Saturday, 21 February 2015

I'd never seen Powell and Pressburger's Tales of Hoffmann, but lovely Moira Shearer is irresistible and so I was tempted out this morning to see this 1951 follow-up to The Red Shoes, surely the best ballet movie ever. And what a cast ... not only Shearer, but Léonide Massine, Frederick Ashton and a wonderfully camp Robert Helpmann swishing his cloak and rolling his eyes as the dastardly villain. Bliss, I thought, as the prologue opened with Shearer's Enchanted Dragonfly (at 4.41) skimming over the lily pads, and the first tale turned out to be a version of Coppélia with a very unnerving ending ... oh no, no, no, that's lovely Moira's dismembered head and it's all too reminiscent of her lying broken at the end of The Red Shoes.
Only then, it all dragged on too long - and there wasn't enough dancing - and the opera was very screechy which may have been the sound quality of the film or was possibly just playing it too loud in a very small cinema. And you still couldn't hear the words properly, so you were always straining to catch them. So by the end, I'd had enough. And I'd had a little snooze. Loved the Dragonfly, though. And the newly-restored Glorious Technicolor was glorious indeed ... those purple and green eyeshadows!

And this is where I had lunch. I do hope they used the stuff that kills all known germs. (In case you're wondering, my pulled pork sandwich was delicious.)


Katharine A said...

OK so you haven't inspired me to see that film. I regularly snooze at home in front of films. But I've checked out The attendant online and hope to check it out in person soon.

mary said...

No, there wasn't enough Moira Shearer to balance out the rest, Katharine; quite a few left early on.But Attendant was fun - watch yourself going down the steps, though!