Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Dark Mirror

Robert Siodmak, Hollywood CA, 1946 
special optical effects by Eugen Schüfftan 
starring Olivia de Havilland (born July 1, 1916)

This should have been done a week ago but I wasn’t feeling myself or any other at the time and now take the opportunity (following the reintegration of my personalities) to celebrate the first hundred years of Olivia de Havilland’s exemplary life and work with images from a film she made seventy years ago with two of the finest collaborators she ever had: Robert Siodmak and Eugen Schüfftan.  Nunnally Johnson’s script certainly isn’t as finely tuned as the visual design and its extraordinary execution, but Siodmak and de Havilland subvert it’s more conventional aspects through ambiguous line readings and spacial arrangements. There’s a great deal more intentional humor at play in this film than is usually acknowledged. 

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