Love Exposure

Takahiro Nishijima in Love Exposure

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 22 November Premiere of Ravel’s Bolero, 1928 On this day in 1928, Ravel’s Bolero made its debut at the Paris Opera. Ravel was originally going to call the work Fandango but changed his mind to Bolero, keeping his original intention – which he almost apologetically in later years would describe as “orchestral tissue without music… there are no contrasts and practically no invention except the plan and the manner of execution.” Bolero is a long rhythmic crescendo, starting out with a simple rat-tatta-ta-tat-tatta-ta-tattata-tattata-tat snare drum, a sinuous melody over the top, at first with just a few members of the orchestra … Read more

The Curious Return of Douglas Sirk

All That Heaven Allows original poster

What is it about a film-maker who died around 25 years ago in obscurity that fascinates a new generation of directors? The director Douglas Sirk died in 1987 aged 90. Born in Hamburg as Detlef Sierck, he became well known for his string of lush melodramas made in Hollywood in the 1950s. Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956), The Tarnished Angels (1957), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) and Imitation of Life (1959) are considered his key works. The French “auteurists” were the first to start the re-assessment of Sirk in the late 1950s – the distinctive look of his films marking them out as … Read more