Both from A Canterbury Tale by Powell & Pressburger.
Check it out, it’s a great film!
A Canterbury Tale at Videostored (DivX)
A Canterbury Tale at Criterion Collection (if you like the film, get the Criterion 2-disc DVD, all spiffing-looking and packed with extras)
Ha! My mate Si (www.simongurr.com) told me months ago to start a WordPress blog. Well, I got as far as setting up an account. But I was looking around for Bristoley stuff and found this.
A Canterbury Tale is possibly my favourite film of all time. Scandalously underrated.
I actually interviewed Michael Powell in the little cottage he was living in in Avening, Glos (it had previously belonged to his muse Pamela Brown) a few years before he died. I told him it was an honour to meet him (and meant it), but God, was that man arrogant! He had reason to be, of course. And he gave me some cake he’d made himself.
Top blog, Mister!
I only came across ACT fairly recently, it fair blew me away – that whole opening nighttime sequence is amazing, and yer man Sgt John Sweet is wonderfully relaxed and natural through it all. I just love the way it meanders through half-a-dozen different types of film without ever completely giving in to any of them, and despite my natural Kentishman’s prejudice against all things east of the Medway, it does a fair job of bringing the place alive.
Talking of culturally iconoclastic types in the Glos, you ever ‘do’ Leo Baxendale? Now there’s a hero!
Know what you mean about appreciating ACT on lots of different levels. It means something different to me every time I watch it. I’m working on history of Bristol in comic form aimed at secondary school age kids at the moment, and that whole idea of the ghosts of the past being all around you I find extremely powerful and inspiring.
But I also love the interplay between Sweet and the Dennis Price character as a sort of metaphor for young, energetic and exuberant America alongside cultured but jaded and cynical England – or rather the typically middle class vision of England that most wartime films projected.
I went through a phase of downloading loads of 1940s popular music a while back. It bears a lot of listening … Tired old Britain has Gracie Fields, George Formby and Vera Lynn. America has Cab Calloway, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Louis Jordan, Count Basie … How the blithering fuck did Germany and Japan ever imagine for one moment they could defeat the country that produced musicians like that?
(Not sure how this musical superpower thing applies nowadays, mind.)
Leo Baxendale does, of course, drink premium lager at the right hand of God. Never met him, though. ‘Course there are some who say he peaked young and produced his best stuff within the restraints of DC Thompson and the Beano. Others say he got better after he left and could be far more anarchic, like with the Willy the Kid stuff. I can’t remember which comic or character it was, but it still cracks me up every time I remember the sequence: idiot character gets job at zoo and causes one of the older keepers to be crushed by an elephant and is told: “Your first job as zoo keeper is to scrape Mr Frogpond of Rodney’s bum.”
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