White Heat (Raoul Walsh, 1949)
I started my BA in Film Studies at Concordia University (in Montreal) today(!), and my first class was “Film Aesthetics” with the incredibly named teacher John Locke - a veteran of the faculty, I hear. On the chopping block was the deliciously entertaining Warner Bros. caper White Heat, directed by Raoul Walsh in 1949 - which Locke preceded with showing us the 1967 experimental short film Standard Time, an 8-minute experimental film consisting of a camera spinning around a room - much like the great scene in De Palma’s Blow Out (1961), except with nothing happening aside from the spinning, the occasional focus on object and abrupt change of direction. “Great way to open a class and aleniate 75% of your students” I chuckled to myself, the short only taking on its full significance when Raoul Walsh’s frequent panning in White Heat, otherwise invisible as a simple element of form, became oddly reminiscent, if not instantly noticeable - and arguable as style. This great exercise of association was followed by clips of High Sierra (1941) and Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), showcasing similar camera movements to stress out the importance of paying attention to minute details.
posted: 5 September 2012 @ 22:40
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