Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) starts with a disembodied close-up of a woman’s face that moves up to her eye, while Bernard Herrmann’s score begins its moody and compulsive circular rising-and-falling motif – immediately haunting and troubled.
by Thomas Downs
In early January my old friends Randall Homan and Al Barna called to see if I wanted to go out for a night on the town. They have a book out, San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons, which features their beautiful photographs of the city’s neon signs, so for them, getting out often involves supporting a business with a legacy neon sign. Continue reading
This excerpt from Ray Bradbury Unbound, Jonathan R. Eller’s new biography, follows Ray Bradbury’s complex relationship with director John Huston on the making of Moby Dick.
When everyone regrouped in London, tensions were still high between the two men. Casting was finalized during this period, but not before a large dinner at Huston’s private club with some of the production staff and other friends of Huston’s, including the silent film stars Bebe Daniels and her husband Ben Lyon, who had become television entertainers in the U.K. since leaving Hollywood. This group included Jeanie Sims; Lorrie Sherwood; Peter Viertel; Richard Brooks, who had been Huston’s cowriter on Key Largo in 1948; and Jack Clayton, who would go on to direct Room at the Top, The Innocents, and, eventually, Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Continue reading
François Truffaut’s many hour of interviews with the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock resulted in a book that influenced several generations of filmmakers. It helped film lovers understand the language of cinema as Truffaut integrated images with their discussions in a truly special collaboration. Continue reading
[Until recently only a five minute clip from Harry Houdini’s feature film The Grim Game was known to exist. Rick Schmidlin will introduce his stunning restoration of the complete film (made possible by the support of Turner Classic Movies) with the premiere of a new musical score by Donald Sosin at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s “Day of Silents” on Saturday, December 5 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. For tickets and the day’s schedule go here.] Continue reading