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Monday, 06 February 2012

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And who missed Malle, might perhaps also missed Anonioni's "Blow Up". Perhaps we should start list of photography related movies?

Thanks for reminding me of Malle, I haven't seen the film for ages and loo forward to grabbing the DVD now!

Interesting comment on faux Paxs in movies, medical and serious photography. You can include scuba diving and deep sea fishing in there by the way. Interesting that filmmakers feel that if a topic is known by a small percentage of viewers they can assume license to make it fit for the movie, even if it is inaccurate or poorly researched.

...you're not thinking of Minnie Driver in "The Governess" are you?

I have a difficult time coming up with much of a list of movies about photography. Naturally Blow Up is going to make the cut.
There are a couple I am curious about but have not seen. The Public Eye which is sort of about Weegee, Fur, an imaginary bio of Diane Arbus and Photographing Fairies have me mildly curious.
I caught a few minutes of Photographing Fairies on IFC but have been unable to find it anywhere else.
All three have me on "stinker alert" but even a dud movie about photography is preferable to another Ax Men marathon.
BTW Go see The Descendants. It has nothing to do with photography but it is a terrific movie and the Gabby Pahinaui soundtrack is sublime. A great way to ease into slack key.

Even though I'm old enough to be getting pension cheques, I hadn't seen Ascenseur pour l'échafaud until about a year ago. When it came to the nighttime scene with Jeanne Moreau, I more or less flipped out and I'm still not over it. If anyone wants to see just how good cinematography could be when it was all done "old school,"--okay, New Wave old school--that is the scene. It's on Youtube if you haven't seen it.

Might it be this film?

Everlasting Moments (2008)

Synopsis
Set in Sweden in the 1900s "Everlasting Moments" is the moving story of one woman's impressive capacity to survive during a time of great social change and unrest. When Maria Larsson wins a camera in a lottery, her decision to keep it alters her whole life. It enables her to see the world through new eyes, offering her a path to freedom and independence from her abusive husband. Directed by one of the great auteurs of European cinema, this true story is beautifully filmed and makes for rich and rewarding viewing.

Starring Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt, Jesper Christensen more...
Director Jan Troell
Length 131 mins
Genres Drama, World Cinema
Release date September 28, 2009


You mentioned it in your post of 20 July 2010. I then hired the DVD from "Easy Cinema" who, conveniently, keep a list of all the films I have hired, so a quick scroll down enabled me to locate the title and then search on TOP. The synopsis also comes from Easy Cinema in UK.
I enjoyed this film and was greatful for the original post highlighting it.

"I'm sure I did a post about a movie concerning a turn-of-the-century woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who finds herself through photography"

That would be "Everlasting Moments", referred to in the post "I Shall Return".

Mike

While not directly related to photography a film I recommend is "The Artist". It is beautifully filmed in a creamy black and white with wonderful lighting; very true to early 20th century filmmaking (although updated using modern equipment). And a great story and wonderfully acted.

I'm probably the umpteenth person to answer your question Mike, but what the hell - and, hey, at least you know that loads of people read your blog!! The link is...
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/i-shall-return.html

The theater sounds glorious. Can't remember seeing the movie. I shall attempt to put it on my netflix list. Saw a lot of foreign films while in college on Sunday night.

The movie, I think, is "Everlasting Moments". I haven't seen it, but I'd like to. It's available for streaming on Netflix. And speaking of Louis Malle, Atlantic City is one of his best, in case you haven't seen it.

Well, Thanks, another sound track I needed to buy. Not sure I want to deal with the movie yet, though Ms. Moreau is lovely in the clip I saw.

It's "Everlasting Moments". I too saw it and forgot the title. I searched for "movie woman saved by photography" and it came up right away.

I think the film you were trying to remember is called "Everlasting Moments" directed by Jan Troell. It's available for streaming through Netflix.

Hi, Mike,

The film you are looking for is Everlasting Moments. I saw that film after your review, and loved it.

It's on this page of TOP, under the heading "Piff Paff Puff":
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/i-shall-return.html

and here is the NetFlix listing for it:

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Everlasting_Moments/70108183?trkid=2361637

Irv Williams

July 20, 2010
Piff Paff Puff:
Everlasting Moments is the name of the movie in English

Mike, the film is Everlasting Moments, a Swedish film produced in 2008.

Enjoyed it.

Roy

I wonder if you're thinking of the Swedish film "Everlasting Moments", AKA "Maria Larsson’s Everlasting Moments"?

Funny that you mentioned it.
"Blow Up" was on TCM last night. Probably the fourth time I've watched it, and found myself picking out details and wondering about plot elements that I'd always taken for granted.
(Incidentally, my favorite movie of all time is Woody Allen's "Radio Days.")

Mike,

You didn't even mention the fantastic Miles Davis soundtrack!

They showed Elevator To The Gallows was on the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) network not long ago. I recorded it, but haven't gotten around to watching it yet. I hope you and the other movie lovers reading this have discovered the pleasures of TCM. Movies are shown uncut, with no commercials, and (mostly) in their original aspect ratio. They publish an inexpensive monthly magazine with the full schedule so you can plan out your DVR recording. My wife and I are total addicts - that one channel alone is worth the cost of our monthly cable bill. Looking forward to watching Elevator To The gallows...

I think the movie you can't quite remember is Everlasting Moments, a Swedish movie directed by Jan Troell.

Piff Paff Puff

It's the Swedish film "Everlasting Moments". Your post is dated Tuesday, 20 July 2010.

I watched it after reading your comments. Thanks. I gave it four stars, FWIW.

Thanks Mike, today's post brought back fond memories of a favourite photography movie of mine: Jules Pfeiffer's "Little Murders". Furthermore, I found it on You Tube in its entirety. Guess I know what I'll be doing after work this evening.

Mike, Ascenseur pour l'échafaud is plastically beautiful, but it would be little as a movie without the sublime music of Miles Davis :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saG7EELIfMM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB721MToRkU&feature=related

Mike, were you living in D.C. when the wonderful Circle Theater was in operation? (Down around GWU, just a couple of blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro station)

You could by a book of 10 tickets for $10. Each ticket admitted you to a double feature of classic films, usually related, two Hitchcock films for example, or two Woody Allen's. I still have one of the old monthly sheets of "coming attractions"
Evenings at the Circle Theatre are my fondest memories of movies, and of Washington.

Along with the cinematography in Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, the Miles Davis score is superb. This is one of my favorite films of the late 1950s. It has such a great "look."

You can't fail to mention the soundtrack from Miles Davis? Those first few notes from the main theme Generique just send me to Paris every time.
Classic soundtrack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNmbDg5UV_c

I think the post you were thinking of is this one:
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/i-shall-return.html

The movie is "Everlasting Moments".

I love movies, and I try to keep up with the new ones that come out. I think I saw two thirds of all the movies that came out from hollywood in 2011, including all of the children movies (thanks to my son). The problem is that there are a bunch of classic movies I haven't seen yet. I guess I will focus an the old ones this years and let the new ones go in the back seat.

>finds herself through photography<
That'll be Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick
and if this is where I discovered it then thank you!
Always thought the most famous thing about Ascenseur pour l'échafaud was the Miles Davis score:- cue Amazon links.....

How can you not mention the soundtrack?

That must be "Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick" by Jan Troell, or "Everlasting Moments", as the blander English title goes.

Jan Troell is one of our best, just behind Ingmar Bergman. You as an American might be interested in his greatest movie "The Emigrants" from 1971, an epic about a group of poor Swedish farmers and their way from the old country to Minnesota. This movie firmly grips you and takes you away to another time, and lets you walk in their shoes for a while.

Everlasting moments?

Mike, the movie mentioned in your last paragraph is Everlasting Moments.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0961066/

With a little of the collected wisdom of middle age, I now pronounce myself not a movie fan. Oh, I tried really hard in my 20s and 30s. I've even got a collection of oddball films on VHS tape that I collected and diligently watched. Even "The Battleship Potemkin". I don't have a VHS player any longer, so those films are just ballast in a set of shelves. No one ever offered me screen notes as I went into small little art house cinemas.

Now, I really enjoy taking my children to see some new bubblegum Pixar animation, or Avatar or something. Flags of My Fathers was the last film I saw with pretensions to any form of intellectual content (although I was charmed by the cult western references, even Johnny Cash and Elvis in Rango, even while my children just loved the quirky pacing and non-bubblegum colouring).

Sigh. I tried.

"a turn-of-the-century woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who finds herself through photography"

Well, my guess would be Cartier-Bresson's production of "Lady Chatterley's Lover and Darkroom Attendant".

(Maybe I got the incorrect date for the "turn-of-the-century".)

One of my favorite French New Wave films is Jean-Luc Godard's noir/sci-fi "Alphaville". In the far flung future, tough-guy, trench coat wearing secret agents will carry cheap Agfa point and shoots to document everything.

On a somewhat related issue--whether a still photographer directly influenced a film director to make the film "look" in certain ways, it is nice to note the influence of Cartier-Bresson's photography on the very first film of Satyajit Ray, "Song of the Road" (Pather Panchali, 1955). You can hear an interview of Ray here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd1RUmqdqd4&feature=watch_response_rev

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud music trivia, from IMDB:

Miles Davis recorded the music with a quartet of French musicians in a few hours (from 11pm to 5am one night), improvising each number and sipping champagne with Jeanne Moreau and Louis Malle.

Is "Everlasting Moments" the movie that you were looking for? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003E0YU0Y/ref=oh_o03_s00_i03_details
My daughter is an MFA/Photographer that now works at something else (what else is new?). Got it for her as a gift last year, after reading about it somewhere (here?).

Surprised that you didn't mention that Miles Davis did the music soundtrack for "Ascenseur pour l'echafaud"

Miles Davis composed and played on the soundtrack to this film. Very beautiful playing. They were all French musicians other than Kenny Clark on Drums and Miles.
The title of the film also translates by some as: "Lift to the scaffold".

The complete recordings are on Fontana.

“I'm sure I did a post about a movie concerning a turn-of-the-century woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who finds herself through photography”: Perhaps Everlasting Moments, which you mention in this post.

Is the film "Everlasting Moments"?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0961066/

Regards

Mike's recomendation isnt enough for you? The score is by Miles Davis and was issued on an LP - 'Lift to the Scafold', as classic and vintage as the film.
KG
Cornwall.
UK

I am reminded of Antonioni's "Blowup", a pretty successful film on the philosophy of surrealism through the lens of photography. The film explores the apparent lack of objectivity of photography itself.

You may be thinking of http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/i-shall-return.html

I had to google, but I remembered that it was Swedish. Thanks for the tip by the way, I watched it after I red about it here.

Was that movie "Everlasting Moments"?

Probably referring to your review of "Everlasting Moments", see http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/i-shall-return.html
Its on my list of "to see" movies along with alot of the art-house movies that I enjoyed during 60s & 70s back in DC (I forget the name of the theatre that showed them but think it was on Pennsylvania Ave & Georgetown area).

I went to "One Hour Photo" with a bunch of co-workers in the one-hour business, back in the day. It was amazing how many inside jokes and truisms there were. The movie was interesting, even if only for some of the eye bubblegum. It got poor reviews I think in part because everyone expected Robin Williams to be a comedian. The story was definitely within the noir sphere of influence.

The movie about the woman who finds herself through photography may have been Everlasting Moments. It's Norwegian, and it's available for instant viewing on Netflix.

http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Everlasting_Moments/70108183?trkid=2361637

Hi Mike,
The film is Everlasting Moments, a Swedish film from 2008.
Peter Rottmann

I discovered Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, ironically enough, as a teenager even though it wasn't from my teen years. (That would be something like Butch Cassidy and that's a something else entirely.) I had fallen in love with the music of Miles Davis and had bought the soundtrack album to Ascenseur, a film I'd never seen. It wasn't until some 35 years later when I bought the Criterion edition of Ascenseur pour l'échafaud that I was finally able to see the film.

I agree that the fender-bender with the Gullwing requires a very willingful suspension of disbelief. Most movies it seems make some sort of demand on our sensibilities in order for the plot to work. In this case I'm happy to do that just for the imagery presented and for the haunting soundtrack. It remains one of my favorite films.

Erik P.,
I would probably like that, considering that one of my favorite books is O.E. Rolvaag's "Giants in the Earth." I'm not sure I could read it again, but the first time I found its lonliness and windswept quality very affecting.

Mike

Edd Fuller,
I went to the Circle Theater for years. Habitually. Crying shame when they tore it down to make room for yet another half-empty office building. Or was it a parking lot?

Mike

To the person who mentioned One Hour Photo... that movie was really an advertisement for digital cameras, and quite a successful one. Sony Pictures was the maker, and they sought to destroy film cameras and in store processing (which were all vehicles belonging to Sony's competition).

Among photography related episodes in classic movies, distinguished mention should be accorded to the segment in which Henry D'Ascoyne gets blown up, during the course of the pursuit of the duchy of Chalfont by his distant relative Louis, in the exquisite Ealing dark comedy "Kind Hearts and Coronets."

Mike,
I'd like to second Erik P.'s recommendation of the movie "The Emigrants" (about leaving)as well as "The New Land" (about arriving and building a new life). These are immense and very touching movies by Jan Troell about the 19th century immigrant experience in the US, in this case Swedish emigrants/immigrants. Best/Mattias

I recently saw We'll Take Manhattan, a film about the love affair between David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton. I thought it was rather good.

Watch the clip Bailey Shoots Shrimpton on this page, where there's more info about the film.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b674s

It can next be seen on BBC 4 on Sunday at 9pm, though I watched it on BBC iPlayer a little while back. After it's been on BBC 4 it might be on BBC iPlayer again.

A friend of mine who taught evening continuing-ed photography courses used to tell students "If you want to learn how lighting works go rent Casablanca".

Now that I'm teaching in the Art & Graphic Design department (Photoshop and Illustrateo - they haven't let me at a photography course... yet) I'm always on the lookout for movies to recommend to Graphic Design students. (Good news: Many old silents are out of copyright and can be viewed free on YouTube).

I recently compiled a short list for students: http://www.robertstech.com/blog/?p=411

It's deliberately brief but suggestions for more are always welcome

What? No mention of Keeton's "The Photographer?"

While we're making references to movies that celebrate photography in one way or another, I think it's worth mentioning Woody Allen's "Manhattan," which is a visual homage to the long tradition of NYC black-and-white photography. There are passages in that film that really do take my breath away.

The recent BBC 4 We'll Take Manhattan was a very interesting watch. It seems authentic (even down to the Pentax S3).

It is out on Region 2 DVD (with extras) in the UK so others should get a chance to see it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Well-Take-Manhattan-Helen-McCory/dp/B006VIG1RQ/

The part that more reminded me of TOP was the argument between Lady Clare Rendlesham (an aristocrat managing the shoot) and Bailey over his use of a (low quality! handheld!) 35mm camera rather than tripod mounted medium format for fashion magazine use. Some arguments never change.

I sincerely doubt the One Hour Photo conspiracy theory that it was made as a plot to close down film processing (clearly run by nutters). Sony just aren't that organized! Excellent film though.

The visual in-jokes (e.g. the Edgerton Hotel) are numerous. IMDB has the full set (spoilers!)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265459/trivia

"My brother's a doctor, and can't watch a lot of "medical" dramas because their technical medical aspects are so poorly researched or presented."

I can't watch most submarine movies/tv shows for the same reason... "Down Periscope" is a significant exception - it's one of the most realistic depictions ever of the merry psychotics and neurotics that man the boats. At one time or another, I've served with pretty much every cast member except for Lt. Lake. (Though I served with her ilk.) "Das Boot" (in German with subtitles please!) is the only other one that comes to mind.

If I am perverse enough to watch one, my lovely wife generally refuses to join me. If (say, on a Discovery channel special) an alarm sounds, I tend to tense up (unpleasant if she's holding my hand) from reflex. I also tend to shout at the screen and threaten to throw things through it.

Back in college, my friends and I used to haunt the coffee houses of Berkeley, and a place wasn't hip if the sound track to Ascenseur pour l'échafaud wasn't playing. Smoke, espresso, Miles Davis....

In another of the common ad continuing correspondences between Mike's perceptions and my own, I was surprised to see this essay. Just the day before it was posted, I was watching a different Louis Malle film, screened by a local film society. (Such are the pleasures of living in a big city like Denver.)

"Au Revoir, les Enfants" has nothing to do with my teenaged years, thank goodness. A drama of childhood in occupied France, it was beautifully composed and photographed. The story unfolded in a slow, understated way that demanded and got every viewers' attention. Funny & humane throughout, and also tragic. I was so grateful for the critical discussion period afterwards, led my a local professor of cinema. The film's inevitable conclusion was so devastating that I didn't quite know how to get up from my seat and get back to the routine outdoors.

Old movies are a vast resource of great characters, storytelling, design and camerawork. Hollywood put so much money and care into its mid-century movies. Meanwhile, frugal "foreign" filmmakers spent less, but often said more. Even when the films aren't so good, their flaws tend to become documents of their time. So there's really one reason why I pay hefty satellite TV fees--- TCM.

My viewing of classic cinema will always be associated with the background of a Bell and Howell 16mm projector rattling away behind an ill muffled partition, that was a real film society!

Re cameras etc in Motion pictures (recently):

I did wonder whether what looked like a Mitchell in "The Artist" would, in the days immediately preceding sound films, be still hand-cranked?

There were a few Graflexes in this film too, not Speed Graphics which usually play the role of vintage press cameras.

"Hugo" makes a nice and spectacular reference to the famous photograph of the locomotive which has crashed through the back wall of a a Paris station.

However (and I don't look for this sort of thing) I'm sure that when the film studies academic is showing the Melies film in Melies' apartment he stops cranking the projector with a couple of hundred feet on the supply spool but in the reverse the spool is empty--as it should be. As a once film person I can tell you we hated pedants like me.

It's one I missed. Thanks for the suggestion :)

I often wince when I see scrums of press photographers portrayed in TV dramas. The budgets never seem to stretch to getting the appropriate cameras, and I frequently spot entry level DSLRs or film SLRs.

In the otherwise excellent Danish series The Killing (2) there was a scene that featured a government press conference. Whenever the photographers were in shot you could see that they were holding their cameras somewhat awkwardly, each with a thumb on the back of his or her flash unit. I can only presume that the cameras the flashes were mounted on were dummy units that were unable to fire the flashguns. Or perhaps Danish press photographers are a little more creative than most, favouring long exposures with a few splashes of flash? Anything to liven up those dull press conferences!

Buster Keaton:The Cameraman.

There is nothing for me above this absolute cinematography masterpiece. Of all genres, needless to say.

The unrelenting struggle of the artist against the machine, metaphor that all TOP players can incorporate bravely in their down-to-earth mess, n'est-ce pas?

Hence this unbridled passion for hardware, that has to find the right answer in our stead - or at our expense?

@ Ross Chambers: "I did wonder whether what looked like a Mitchell in "The Artist" would, in the days immediately preceding sound films, be still hand-cranked?"

I *believe* what you saw was a hand crank not driving the film transport, but a dolly-type gearing for delicate camera movement.

I enjoyed The Artist immensely, though much of it's film homage was to post-talkie Hollywood. That's fine with me, they aren't anachronistic in and of themselves. As for the photography, I felt the tonality was not great and I suspect it is because of how it was converted to monochrome (from digital capture... sorry for the capture term, Mike). Now for beautiful tonality in B&W film, I just dug out my Criterion Collection copy of The Third Man. I'll be watching it as soon as I can set aside the time. In Cold Blood also has an amazing final scene at the penitentiary gallows. The sight of the rain streaked window shadows on Robert Blake's face is breathtaking.

Patrick

Re Hand cranking:

The only geared head that I'm familiar with--at very much second hand--was the British(?) Moy where the controls were further below the camera, but you may be correct, thanks.

Re: Tonality, I've certainly seen better, in fact the print I saw had abrupt changes for no reason from straight B/W to some approximation of warmtone. We sometimes get dodgy prints down here.

Re; "Hugo" The photograph of the train accident replicated by Scorsese's bunch was "The Accident at the Gare Montparnasse--1895"

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