Thursday Editor’s Pick: The Clock (1945)

by on September 21, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

Playing Thurs Sept 29 at 4:30, 6:50, 9:15 at BAMcinématek [Program & Tix]

 

The Complete Vincente Minnelli” is only just beginning at BAM, and we at Alt Screen feel privileged to publish Joe McElhaney’s authoritative appraisal of the series, which he calls “a major event.”

 

Run, don’t walk to see Minnelli’s humble little masterpiece. As Frank Miller of TCM remarks, “Thanks to rear projection, ingenious art direction and the memories of director Vincente Minnelli, MGM created one of the most vivid images of New York City life ever captured on screen.”

 

Alt Screen’s Dan Callahan in his feature on Garland:

It was Vincente Minnelli who finally created a worthy frame for Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), a musical masterpiece on fantasy family life where she was placed like a jewel shining behind white lace curtains. In their second film, The Clock (1945), a beautifully judged non-musical romance with soldier Robert Walker, Garland blossoms as a woman and a performer because Minnelli is obviously as sensitive as she is (it might also have helped that Walker was even more of a mess than she was at that time, and so her focus was on helping him). If you want to see why Judy Garland was a potentially major dramatic actress, look at the scene in The Clock after she and Walker have just gone through a disastrously impersonal wedding ceremony. They sit in a restaurant, and she tries to hold back, but finally she just explodes out with, “It was so ugly!” She’s close to total hysteria and breakdown here, as if all of her feelings have suddenly been unleashed at us. It’s perilously close to overacting, but Minnelli’s direction helps Garland channel this tidal wave, giving her a formal cinematic structure for her outsized emotions with his careful framings and semi-dreamy camera movements. The two soon married.

 

Dan offers further thoughts on Minnelli in his coverage of the BAM retrospective for L Magazine here.

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Friday Editor’s Pick: The Clock (1945)

by on July 27, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

Playing Fri July 29 at 12:30 at Film Society of Lincoln Center [Program & Tix]

 

Run, don’t walk to Vincent Minelli’s humble little masterpiece. As Frank Miller of TCM remarks, “Thanks to rear projection, ingenious art direction and the memories of director Vincente Minnelli,  MGM created one of the most vivid images of New York City life ever captured on screen.”

 

Alt Screen’s Dan Callahan in his very popular feature on Garland:

It was Vincente Minnelli who finally created a worthy frame for Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), a musical masterpiece on fantasy family life where she was placed like a jewel shining behind white lace curtains. In their second film, The Clock (1945), a beautifully judged non-musical romance with soldier Robert Walker, Garland blossoms as a woman and a performer because Minnelli is obviously as sensitive as she is (it might also have helped that Walker was even more of a mess than she was at that time, and so her focus was on helping him). If you want to see why Judy Garland was a potentially major dramatic actress, look at the scene in The Clock after she and Walker have just gone through a disastrously impersonal wedding ceremony. They sit in a restaurant, and she tries to hold back, but finally she just explodes out with, “It was so ugly!” She’s close to total hysteria and breakdown here, as if all of her feelings have suddenly been unleashed at us. It’s perilously close to overacting, but Minnelli’s direction helps Garland channel this tidal wave, giving her a formal cinematic structure for her outsized emotions with his careful framings and semi-dreamy camera movements. The two soon married.

 

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Judy Garland at Film Society of Lincoln Center & Paley Center (thru Aug 9, 18)

by on July 26, 2011Posted in: Essay

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