prepare a Blu-Ray from this ?
    Because of the state of the negatives. The print they used will eventually fade and be scratched. But when they go to make the next print they won't be able to make one that's as good.

    Maybe you could make a Blu-ray from this print, but you couldn't make anything that was really high quality
    (Note the subtle dig at the low quality of many Blu-ray offerings, nowhere near the quality they're advertised as being)

    Steve

  3. #123
    Senior Member Country: England Tonch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post

    I love their films as individual films, but it's their total body of work that never ceases to amaze me. The consistent high quality and the variations in subject and style

    Steve
    Substitute "films" with "records" and you sound like me talking about The Beatles

    Considering what a famous film Blimp is, I must sheepishly confess that I had never seen it until the BBC screening last Sunday.

    Marvellous. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and on so many levels that it's difficult to know quite where to begin praising it. So I'll just make a few salient observations: beautiful cinematography, excellent attention to detail and superb story telling. Clever segues transporting us through time to the next key moment. The whole film had such an "intelligent",well rounded feel to it - for example I was really impressed with the way Theo was portrayed in a very balanced, human and three dimensional way, rather than some lazy stereotype of the Bosch. Considering this was made in 1943 it seemed to me well ahead of its time (we even learned that John Laurie had joined the Home Guard 25 years before Dad's Army arrived on telly ) and yet, with the appropriate sumptuous uniforms, moustaches and monocles somehow simultaneously epitomised the time frame in which it was set. Clever that! Riveting central performance by Roger Livesey (sp?) - how did they manage to "age" him so convincingly? puts some modern attempts to shame. Deborah Kerr was credible as three separate characters; each had their own nuances of personality despite obviously looking the same. I could go on, there are loads more boxes ticked for me in this smashing picture.

    A few minor quibbles - Theo's ageing was far less convincing than Candy's, and the sunshine and sweet birdsong arriving bang on cue as the armistice is declared at the end of WWI, with Candy and Murdoch gazing skyward together, was rather twee. But hey, I am grasping at straws here trying to put some balance into my appraisal.

    It was brilliant, and I am now really looking forward to giving "The Red Shoes" a try, which, fortunately, I noticed was on straight afterwards and recorded.

  4. #124
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonch View Post
    Substitute "films" with "records" and you sound like me talking about The Beatles

    Considering what a famous film Blimp is, I must sheepishly confess that I had never seen it until the BBC screening last Sunday.

    Marvellous. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and on so many levels that it's difficult to know quite where to begin praising it. So I'll just make a few salient observations: beautiful cinematography, excellent attention to detail and superb story telling. Clever segues transporting us through time to the next key moment. The whole film had such an "intelligent",well rounded feel to it - for example I was really impressed with the way Theo was portrayed in a very balanced, human and three dimensional way, rather than some lazy stereotype of the Bosch. Considering this was made in 1943 it seemed to me well ahead of its time (we even learned that John Laurie had joined the Home Guard 25 years before Dad's Army arrived on telly ) and yet, with the appropriate sumptuous uniforms, moustaches and monocles somehow simultaneously epitomised the time frame in which it was set. Clever that! Riveting central performance by Roger Livesey (sp?) - how did they manage to "age" him so convincingly? puts some modern attempts to shame. Deborah Kerr was credible as three separate characters; each had their own nuances of personality despite obviously looking the same. I could go on, there are loads more boxes ticked for me in this smashing picture.

    A few minor quibbles - Theo's ageing was far less convincing than Candy's, and the sunshine and sweet birdsong arriving bang on cue as the armistice is declared at the end of WWI, with Candy and Murdoch gazing skyward together, was rather twee. But hey, I am grasping at straws here trying to put some balance into my appraisal.

    It was brilliant, and I am now really looking forward to giving "The Red Shoes" a try, which, fortunately, I noticed was on straight afterwards and recorded.
    The scene at the end of WWI with the silence followed by the birdsong is twee - but that's what was reported as happened by quite a few soldiers. Not just the famous poets but regular Tommies as well

    When Scorsese made Raging Bull he showed Blimp to De Niro as an example of how an actor can age through a film. Micky Powell was friends with Scorsese by then and De Niro asked how they did it. "Clever and judicious use of make-up, and great acting" said Micky. But De Niro believed in "The Method" so he actually put on the weight to show Jake La Motto later in life. Which "method" was better?

    When Roger Livesey is laying on the slab in the Turkish Baths he has a bit of padding strapped to him and in some long shots they used a body double. But most of it is just great make-up, great lighting, and great acting. Roger did shave off most of his lovely auburn hair for the role. Well worth the sacrifice.

    Anton as Theo had some wonderful speeches, but his ageing isn't so good. In the WWII scenes, at Clive's house, there's a scene where we are looking over Theo's shoulder and you can see the edge of the make-up that was applied to make his face look old and pale. They didn't check behind his ears

    BTW The lady who arrives with Theo when they play cards at the Berlin nursing home, that's Ursula Jeans, Roger's wife. It was the only time they were on screen together

    Steve

  5. #125
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Colonel Blimp: The masterpiece Churchill hated

    Powell and Pressburger's jingoistic film was maligned, then mutilated. But, says Geoffrey Macnab, its genius survives


    Winston Churchill hated the idea of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). The then-Prime Minister couldn't understand why, in the middle of the Second World War, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were making a film that included a sympathetic German. Others were baffled that one of Britain's pre-eminent film-making teams was telling the story of a a fat, walrus-moustached, jingoist character originating in David Low's cartoons in the Daily Express.

    "Don't make it, because everyone will be really cross, and the Old Man will be very cross and you'll never get a knighthood," Powell was warned by the Ministry of Information. Powell did make the film � and he didn't get the knighthood. Pressburger was crestfallen to have provoked Churchill's ire.

    Blimp was cut severely before its US release. The elaborate flashback structure was taken out and the film was presented as a rip-roaring adventure. Nonetheless, earlier this week at BFI Southbank, when a restored version was introduced by Martin Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell, widow of Michael Powell, there was an absolute consensus that this was one of the greatest British films of all � and one of the most perceptive about national identity.

    "Every time I revisit The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, it seems to have become more resonant, more moving, more profound," Scorsese said. "You could say it's the epic of an ordinary life. And what you retain from this epic is an overpowering sense of warmth and love and friendship, of shared humour and tenderness, and a lasting impression of the most eloquent sadness."

    The film is indeed a very deceptive affair � a wartime propaganda movie that owes as much to Proust as it does to the Ministry of Information; an action drama that is really a story about love and friendship, and growing old. At the beginning of the film, the elderly Blimp (Roger Livesey) is caught out in a Turkish bath. He is supposed to be taking part in a military exercise. The steam rises as Blimp rages but the soldier arresting him is contemptuous of "the national sporting-club rules" that the old man fights wars by.

    In these scenes, Blimp seems the buffoon that fans of Low's cartoon must have expected. However, we flash back to 40 years earlier in the hero's military career. The two key elements of the story are established: Blimp's friendship with the German officer Theo (Anton Walbrook) that will span three wars (the Boer, the First and the Second World Wars) and his romantic longing for the "girl" (three different characters, all played by Deborah Kerr). The genius of Pressburger's screenplay is that it takes stock types � a priggish British officer and his arrogant German counterpart � and gives them depth and humanity.

    Powell was a quintessentially English director who surrounded himself with foreign collaborators. "It's a 100 per cent British film but it's photographed by a Frenchman, it's written by a Hungarian, the musical score is by a German Jew, the director was English, the man who did the costumes was a Czech; in other words, it was the kind of film that I've always worked on with a mixed crew of every nationality, no frontiers of any kind," he claimed of Blimp.

    "Pray propose to me the measures to stop this foolish production," Churchill wrote when the film was about to go into production. Scorsese and all lovers of British film will be forever thankful that this was one occasion on which he was thwarted.

  6. #126
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Don't forget to lavish deserved praise on the 20 year old Deborah Kerr, giving an accomplished and mature performance x 3! Astonishing when you compare her composure and assured manner with 20 year old actresses today.

  7. #127
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyridge View Post
    Don't forget to lavish deserved praise on the 20 year old Deborah Kerr, giving an accomplished and mature performance x 3! Astonishing when you compare her composure and assured manner with 20 year old actresses today.
    The very thing that her daughter & I were talking about on Wednesday

    Steve

  8. #128
    Senior Member Country: England earlb's Avatar
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    I've just been talking to Pete Murray (namedropper) and he reminded me that he was an extra in the film and got paid the princely sum of �3 for his part. He was a mid teenager when it was filmed.

  9. #129
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlb View Post
    I've just been talking to Pete Murray (namedropper) and he reminded me that he was an extra in the film and got paid the princely sum of �3 for his part. He was a mid teenager when it was filmed.
    Yes, he's listed on the IMDb for his part - walking past in the background in the BBC scene. Well worth �3

    We should add him to the list of people to be interviewed about their experiences in making a P&P film. We've already interviewed quite a few cast & crew members. Big names & smaller names, they all played their part in making the films what they are

    Steve

  10. #130
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Surely �3 would have been pretty good money in the 1940s for what was presumably only a day's work?

  11. #131
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett View Post
    Surely �3 would have been pretty good money in the 1940s for what was presumably only a day's work?
    It was the going rate in the 1940s. For A Canterbury Tale, the boys in the river battle were paid �9 each for two weeks work. �1 10/- when on standby and �3 per day when working.

    For Gone to Earth we heard from the locals in Much Wenlock that they earned as much for a day's work on the film as they earned in a week as farm labourers

    Steve

  12. #132
    Senior Member Country: England earlb's Avatar
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    I'm sure Pete would be only too pleased to be interviewed but he doesn't have internet facilities (isn't he lucky?)

  13. #133
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    It was the going rate in the 1940s. For A Canterbury Tale, the boys in the river battle were paid �9 each for two weeks work. �1 10/- when on standby and �3 per day when working.

    For Gone to Earth we heard from the locals in Much Wenlock that they earned as much for a day's work on the film as they earned in a week as farm labourers

    Steve
    The average weekly wage was c�4.00 in the 1940s. I'm sure Pete didn't complain at the time about his �3 a day

  14. #134
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlb View Post
    I'm sure Pete would be only too pleased to be interviewed but he doesn't have internet facilities (isn't he lucky?)
    That's all right, we can usually travel to the person.

    It's actually done by the Powell Research Group at Canterbury Christ Church University. The senior lecturers in Film and Video production like Eddie McMillan run the research group and the archive. They organise a few senior students to man the cameras (or audio equipment if the subject doesn't want to be seen on screen). It's all done in a very friendly and casual way. We just want to collect as many memories as possible from people who worked on the P&P films, in whatever capacity.

    If you can PM me any contact details of Pete or his agent, or ask him yourself and pass him my details, that would be great.
    My details are on the Powell & Pressburger web site

    Thanks

    Steve

  15. #135
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett View Post
    The average weekly wage was c�4.00 in the 1940s. I'm sure Pete didn't complain at the time about his �3 a day
    �3 in 1943 is worth �100 today (using the retail price index) or �317 (using average earnings)

    Steve

  16. #136
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    �3 in 1943 is worth �100 today (using the retail price index) or �317 (using average earnings)

    Steve
    Rates for extras/walk ons haven't changed much - it's still only about �100 per day! They work very long hours, no one takes any notice of them and they get very bored, cold, wet, too hot, whatever. Only good thing about it is the food - plenty of it and lots of snacks in between.

  17. #137
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyridge View Post
    Rates for extras/walk ons haven't changed much - it's still only about �100 per day! They work very long hours, no one takes any notice of them and they get very bored, cold, wet, too hot, whatever. Only good thing about it is the food - plenty of it and lots of snacks in between.
    All film making is really very boring. There are long periods of hanging around interspersed with short periods of frantic activity or high tension

    Steve

  18. #138
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    All film making is really very boring. There are long periods of hanging around interspersed with short periods of frantic activity or high tension
    Steve
    It's not boring when you have a role to play as crew or cast. Only observing or being a walk on is boring!

  19. #139
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyridge View Post
    It's not boring when you have a role to play as crew or cast. Only observing or being a walk on is boring!
    That's why I said moments of high tension as well - if you're in the scene. A great director (guess which one) once said that everyone on screen is equally important. Be they star, character player, extra or just a walk on in the background - they all have equal propensity to mess up the scene.

    But be you star or a walk on, there's still a lot of hanging around between takes.

    Crew members have similar bursts of activity between long bouts of inactivity.

    That's why the catering is so good on set. You have to keep everyone entertained somehow

    Steve

  20. #140
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Being able to watch Colonel Blimp on you tube let me be able finally to capture the image of the Bradford Telegraph



    and find out more about the Liverpool murder in 1919.

    Firstly the history of the Bradford Telegraph:


    1868
    Bradford Daily Telegraph*
    First published July 16 (daily price 1/2d) - Thomas Shields, Bond Street*

    1898
    Bradford Daily Telegraph
    Acquired by Bradford & District Newspaper Co Ltd

    1926
    Bradford Daily Telegraph
    Merged with Yorkshire Evening Argus to form the Bradford Telegraph and Argus

    1947
    Bradford Telegraph & Argus
    Title changed to Telegraph & Argus

    I came across details of the murder at

    Nerve 12 - Migrant Myths

    1919 - The Murder of Charles Wootton
    On the evening of 5 June 1919, a fight took place in Great Georges Square, Liverpool. It involved rival groups of black and �Scandinavian� men. The police were called and decided to arrest the black men. They went at the head of an angry white crowd to Upper Pitt Street, where there were hostels and other houses occupied by the black community. There was resistance to this incursion and two police officers sustained gunshot wounds, seemingly from the same bullet.

    Charles Wootton, a 24-year-old ships fireman from Bermuda, lived at 18 Upper Pitt Street. He fled from the house to escape. He was chased about half a mile to the Queens Dock. A police officer took hold of him there but the crowd snatched him away. He either jumped or was thrown into the water. He was then hit on the head by a stone and drowned.

    You might expect such an event to make people stop and think, but if anything the horror increased. The police raid on Upper Pitt Street continued and eleven black men appeared in court the next morning, several with bandaged heads. One was wearing his naval uniform. All were charged with attempted murder on the flimsiest identification evidence.

    As for the actual murder, no one was as much as questioned. Charles Wootton�s inquest opened and closed in a single day a week later. It was said that the dead man was reasonably believed to have fired at the police and that he was escaping lawful arrest. The stone that hit him was thrown �from the middle of the crowd� while a police officer tried to �rescue� him. The jury recorded these events without even calling the event an unlawful killing.

    The atrocities continued in the following days. Crowds - at times several thousand strong - attacked black-occupied homes and hostels. Whole buildings were vandalised, emptied of their furniture and even set alight. The writer Ernest Marke describes the chilling experience of being chased all over town by white mobs. Within a week over seven hundred black residents were detained in police stations for their own protection, as the police could not cope.

    There was of course a background to all this. There had been a black community in Liverpool for centuries, largely by reason of the shipping trade. World War I brought many more people from all corners of the British Empire either to fight or to fill gaps in the labour force left by recruitment and conscription. These new arrivals were British subjects and there was no work permit system.

    Come the end of the war, there was massive demobilisation and unemployment. Black ex-servicemen were cast adrift and found homes in communities like Liverpool�s South End. At the same time, white ex-soldiers and sailors demanded civilian employment that had been promised them in �a land fit for heroes�.

    So it was that the black community became a target. A city that in so many other respects was on the brink of revolution drew on its slave trade experience and turned on its black citizens.

    On 10 June 1919 a black delegation visited the Liverpool Echo. They were led by the secretary of the Ethiopian Hall (off Brownlow Hill) where some seventy men had taken refuge against attack. This is an extract from their statement:

    �The majority of Negroes at present are discharged soldiers and sailors without employment; in fact some of them are practically starving, work having been refused them on account of their colour.
    On May 13 I visited the Lord Mayor with a view to the repatriation of some coloured men and to find if it was possible for a bounty to be given to these men through the Colonial Office, as the majority of them have pawned their clothes in order to obtain food. This was due to their being unable to obtain work as seafarers. Our goods and our houses have been broken and taken away from us.
    Some of us have been wounded and lost limbs and eyes fighting for the Empire in which we have the honour to belong.
    At present between 40 and 43 coloured men report themselves daily for repatriation.
    During the war, when the Mauretania was due to sail, the white crew failed to put in an appearance. She was manned by �niggers�. We ask for British justice, to be treated as true and loyal sons of Great Britain. We must remind the public that in Africa there are white men and last week 180 Europeans came home on leave from the West Coast. The Liverpool public must reflect on these points.�

    And this from the Liverpool Echo

    The roots of racism in city of many cultures
    Aug 3 2005 Liverpool Echo


    Political reporter Ian Hernon on the day a lynch mob brought race terror to Liverpool

    DRIVING through the vibrant, bustling Chinatown or along Brougham Terrace past Britain's oldest mosque, it is clear to see why our Capital of Culture logo is "the world in one city".

    For decades, people of every creed and colour have lived together relatively harmoniously.

    While old mill towns like Oldham, Burnley and Bradford struggled with the post-war influx of ethnic minorities, Liverpool's - albeit dubious - role in the slave trade meant people of Afro Caribbean descent had long been in residence in the city.

    But the development of such tolerance has not been an easy process. And although there are many who would deny inter-racial problems in the city, there are an equal number who would argue that there has always been an undercurrent of racial tension running through its veins.


    Because while the city can boast ownership of the country's oldest mosque and Europe's oldest Chinatown, it also witnessed Britain's first black public lynching.

    The roots of the racism believed to be involved in the killing of Huyton student Anthony Walker, 18, run deep.


    During World War l, black seamen increasingly found jobs ashore, plugging manpower shortages. Many moved in with white women, causing widespread outrage.

    With demobilisation in spring 1919, the city's black population swelled to 5,000. Tensions mounted as black and white ex-servicemen competed for work.

    Those reached boiling point when 120 black workers employed in the sugar refineries and oilcake mills were sacked because whites refused to work alongside them.

    Many were at the end of their credit limit and were evicted from their lodgings. They joined several hundred destitute black ex-servicemen, some of whom had lost limbs in the war.

    The Colonial Office was petitioned to repatriate the men with a �5 bursary for food, clothing and tools. At the same time, a deputation representing 5,000 jobless white ex-servicemen complained that black workers were under-cutting them in the wages market.

    The port was a racial tinderbox - and on June 4 of that year it exploded.

    Two white sailors stabbed a West Indian in the face because he refused to give them a cigarette in a pub. The following night his mates returned to take revenge and, in the melee, a policeman was kicked unconscious.

    The police responded by raiding a row of lodging houses with black occupants. This time the fight was more serious and four police officers were injured, one of them shot in the mouth.

    An enraged lynch mob gathered outside the houses. Charles Wootton, a 24-year-old black ship's fireman who had not been involved in the fighting, ran out and was pursued by two policemen and a crowd of around 300.

    The officers caught him at King's Dock but he was snatched by the mob. A screaming Wootton was hurled into the dock waters and pelted with bricks and rocks as he tried to swim. Eventually his battered corpse was dragged out.

    Over the next three days, white mobs up to 10,000 strong ruled Liverpool's tough streets, attacking any black people they saw.

    Houses in Toxteth which were believed to have black tenants were systematically looted and torched.

    The Times reported: "White men appear determined to clear out the black people who have been advised to stay indoors. This counsel many of them disregard.

    "The district was in an uproar and every coloured man seen was followed by a large hostile crowd."

    The victims included an ex-soldier with three medals for courage in the recent war. Some blacks fought back with razors and bottles, but were overwhelmed.

    The violence gradually abated, but similar riots erupted that summer in other ports, including London, Glasgow, Newport and Cardiff.
    --------------------------

    Nerve 14 - A Christian Greeting to the Former Capital of Culture

    The Charles Wootton Centre for Further Education, was set up in the 1970s by Blacks for Blacks, and named after the victim of a 1919 racist killing. It closed in 2000.

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