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Jack Cardiff Tribute in January 2012

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The legendary cinematographer-director gets special TCM treatment in January...so excited about this!

 

After 17 years of interviews (many with Jack himself before his death at age 94 in 2009), a new documentary has been produced called Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2011). It will have its premiere on TCM in January with several encore showings throughout the month.

 

But more importantly, TCM viewers will get the chance to look at his films which include so many noteworthy gems.

 

_As cinematographer:_ A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, BLACK NARCISSUS, CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, THE RED SHOES, UNDER CAPRICORN, PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE, THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL, and DEATH ON THE NILE.

 

_As director:_ INTENT TO KILL, YOUNG CASSIDY, THE LIQUIDATOR, and THE MERCENARIES (alternate title: DARK OF THE SUN).

 

Not scheduled (but recommended for independent studies): THE AFRICAN QUEEN, THE BLACK ROSE, THE MAGIC BOX, THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA, WAR AND PEACE (1956), LEGEND OF THE LOST, THE VIKINGS, SONS AND LOVERS, MY GEISHA, THE LONG SHIPS, FANNY and GHOST STORY among others.

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This is awesome! :)

 

But wasn't Cardiff involved with Powell and Pressburger's *The Tales of Hoffman*? I watched it the first time on TCM a while back, and I prefer it to *Black Narcissus* and *The Red Shoes*.

 

Edited by: QRex on Oct 11, 2011 1:34 PM

 

Edited by: QRex on Oct 11, 2011 1:35 PM

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote: ...}{quote}After 17 years of interviews (many with Jack himself before his death at age 94 in 2009), a new documentary has been produced called Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2011). It will have its premiere on TCM in January with several encore showings throughout the month. ...

Watch this excellent film! I just got the DVD, and it's one of the best documentaries I've seen about the movies. Cardiff's movie career was extraordinarily long -- he started as a child actor in silent films and ended up working with major directors (e.g., Hitchcock, Powell) as a cinematographer, became a director himself, and then went back to cinematography, doing outstanding work all along the way up through the millenium. Cardiff and the other interview subjects (including Kirk Douglas!) have some very entertaining, interesting stories to tell in what amounts to a history of British cinema. (The only fault I could find in the film is that it didn't talk much about his work with John Ford on *Young Cassidy*, before Cardiff took over direction from the older man.)

 

Edited by: BingFan on Oct 11, 2011 1:46 PM

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Funny, Cardiff shot two films with the title CROSSED SWORDS and neither one is scheduled. The earlier one with Errol Flynn is the one I was hoping for. The only Flynn swashbuckler that I've yet to see.

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It was an interesting documentary but I was disappointed that there was not a single reference to Cardiff's direction of the aborted Adventures of William Tell, an Errol Flynn project that died when its Italian backers ran out of funds. Apparently the half hour or so of the film that was shot has stunning photography and it's my understanding that that Roddy McDowall once had that half hour of film (though missing an soundtrack, I think). It was the death of William Tell that ended had chances that Flynn could have of a comeback as a major player in the film world. Since McDowall's death I have no idea where the William Tell footage now resides.

 

 

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I was hoping for some commentary on the aborted Flynn film. The TCM special on Flynn had some home movie footage of Flynn in costume, but some words from Cardiff would really have been appreciated despite the lack of any materials.

 

I read the same story about McDowall having the footage sans soundtrack. Maybe the FBI confiscated it when they raided his home in 1974.

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I'm recording *Wings of the Morning* at the moment. Had a glimpse -- it looks fascinating. I've read mixed things about it but am looking forward to watching this pioneering film.

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An excellent film on a true genius behind the camera. I didn't see it tonight, but I did watch it last week on Netflix. If anyone missed it, they can catch it there.....

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Loved it! Wish it had been longer. I missed part of the beginning, but luckily TCM reran it later. I'd forgotten he had shot War and Peace..........

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I know next to nothing about cinematography but found this documentary fascinating. Cardiff was a true artist. No wonder Michael Powell picked him out very early.

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I also admit to knowing little about cinematography but found this documentary fascinating. At first I wasn't going to watch and the first time it was on only watched part of it. But after I found out all the movies Cardiff was involved in (most being movies I had seen and enjoyed), I watched the complete second showing.

 

 

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>I'm recording *Wings of the Morning* at the moment. Had a glimpse -- it looks fascinating. I've read mixed things about it but am looking forward to watching this pioneering film.

 

The film was dreadful; it set back the crafts of screenwriting and acting for talking pictures by a half-dozen years, but remains an eternal cure for insomnia.

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Yes...while I am not pleased with the selection of Angela Lansbury as SOTM, the Cardiff tribute more than makes up for it. This is what I come to TCM for...

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Most of his work was done before special effects became the lead character in most films. Painting over glass, inventive use of color and other things got the job done and more realistically than IL&M and its computers. From what I saw his Oscar nominations and wins were well deserved. I want to see this documentary again as you can't take it all in with one viewing.

 

 

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> {quote:title=wouldbestar wrote:}{quote}

> I want to see this documentary again as you can't take it all in with one viewing.

It's on again on January 12 at 11pm Eastern.

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This doc is very good and I have enjoyed Jack Cardiff's work long before I was aware of who he was. He shot The Four Feathers with such care and with such vision. The effect of the location shots are such they appeared to have the quality of motion picture stock of the 1950s, and not 1939! He understood color and light so well. His work in Summertime is not to be missed either.

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> I have enjoyed Jack Cardiff's work long before I was aware of who he was. He shot The Four Feathers with such care and with such vision.

Except that he didn't -- Cardiff was one of eight camera operators on the film. He wasn't cinematographer (chores that were divided between Georges Perinal in the studio in England, and Osmond Borradaile on lucation in Sudan and Egypt).

 

Beyond this, there's something that needs to be explained when discussing the work of Cardiff, or any British cinematographer: the system under which British film crews worked was different from what existed, and exists in Hollywood (it's now pretty standard everywhere). In Britain back then, the cinematography was typically split between the cameraman and the lighting cameraman, i.e. one was responsible for composing shots, lens choice, camera movement and focus, and the other dealt with lighting the set.

 

 

Cardiff's renown rests on his use of lighting and color, but as camera operator on THE FOUR FEATHERS he was rather isolated from those functions. What he surely did do is observe Perinal and learn, building on the older man's experience to create his own style and bag of tricks when he did finally get the chance to design films' cinematography, especially in color.

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