Categories
Fashion & Film Features

Deceit is in the Details: Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity

“The living room was still stuffy from last night’s cigars. The windows were closed and the sunshine coming in through the Venetian blinds showed up the dust in the air.” The only time when Fred MacMurray’s Walter Neff is shown in broad daylight in Double Indemnity (1944) is when the flashback begins, right before he meets Barbara […]

Categories
Fashion & Film Features

Ruggedly Masculine – Rod Taylor in The Birds

When Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) first meets Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) in the bird shop in San Francisco, his look is impeccably executed. In his charcoal grey suit – fit cut, slim tie and white shirt – he is an urban careerist in San Francisco (a defense lawyer), equally brash and charming, arrogant and worldly. […]

Categories
Fashion & Film Features Uncategorized

François Truffaut’s Heroines: Part II

Catherine Deneuve (Marion Vergano) in La sirène du Mississippi, 1969 François Truffaut attributed part of the failure of La Sirène du Mississippi (the film was poorly received) to the difficulty he had persuading the public to accept an actor like Jean Paul Belmondo in the role of a defeated, desperate man: “It’s not hard to […]

Categories
Fashion & Film Features

François Truffaut’s Heroines: Part I

Cinema is a woman’s art, François Truffaut used to say, and the great moments in cinema involve “the convergence of the gifts of a director and those of an actress who is being directed by him.” In his films, it’s his feminine characters who are more dynamic, more enterprising, it’s them who direct events. It’s […]

Categories
Fashion & Film Features

Cary Grant’s impeccable style in To Catch a Thief

I watch Alfred Hitchcock’s films time and time again. For the thrills, for the visual flair and distinct atmosphere, for the dry wit and humour, and for the sheer joy of seeing style unfold on screen. Today I’m revisiting To Catch A Thief and that impossibly well-dressed man, Cary Grant in his role as John Robie […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Russell Lawson’s Statue of Liberty matte shots from Saboteur (Alfred Hitchcock, 1942)

It’s the perfect setting for a Hitchcock finale; Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd pitted against each at the top of Bartholdi’s green lady, all 151 feet and 1 inch of her. Inside and outside of her torch they tussle, until Lloyd’s fifth columnist falls dramatically to his death. Russell Lawson’s matte paintings of the statue […]

Categories
Features

Wallpaper Wednesday | North By Northwest

Here at The Big Picture we’re all about the joy and power of the cinematic image. What better way then to enjoy this widescreen wonder (apart from actually going to the cinema) than with a selection of carefully chosen movie-oriented wallpapers to download. Continuing our tie-in to The Big Picture issue 10 ‘Rebellious Loners‘ theme, […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Four Frames: Petrol station attack in The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock 1963)

Only Hitchcock could use four moments of stillness to kick-start an action sequence. Having watched helplessly as an unwitting motorist is engulfed by fire, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is frozen in close-up by the horror of an unstoppable river of flame as it meanders towards a petrol pump to precipitate the inevitable explosion. Hedren, her […]