Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Magic of Merchant-Ivory

If you've had the pleasure of settling back to watch the 1986
film 'A Room With A View' then you know the way I feel about
certain filmmakers.

I got to thinking of The White Countess, a film I
have been wanting to see for over 5 years, starring the late
Natasha Richardson. Then I thought of her fatal accident
and then I thought of the real reason why I wanted to see
that film....the team
that created it was Merchant-Ivory
- old favorites I blogged about almost three years ago in
a post titled
'Shakespearana-walla' Theirs was a leisurely
, never lacking in theatrics and high drama, and above all,
giving us the most sumptuous scenes of life in exotic locales.
They certainly gave of their best right from the first scene,
no matter how leisurely their pace.

So what makes a moviegoer stay glued to his seat right from

the opening credits ? Great Music, or a fabulous opening
sequence ? It takes a lot to accomplish an opening scene that
captures an audience's attention from those first few frames.
Unlike the Trailer for the film, which gets to highlight the best
scenes, the opening Titles and credits cannot afford to just
fly by but instead must be matched by scenes and/or music
as impressive as the stellar casting involved.

Usually the masters of filmmaking choose to build up to a
crescendo by pacing themselves and ending with a twist or a
big surprise. And then there are the other ones.

Like a day at the beach when the only order
of business for
most is tanning, drinking or dozing off, these masters
the viewers onto a different plane and then slowly drip a
lotion, and before you know it they have you numbed and
their grip.
Masters that stick in my head for their utter disregard
for the rewards of the mainstream pace. Masters
in the mold of
Ismail Merchant and James Ivory how they take
the Cast and Credits Opening sequence for an unusual Bollywood
outing called 'Bombay Talkie' and convey the daily hustle
and bustle of the Indian city Mumbai as it's called now, even
as the credits roll in their perfectly natural surroundings.
If the opening theme music scene sounds familiar to some of
you it's because it was recently used in Wes Anderson's
recent film 'The Darjeeling Limited'

And now, a little YouTube fun from this Bollywood film....a nutty
tune called
'Typewriter Tip Tip Tip' .....enjoy !

1 comment:

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