Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30
Bryony Dixon (BFI)
Original version with simultaneous translation through headphones
Shooting Stars is a contender for the best named film of the late 1920s – it works on so many levels (you’ll see). As historian Luke McKernan elegantly put it “Not until Peeping Tom (1960) over thirty years later did a British film so knowingly and so effectively turn its own camera on itself. It is a young man’s film, the first effort of someone representative of a new creative spirit in British film”. Anthony Asquith was the young man heading straight for the top. His original story, of a love triangle set in a British film studio is a wry commentary on the superficiality of stardom and a love letter to the process of filmmaking. It shows every part of the film business from the studio floor to the media machine and is dovetailed with two superb cinematic ‘tricks’ for the opening and closing scenes.
Picking the film world itself as a subject to lampoon was risky, a bit of bare-faced cheek unlikely to ingratiate him to an industry protective of their trade secrets or to the fans lapping up the shallow genre product of the studio system. British Instructional, in their first feature film venture, cautiously appointed a ‘safe pair of hands’, A.V. Bramble as director watched Chaplin, Lubitsch and Clarence Brown at work. He had studied the latest developments in studio lighting and set design and his script was cast iron. The gamble paid off, the film was a huge success and Asquith’s career was launched.
Cast and Credits
Sog.: Anthony Asquith. Scen.: Anthony Asquith, J.O.C. Orton. F.: Stanley Rodwell, H. Harris, Karl Fischer (Lighting). M.: John Altman. Int.: Annette Benson (Mae Feather), Brian Aherne (Julian Gordon), Donald Calthrop (Andy Wilkes), Chili Bouchier (Winnie), Wally Patch, Tubby Phillips, Ian Wilson, Judd Green, Jack Rawl. Prod.: British Instructional Films. DCP. Bn.
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