Pascal Lamorisse in fantasy short film The Red Balloon (1956, dir. Albert Lamorisse)
Jean-Louis Trintignant in The Conformist (1970, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
“Godard was my real guru, you understand? I used to think there was cinema before Godard and cinema after - like before and after Christ. So what he thought about the film meant a great deal to me.
[At the screening], he doesn’t say anything to me. He just gives me a note and then he leaves. I take the note and there was a Chairman Mao portrait on it and with Jean-Luc’s writing. The note says: ‘You have to fight against individualism and capitalism.’ That was his reaction to my movie. I was so enraged that I crumpled it up and threw it under my feet.
…Why do you think Godard didn’t like The Conformist, I ask Bertolucci. It was, after all, partly a trenchant diagnosis of a fascistic mentality. “I had finished the period in which to be able to communicate would be considered a mortal sin. He had not.”
But there might be another reason Godard didn’t like the film. In it, [the assassin] asks for [a targeted dissident teacher’s] phone number and address. “The number was Jean-Luc’s and the address was his on Rue Saint Jacques. So you can see that I was the conformist wanting to kill the radical.”
Indeed, Bertolucci takes evident delight in the fact that, for all Godard’s Maoist contempt for The Conformist, a rising generation of film-makers saw his picture as a revelation. “What always made me proud - almost blushing with pride - is that Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg all told me that The Conformist is their first modern influence.”
“On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man’s life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry’s machines - including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete in the Twilight Zone.”
-Rod Serling, “The Lonely”, The Twilight Zone (1959)
Francois Truffaut: Are you in favour of the teaching of cinema in universities?
Alfred Hitchcock: Only on condition that they teach cinema since the era of Méliès and that the students learn how to make silent films, because there is no better form of training. Talking pictures often served merely to introduce the theatre into the studios. The danger is that young people, and even adults, all too often believe that one can become a director without knowing how to sketch a decor, or how to edit.
Truffaut: In your opinion, should a film suggest painting, literature, or music?
Hitchcock: The main objective is to arouse the audience’s emotion and that emotion arises from the way in which the story unfolds, from the way in which sequences are juxtaposed. At times, I have the feeling I’m an orchestra conductor, a trumpet sound corresponding to a close shot and a distant shot suggesting an entire orchestra performing a muted accompaniment. At other times, by using colours and lights in front of beautiful landscapes, I feel I am a painter. On the other hand, I’m wary of literature: a good book does not necessarily make a good film.
-excerpted from Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut & Helen G. Scott
Photographer: George Dodge
The Schüfftan Process, as used to film the stadium scenes in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)
Claude Rains in The Phantom of the Opera (1943, dir. Arthur Lubin) (via)
“Yes, the ghost was there, around them, behind them, beside them; they felt his presence without seeing him, they heard his breath, close, close, close to them!… They trembled … They thought of running away … They dared not … They dared not make a movement or exchange a word that would have told the ghost that they knew that he was there! … What was going to happen?
‘SHE IS SINGING TO-NIGHT TO BRING THE CHANDELIER DOWN!’
With one accord, they raised their eyes to the ceiling and uttered a terrible cry. The chandelier, the immense mass of the chandelier was slipping down, coming toward them, at the call of that fiendish voice. Released from its hook, it plunged from the ceiling and came smashing into the middle of the stalls, amid a thousand shouts of terror.”
-Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera (1910)