By James Curtis
He was once the consummate clothier of movie structure on a grand scale, prompted through German expressionism and the paintings of the good eu administrators. He was once identified for his visible aptitude and undying innovation, a guy who meticulously preplanned the colour and layout of every movie via a chain of continuity sketches that made transparent digital camera angles, lights, and the actors’ positions for every scene, translating dramatic conventions of the degree to the hot services of movie.
here's the long-awaited publication on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s first and maximum construction clothier, a task identify David O. Selznick invented for Menzies’ notable, all-encompassing, Academy Award–winning paintings on Gone With the Wind (which he successfully co-directed).
It was once Menzies—winner of the first-ever Academy Award for artwork course, together for The Dove (1927) and Tempest (1928), and who was once to boot a director (fourteen photographs) and a manufacturer (twelve pictures)—who replaced the way in which video clips have been (and nonetheless are) made, in a occupation that spanned 4 a long time, from the Twenties during the Fifties. His greater than a hundred and twenty motion pictures comprise Rosita (1923), Things to Come (1936), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Kings Row (1942), Mr. Lucky (1943), The satisfaction of the Yankees (1943), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Address Unknown (1944), It’s a superb Life (1947), Invaders from Mars (1953), and Around the area in eighty Days (1956).
Now, James Curtis, acclaimed movie historian and biographer, writes of Menzies’ lifestyles and paintings because the such a lot influential fashion designer within the historical past of movie. His artistry encompassed the massive, scenic drawings of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which created a brand new ordinary for attractiveness at the display and whose unique fairy-tale units are nonetheless considered as natural genius. (“I observed The Thief of Bagdad whilst it first got here out,” stated Orson Welles—he used to be, on the time, a nine-year-old boy. “I’ll always remember it.”) Curtis writes of Menzies’ layout and supervision of John Barrymore’s liked Rogue (1927), a movie that continues to be a masterpiece of craft and synthesis, the most certain images to emerge from Hollywood’s waning days of silent motion pictures, and of his impressive, opulent appointments for Gone With the Wind (1939).
It was once Menzies who outlined and solidified the position of paintings director as having total keep an eye on of the glance of the movie, participating with manufacturers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with administrators akin to D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as different as Ingrid Bergman, W. C. Fields, Cary furnish, Clark Gable, John Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and David Niven.
Interviewing colleagues, actors, administrators, associates, and kin, and with complete entry to the William Cameron Menzies family members selection of unique art, correspondence, scrapbooks, and unpublished writing, Curtis brilliantly offers us the path-finding paintings of the movies’ so much bold and dynamic construction clothier: his evolution as artist, artwork director, creation fashion designer, and director. here's a portrait of a guy in his time that makes transparent how the films have been ceaselessly reworked via his startling, visionary work.
(With sixteen pages of colour illustrations, and black-and-white photos throughout.)
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Extra info for William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come
In place of “biologically essentialist view[s] of black cinema,” he suggests a focus on the “plurality of standards by which black films are evaluated” (145). Black films require neither black filmmakers, nor actual black audiences (146), nor even some conception of a “monolithic black audience” to which one might appeal as an ideal (148). Instead Lott offers a criterion for such a definition that eschews the independent/mainstream distinction and emulates the currently existing political conditions of black people as a prerequisite for something to be a black film.
See, for example, Noël Carroll, “Introduction,” in Theorizing the Moving Image (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), xiii–xiv, and “Prospects for Film Theory: A Personal Assessment,” in Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, ed. David Bordwell and Noël Carroll (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), 40. 35. Noël Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror, or, Paradoxes of the Heart (London: Routledge, 1990), 89. 36 Building on this insight, Smith constructs a theory to replace theoretical uses of identification in film and outlines a hypothesis to explain how we imaginatively engage with characters.
Proceeds dialectically” (56), which accounts for its provisionality. In addition, attempts to formulate new theories take place in the context of past theoretical endeavors (57). Criticism and revision, then, will be fundamental to this philosophical style of inquiry into film (58). Insofar as such efforts will be “truth-tracking,” the aim will be some sort of approximate truth rather than an absolute, Platonic conception (60). Carroll, Smith, and other film theorists have further argued that film viewing in general should be understood as predominantly a matter of acentral imagining—that is, viewing a film from the outside, as if one were observing it, rather than experiencing it oneself.