Read e-book online Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean PDF

By Gene D. Phillips

Two-time Academy Award winner Sir David Lean (1908--1991) used to be probably the most trendy administrators of the 20 th century, chargeable for the classics The Bridge at the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and health care provider Zhivago (1965). British-born Lean asserted himself in Hollywood as a big filmmaker along with his epic storytelling and panoramic visions of background, yet he began as a skilled movie editor and director in nice Britain. consequently, he introduced an art-house mentality to blockbuster motion pictures. Combining parts of biography and picture feedback, past the Epic: The existence and movies of David Lean makes use of screenplays and creation histories to evaluate Lean's physique of labor. writer Gene D. Phillips interviews actors who labored with Lean and administrators who knew him, and their reviews demonstrate new information about the director's existence and occupation. Phillips additionally explores Lean's lesser-studied movies, corresponding to The Passionate associates (1949), Hobson's selection (1954), and Summertime (1955). the result's an in-depth exam of the director in cultural, ancient, and cinematic contexts. Lean's method of filmmaking was once a ways assorted than that of a lot of his contemporaries. He selected his movies conscientiously and, for that reason, directed basically 16 motion pictures in a interval of greater than 40 years. these movies, notwithstanding, became the various landmarks of motion-picture historical past. Lean is better identified for his epics, yet Phillips additionally makes a speciality of Lean's profitable variations of well-known works of literature, together with retellings of performs comparable to short come upon (1945) and novels comparable to nice expectancies (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), and A Passage to India (1984). From expansive experiences of conflict and strife to a couple of literature's maximum excessive comedies and family dramas, Lean imbued all of his movies along with his designated artistic imaginative and prescient. Few administrators can fit Lean's skill to mix narrative sweep and mental aspect, and Phillips is going past Lean's epics to bare this unifying attribute within the director's physique of labor. past the Epic is an important evaluation of an exceptional director's inventive method and his position within the movie undefined.

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Elstree฀Studios,฀which฀housed฀not฀just฀B&D฀but฀other฀production฀ companies,฀ was฀ backed฀ by฀ Hollywood’s฀ Paramount฀ Pictures,฀ and฀ Lean฀believed฀it฀to฀be฀the฀best฀studio฀complex฀then฀in฀operation฀in฀England฀ (Hitchcock฀made฀Blackmail฀there). ฀White฀would฀take฀the฀first฀three฀reels,฀Lean฀ the฀second฀three. ฀Korda฀ ultimately฀decided฀that฀he฀was฀not฀ready฀to฀move฀up฀to฀editing฀feature฀films฀ on฀his฀own,฀so฀it฀was฀back฀to฀Movietone฀News฀in฀London฀for฀Lean,฀where฀ his฀work฀as฀a฀film฀editor฀continued฀to฀be฀admired.

He฀never฀forgot฀the฀ thrill฀of฀that฀event,฀and฀it฀was฀one฀motivating฀factor฀in฀his฀making฀an฀aviation฀ picture,฀Breaking฀the฀Sound฀Barrier,฀a฀quarter฀of฀a฀century฀later. ”฀For฀someone฀like฀David฀Lean,฀who฀all฀his฀life฀ counted฀on฀his฀fingers,฀such฀a฀job฀was฀unbearable. ฀After฀two฀weeks,฀Lean฀remembered,฀Gundrey฀hired฀him฀as฀an฀ apprentice฀for฀a฀meager฀ten฀shillings฀a฀week. ฀Lean฀wistfully฀remembered฀sending฀his฀father฀a฀ticket฀ years฀later฀to฀the฀premiere฀of฀Lawrence฀of฀Arabia,฀only฀to฀have฀him฀decline฀ to฀attend.

25฀But฀he฀had฀difficulty฀staying฀married. ฀Often,฀because฀of฀time฀constraints,฀he฀not฀only฀wrote฀the฀voice-over฀ commentary฀but฀also฀spoke฀the฀narration฀himself฀on฀the฀sound฀track. ฀Elstree฀Studios,฀which฀housed฀not฀just฀B&D฀but฀other฀production฀ companies,฀ was฀ backed฀ by฀ Hollywood’s฀ Paramount฀ Pictures,฀ and฀ Lean฀believed฀it฀to฀be฀the฀best฀studio฀complex฀then฀in฀operation฀in฀England฀ (Hitchcock฀made฀Blackmail฀there). ฀White฀would฀take฀the฀first฀three฀reels,฀Lean฀ the฀second฀three. ฀Korda฀ ultimately฀decided฀that฀he฀was฀not฀ready฀to฀move฀up฀to฀editing฀feature฀films฀ on฀his฀own,฀so฀it฀was฀back฀to฀Movietone฀News฀in฀London฀for฀Lean,฀where฀ his฀work฀as฀a฀film฀editor฀continued฀to฀be฀admired.

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