Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Random Orphan Show of 2012

We have moved the Random Orphan Showings to once a month. Last night choices gave us three films. Bleeding and Bandaging, Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge, Orthographic Projection.
Bleeding and Bandaging is a Red Cross film aimed at instruction. It addresses the need for quick treatment of bleeding wounds in the event of a disaster. Obviously made before the advent of the Disaster Film genre, it shows a host of curiously passive victims being treated on location in simulated earthquakes, indiustrial accidents, car crashes or un-named disasters. The wound and blood effects are quite realistic and since it has already become a "pink" film from the fading of the color dyes in the film emulsion, the blood is even more rich and red. Not as frightening as being on the last commuter train after a Bruin's game but it is sobering and poignant in the way people are shown caring for each other's bloody wounds in the pre-HIV world.
Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge is a classic short black and white film based on a short story by Amborse Bierce. Directed by the late French Director Robert Enrico in 1962. Shot overseas, it is an impressionistic film that creates and interesting visual space with with lots of camera movement and extreme closeups. The film won best short film awards at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival and a short film Academy Award in 1963. The film was later purchased for broadcast on the American television series the Twilight Zone. The sound on our particular print was not great which didn't do justice to the post dubbed sound. (I could have over driven the sound on my amp). The post dubbed breathing and amplified foley sounds of this kind of sound film is remniscent of the intense presence and sonic awareness of the Italian Westerns of Sergio Leonie. Great story and I'm glad we have it in the collection.
Orthographic Projection is an instructional film about mechanical drawing of objects from multiple points of view. From the McGraw Hill company which also published textbooks this used simple and well produced animations that illustrate the principles of drawing multiple views of object for manufacturing purposes. There is little else but information here but those of us who had to learn mechanical drawing in high school were sent right back to those shop classes with the t-squares, numbered pencils and compass sets. An interesting elision happens about the word projection since important operations of projection are described but never explained. This I guess, happens in another film. File under; postwar vocational training.
A good show and a good audience.