6 items from 2010
Forget the glass ceiling, Hollywood has more casement creativity than you could shake a squeegee at. Take a peek for yourself ...
From the one through which Rapunzel unfurled her hair to those framing Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, windows have long played a potent role in our culture. They're everywhere in daily life and our films are full of them, too. On a literal level, there are plenty of films about windows (IMDb lists 243 films with "window" in the title), and in many ways the cinema screen itself can also be seen as a metaphorical window, opening on to other times, places and realities.
Movies, like windows, can be the voyeur's best friend – we watch, with impunity, from the seeming safety of the dark. But canny film-makers exploit the unstable nature of this dynamic, subverting it by reaching through to shatter our complacency and mess with our minds. When Nietzsche warned the »
Prosthetic snouts have poked their beaks into numerous films. And the winners by a nose (or even a nasal hair) are ...
The nose knows. Slap bang in the middle of our faces sits something with which we can be identified with uncanny ease. So, when proboscises get altered, we're thrown off the scent. A shock conk confounds our perceptions and forces us to see a different person. That's why both Lawrence Olivier and Orson Welles liked fake beaks. The falsie Alec Guinness wore as Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948) copied Cruikshank's illustrations from the novel's first edition, but it also caused the film to be delayed, banned and edited. The temporary cinematic rhinoplasty packs powerful juju – and this is why nasal prostheses have poked on to the silver screen in over 50 roles in five basic categories.
- Karen Krizanovich
Needles at the ready, back-sized portrait of Robert Pattinson in hand, Josh Du Sautoy fills us in on the best tatts on screen
• Now updated with last week's choices!
"Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past." So said Jack London, though he probably didn't foresee the day when over a fifth of British adults would have one – that's a whole heap of interesting pasts.
Most of us will know someone with a tattoo, even if they're not willing to show it. Inking has definitely become a part of the mainstream, but in cinema it remains something of a novelty. A lot of film characters have become like politicians; make them as bland as possible so as not to offend anyone. Where are the tattooed romantic leads? Perhaps it has something to do with marketing, to paraphrase London: show me a »
Hankies at the ready, surging euphoria to follow. This week on Clip joint, Karen Krizanovich rubbernecks on the best botched nuptials on screen
Whether you're the person being jilted or the one doing the jilting, an aborted wedding ceremony is that rarest of genres: the fantasy-horror. Everyone you know has gathered, in their best clothes, to witness not a fairytale ending but a car crash of love, money and humiliation.
But, sometimes, it just has to be done. There can be few things more upsetting than seeing the person you love – the only person for you – about to marry some idiot because of her dimwit parents, or because, like Patrick Dempsey in Made of Honor, you've forgotten to tell her how you feel , or, like Bing Crosby in Road to Rio, it just seems like the right thing to do.
So, how should you proceed if the object of your »
Prick up your ears and harden your hearts as AJBee plays you his choice of the most spine-chilling clips of aural horror at the cinema
When it comes to cinema, sound is often sight's neglected sister. Yet all things aural feed our mood, while an absence of sound leaves scenes cold. This is why sound is a key tool of the filmmaker with a desire to genuinely affect their audience. Fingernails screeching down a blackboard signalled an ominous presence in Jaws, while the industrial grind of Eraserhead pummels the viewer into a paranoid wreck.
The darker side of cinema is often home to the most creative use of audio. For those who can't afford CGI, the experienced sound engineer proves invaluable. Who would have thought that The Exorcist's head-turning scene was made especially dread-drenched by the creak of a leather wallet? These skilfully added acoustics may be a backdrop for the movie, »
Slap on your blinkers as Karen Krizanovich gallops through the best equine clips on film
They're not just for little girls: horses in films symbolise life (The Red Pony), death (Gone With the Wind), bravery (Hidalgo) and comedy (The Mask of Zorro). Even the use of horses' heads – think The Godfather, The Tin Drum – make for indelible cinematic moments.
Equines bring emotional power to the big screen and a connection to magic and nature that few other animals seem to possess: Shadowfax in The Lord of the Rings, Black Beauty, and those four chariot horses named after stars in Ben-Hur. Their profound (and upsetting) use in Russian cinema (October by Eisenstein, Andre Rublev by Tarkovsky) is countered by Oliver Hardy's comic reincarnation as a horse at the end of The Flying Deuces and by Us TV's popular talking horse, Mr Ed (here rubbing noses with Clint Eastwood).
With Spielberg »
6 items from 2010
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