Tuesday, November 11, 2008

John Ford for ever

A new translation of a 1988 article by Serge Daney about John Ford following the showing of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon on French television. It's available on Steve Erickson's website:

John Ford for ever

Originally published in Liberation on 18 November 1988 and reprinted in Devant la recrudescence des vols de sacs à main, Aléas, 1997.

I'm still amazed by Daney's ability to capture a unique characteristic (rapid contemplation) of a filmmaker (Ford) in such a concise and simple manner.

Fort Apache was on British TV last Saturday afternoon and, as I exercised the usual Daney trick: count the first 10 shots of a movie to see "if it works", I spotted this amazing panoramic shot of a coach going full speed through Monument Valley: the camera follows the coach from left to right but then abandons it for a moment to look up a big rock formation before getting back down to the coach and the action. The coach actually disappears from the frame in the middle of the action... sheer magic.

Any other rapid contemplation anyone?