David Lean

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Jeemo
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David Lean

Postby Jeemo » 20 Aug 2007, 23:46

I watched Ryan's Daughter over the last few nights. Now given that this film was butchered by the critics when it came out that Lean "retired" from movie making for 14 years. I really enjoyed it, you can pick holes in it. It is too long, overblown, Robert Mitchum is miscast and Christopher Jones looks great but he is wooden beyond belief.

But there are moments of sublime magic. Mitchum's "dream" when he's imaging his wife with the Officer and appears in the same shot as they walk along the beach. The storm sequence is simply breathtaking and the stunning shots of the beach through out the movie.

While watching it I thought about Lawrence, Zhivago and Bridge on RK and they all have silent passages that are pure cinema. These scenes are not what you would expect to be in a large budget epic of the kind Lean was making. He wouldnt be allowed to make movies like that today.

Oh for someone to make intelligent blockbusters today rather than we have the opening date, half a script and a marketing budget.

Any thoughts?
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Postby toomanyhatz » 20 Aug 2007, 23:58

Haven't seen "Ryan's Daughter," but one thing about Lean that makes him great for me is that for a supposedly "epic" director he does small moments remarkably well. I'm thinking of the red goblet in "Summertime," how a consumptive cough in a flophouse is the downbeat for the patriotic English music in "A Passage to India," the reunion of husband and wife in "Brief Encounter."

A great artist knows what his strengths are and how and when to play with them. Lean was so successful at being huge because he knew when to stay small. Another thing that wouldn't happen today, such subtleties are lost on people waiting for the next explosion.
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Sneelock

Postby Sneelock » 21 Aug 2007, 02:04

miscast or not, I think Mitchum is the movie's great pleasure.
there's a great article somewhere about an interview Lean gave for (I think) the new york film critics and how they just savaged him.

they had 'new wave' on their minds and their questions were antagonistic. "how does it feel to be old, out of touch and not meaningful?" wouldn't have been out of place.

I think it's interesting in Lean's body of work. maybe it's even a sign that he was heaping on production values instead of telling a story. whatever, I think it's a major film from one of the movie's great talents. that's all I need.

I knew a camera operator who worked for David Lean and loved and adored the man. he said that when (I think ) Lawrence became an international success that he sent him a letter thanking him for his dedication and cutting him in on a percentage of the film's profits. he said Lean had sent many such letters. I always wondered about that.

that article I refered to before and other things paint a picture of a man who felt a little distant from and maybe above other people. maybe this was a function of the way he saw his craft and maybe I'm off base. still, while I personally prefer his black and white films, I don't hesitate to give the guy his due. he seemed to be one of the guys most at home on the big wide screen of the day. 'Ryan' proves maybe even a guy like him couldn't figure out what to do with it all the time. his efforts are interesting at the very least. as I say, I think Mitchum is something to behold in that movie. he so often seemed a lackadasical talent. a guy who really just showed up. some of his best movies show this was a good approach for him. In 'Ryan' and few other films, Mitchum seems to be coming at it from a different angle. I guess I'm a big enough fan that this holds my interest.

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Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Aug 2007, 16:35

I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.

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Postby sloopjohnc » 21 Aug 2007, 17:00

Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


His Great Expectations is particularly great.
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Postby Jeemo » 21 Aug 2007, 17:44

Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


Totally agree with you Matt :shock: :lol:
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Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Aug 2007, 17:55

Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


Totally agree with you Matt :shock: :lol:


He was considered a top rank filmaker before he made Bridge. That picture just boosted his rep up another notch is all.

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Postby Jeemo » 21 Aug 2007, 18:00

Wilson Schmilson wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


Totally agree with you Matt :shock: :lol:


He was considered a top rank filmaker before he made Bridge. That picture just boosted his rep up another notch is all.


Dont forget Hobson's Choice another gem in his c.v.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Aug 2007, 18:05

Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


Totally agree with you Matt :shock: :lol:


He was considered a top rank filmaker before he made Bridge. That picture just boosted his rep up another notch is all.


Dont forget Hobson's Choice another gem in his c.v.


Haven't seen that one. I've never even seen Ryan's Daughter and I'm not all that thrilled with Passage to India either.

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Postby Jeemo » 21 Aug 2007, 19:41

Wilson Schmilson wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:
Jeemo wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:I love him, and you gotta remember he did smaller pictures for years before he did Bridge. For example Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Summertime and Brief Encounter are great.


Totally agree with you Matt :shock: :lol:


He was considered a top rank filmaker before he made Bridge. That picture just boosted his rep up another notch is all.


Dont forget Hobson's Choice another gem in his c.v.


Haven't seen that one. I've never even seen Ryan's Daughter and I'm not all that thrilled with Passage to India either.


Passage to India was poor, I think it was very tired.
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Re: David Lean

Postby toomanyhatz » 12 Aug 2017, 20:00

Hey, does anybody want to talk about MOVIES?
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Re: David Lean

Postby Jeemo » 12 Aug 2017, 23:14

yes please. I've watched Passage to India again since my last post. it's still flawed but some scenes are outstanding. the later scenes years after the trial are superb.
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Re: David Lean

Postby toomanyhatz » 12 Aug 2017, 23:25

I need to watch some of these again. It's been a while. But I feel the same way I felt ten(!) years ago. His epics have tons of intimate moments too.
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Re: David Lean

Postby The Modernist » 14 Aug 2017, 14:47

I know think Great Expectations is his best. Gloriously atmospheric and gothic.

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Re: David Lean

Postby Positive Passion » 14 Aug 2017, 17:16

Ryan's Daughter has some great moments in it, as do Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, but really all of those are too long and often dull and boring.

Kwai and the earlier films are really great.