By James Curtis
He was once the consummate fashion designer of movie structure on a grand scale, prompted by means of German expressionism and the paintings of the nice eu administrators. He was once identified for his visible aptitude and undying innovation, a guy who meticulously preplanned the colour and layout of every movie via a sequence of continuity sketches that made transparent digicam angles, lighting fixtures, and the actors’ positions for every scene, translating dramatic conventions of the level to the hot features of movie.
here's the long-awaited ebook on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s first and maximum construction fashion designer, a role identify David O. Selznick invented for Menzies’ outstanding, all-encompassing, Academy Award–winning paintings on Gone With the Wind (which he successfully co-directed).
It used to be Menzies—winner of the first-ever Academy Award for artwork path, together for The Dove (1927) and Tempest (1928), and who used to be besides a director (fourteen images) and a manufacturer (twelve pictures)—who replaced the way in which videos have been (and nonetheless are) made, in a occupation that spanned 4 a long time, from the Twenties in the course of the Nineteen Fifties. His greater than a hundred and twenty motion pictures comprise Rosita (1923), Things to Come (1936), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Kings Row (1942), Mr. Lucky (1943), The delight of the Yankees (1943), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Address Unknown (1944), It’s a superb Life (1947), Invaders from Mars (1953), and Around the area in eighty Days (1956).
Now, James Curtis, acclaimed movie historian and biographer, writes of Menzies’ existence and paintings because the such a lot influential dressmaker within the heritage of movie. His artistry encompassed the big, scenic drawings of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which created a brand new ordinary for attractiveness at the display and whose unique fairy-tale units are nonetheless considered as natural genius. (“I observed The Thief of Bagdad whilst it first got here out,” acknowledged Orson Welles—he was once, on the time, a nine-year-old boy. “I’ll always remember it.”) Curtis writes of Menzies’ layout and supervision of John Barrymore’s cherished Rogue (1927), a movie that is still a masterpiece of craft and synthesis, probably the most exact photographs to emerge from Hollywood’s waning days of silent movies, and of his amazing, opulent appointments for Gone With the Wind (1939).
It used to be Menzies who outlined and solidified the function of paintings director as having total keep an eye on of the glance of the movie, participating with manufacturers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with administrators reminiscent of D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as different as Ingrid Bergman, W. C. Fields, Cary furnish, Clark Gable, John Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and David Niven.
Interviewing colleagues, actors, administrators, pals, and relations, and with complete entry to the William Cameron Menzies kinfolk choice of unique art, correspondence, scrapbooks, and unpublished writing, Curtis brilliantly provides us the path-finding paintings of the flicks’ so much bold and dynamic creation clothier: his evolution as artist, paintings director, construction dressmaker, and director. here's a portrait of a guy in his time that makes transparent how the flicks have been perpetually reworked through his startling, visionary work.
(With sixteen pages of colour illustrations, and black-and-white pictures throughout.)