6 Comments

  1. Bobby j

    Absolutely brilliant delination and comparison and critique of the short. Do you know if it was ever released on DVD. Tony, where did you get the information on who directed which sequence. Are there any resouces and interviews about the film. Also, can you recommended any other shorter noir films that were shown in cinemas or tv shows (such as the Powers Boothe tv ‘Marlowe’, the ’90s ‘Fallen Angels’ or even Thriller’s Woolwich adaptions). This was a marvellous read and is being saved.

  2. “It may be an heretical view, but I consider Gordon’s segment superior. It is shot close-up in a small room with subdued lighting and from low angles, producing a doomed claustrophobia, with an external window light producing stark shadows from a partially open-shutter.”

    Yes this is unquestionably one of the most extraordinary posts that Tony d’Ambra has ever blessed the noir community with, and it continues a long line of studied postings and reviews at this revamped place of all kinds of revelations and enrichments. I love Tarkovsky, I love Siodmak, I love Hemingway, and I love a good many of the films made by eventual masters in their earliest days. This isn’t Charles Burnett here, but Tarkovsky, and his short life can never yield enough as far as true cineastes are concerned. You’ve made the work more than appealing and if fact have shed a new life on this inherently great material. Loving Siodmak’s film is only a small part of the equation here.

    I too would love to know where this film is available.

    I do understand you are hesitant to award this fully to Tarkovsky, but still his influence to whatever extent can never be underestimated.

  3. Thank you kindly Bobby and Sam.

    As far as I know, the only DVD release for Tarkovsky’s version is as an extra on the Criterion Twin DVD release of Siodmak’s and Seigel’s versions – see this link. Another interesting bonus is a 1949 radio adaptation by the Screen Director’s Playhouse starring Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters!

    Bobby, the available sub-titled print has introductory inter-titles that provide some background on the film’s making, there is an entry in Wikipedia, and a few blog entries that mention the film in posts on Tarkovsky. As it was I came across the short by chance and I haven’t been actively seeking shorts, though this may be a worthwhile pursuit.

    I don’t know if you know of these, but these are two fascinating shorts I discovered a while back:

    Jammin’ The Blues (1944)

    Isle of Flowers: God Doesn’t Exist (Ilha das Flores Brazil 1989)

  4. bobby J.

    Thanks for the infomation Tony.

    I saw ‘Jammin’ the Blues’ when you posted it up before on wonders, but the second I’ll watch later today.

  5. kilgort

    cinematography is cool but acting is rather lame though. they speak like they read lines from the book, and it’ s quite boring

    gordon’s segment tighter, but actors also sound pathetic

    nowadays Tarkovsky is absolutely unknown in Russia, it’s really cool and sad to read about his debut here.

    P.S. it’s 2 a.m. here, very misty in the street, i can’t even see the cars and people and trees, only lights-think it’s time for some good noir)

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