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The Red Shoes on BBC2

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  • The Red Shoes on BBC2

    The Red Shoes is being shown on BBC2 (so no ads) on Saturday 11th at 13:30-15:40

    Enjoy

    Steve

  • #2
    I've just watched it. An excellent film, for the most part beautifully restored with very imaginative use of colour and looking so clear it's hard to believe it was made some 70 years ago. I say for the most part, as I don't think those are the original titles on the beginning. They flash on and off, when the fashion for opening titles and credits in those days was for either dissolves or fade in and fade out. The restoration credits on the end flashed by at breakneck speed and there was only time to read a few words and then the next page of credits flashed on the screen. The people who did the restoration did such a grand job, that they deserved better than that. Maybe the original opening titles no longer existed and if so, perhaps the Rank gong and Archers logo was borrowed from another film to use on the beginning. .

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    • #3
      They were the original opening titles. I think that they were supposed to prepare you for the frantic pace of much of the film. The restoration credits do flash past very quickly. There are a lot of people to be acknowledged. Maybe they didn't want them to interrupt the mood of the film. You should have recorded it, then you could go through them slowly.

      Steve

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      • #4
        Then very unusual to have opening credits in that style in 1948, Steve. You could say they were way ahead of their time and The Red Shoes Ballet was brilliantly choreographed and filmed and edited. Unfortunately. I don't have a DVD recorder any more. The one I had eventually gave up the ghost and I've never got around to replacing it.

        David.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post
          Then very unusual to have opening credits in that style in 1948, Steve. You could say they were way ahead of their time and The Red Shoes Ballet was brilliantly choreographed and filmed and edited. Unfortunately. I don't have a DVD recorder any more. The one I had eventually gave up the ghost and I've never got around to replacing it.

          David.
          Everything about The Archers (Powell & Pressburger's production company) was unusual

          That's one reason why I like them so much. The way they worked as an artistic cooperative, the films they made, many from original stories, that they often had quite large segments in other languages but never used any subtitles, that all of the films they made during WWII never showed any actual fighting, etc., etc.

          They were definitely ahead of their time

          What about the opening to I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) or A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and various others. They were known for unusual, quirky opening sequences

          I expect that the film will be available on iPlayer as soon as they get around to putting it on there
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074t6v

          Steve


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          • #6
            Yesterday, after talking about Roger Livesey in The Entertainer, one of my work colleagues remembered him in A Matter of Life and Death and although he couldn't remember the name of the film which he hadn't seen for years, the remarkable images from it still stuck vividly, and accurately, in his memory.

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            • #7
              The special effects in The Red Shoes ballet sequence were so well done, that it's truly remarkable how P &P managed to do them, as there was no computer graphics in those days. I have to hand it to them. It was brilliant and the whole film held my attention from beginning to end. The sign of a true classic film.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                Yesterday, after talking about Roger Livesey in The Entertainer, one of my work colleagues remembered him in A Matter of Life and Death and although he couldn't remember the name of the film which he hadn't seen for years, the remarkable images from it still stuck vividly, and accurately, in his memory.
                It's often the way. Roger Livesey was primarily a stage actor but he did do quite a few films. In most of them he was playing second (or lower) male lead, often he was playing an avuncular friend of the true male lead. But the three films he did for Powell & Pressburger (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) and A Matter of Life and Death (1946)) are all truly memorable performances

                Steve

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post
                  The special effects in The Red Shoes ballet sequence were so well done, that it's truly remarkable how P &P managed to do them, as there was no computer graphics in those days. I have to hand it to them. It was brilliant and the whole film held my attention from beginning to end. The sign of a true classic film.
                  Check out some other P&P / Archers titles. They are often like that.

                  As you say, there were no computer graphics in those days, they had to do them all "the hard way", but they still stand up well today and are often better than the CGI effects

                  The way that Moira (Vicky) jumps into The Red Shoes and they lace up around her ankles is particularly clever
                  [spoiler]There was really a burly stage hand holding her up as they laced them up using stop motion[/spoiler]

                  But you might not have noticed LĂ©onide Massine (Ljubov) as he leaps into shot towards the end of the ballet, in the church scene. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff varied the speed of the camera so that he appears to hang in the air much longer then gravity normally allows

                  I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much. Not at all bad for a 70 year old film

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    I've just been looking through my Stoke on Trent area cinema programme records and The Red Shoes was shown for six days at the Regent (later known as the Gaumont), Hanley, on Monday, September 27th, 1948. It was an 'A' certificate film and was shown during that week at 1:25 pm; 4:40 pm and 7:55 pm. The Regent, like the Odeon, Hanley, was a Rank cinema. Does the DVD or BluRay have the BBFC certificate on the beginning? These modern restorations usually do, although BBC 2 didn't show the certificate during this afternoon's showing. The Regent, Hanley, became the Gaumont in 1950.
                    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 11th March 2017, 08:27 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray don't show any certificate. Just the Criterion Collection, Janus & ITV Global logos, a credit for the funding of the restoration, then it's the gong basher and the rest of the strange opening.

                      The Red Shoes never had a UK premiere. Rank thought they'd lost all their money on an "art film" and didn't bother promoting it. There are no UK posters from around that time. It was slipped out to the provinces, often as a supporting feature.

                      It wasn't until it was shown at an off-Broadway cinema in NYC (the Bijou) for over 2 years of continuous performances that people began to realise what they had.

                      It won Oscars for Best Music & Best Art Direction with another 3 nominations, including for Best Picture of 1949.

                      It was released in London (in a limited way) in July 1948. Then it started circulating around the rest of the country in September '48 and it started playing in the USA in October '48

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Listen to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bfm1f
                        It's an essay by Deborah Bull for Radio 3
                        Deborah was a dancer in the Royal Ballet and went on to be the Creative Director of the Royal Opera House, as well as an author and broadcaster.

                        She watches the film with a dancer's eye and points out everything that's wrong with it. But she says it's still the best film ever made about ballet

                        Steve

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                        • #13
                          An interesting essay from Deborah Bull. I'm sure there must at least have been a Front-of-House set for the film in 1948, as the Regent wouldn't have run it for a week with no stills from it in the display cases outside the cinema. I've never seen a Front-of-House still for it, but they must have existed at one time. Likewise a trailer. There must have been a trailer for it in 1948. If so, it would be interesting to see it now to see how the National Screen Service pitched the film.

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                          • #14
                            I've found an original British Front-of-House still on eBay. It's very expensive, though.

                            http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Red-Sh...oAAOSwPcVVupNN

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                            • #15
                              And here is a link to the original trailer from 1948.

                              http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi90...tt_pv_vi_aiv_1





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