Thursday, 2 July 2009

Night of the hunter

Another hot and sweaty day, made all the sweatier by my being sat over a computer - or rather two computers.

My laptop has finally come back from Dell. Having replaced the DVD drive some time ago, they have replaced it once again, replaced the touch pad, the hinge with its touch sensitive buttons and the microphone socket. They also replaced the hard drive so I have spent all of today replacing the software they wiped when they took it off.

And when I wasn't doing that I was looking at my PowerPoint show and trying - with the input of my son - to figure out why it seems to work perfectly well on my computer at home. It must have been the computer at Oundle, I figured and rejigged it for my talk at Parkside School tomorrow.

I watched Night of the Hunter last night. I bought the DVD ages ago but have only just got round to watching it. Night of the Hunter had a big impact on me when I first saw it - I'm not sure how old I was. The sequence of the children drifting downstream in that boat has stayed with me all these years. It is magical - more like animation than live action. Charles Laughton sadly only directed this one movie. The critics hated it and he never recovered from the disappointment.

Night of the Hunter is always teetering on the edge of going completely over the top. Robert Mitcham's performance is bizarre (but fantastic at the same time) and the filming is so stylised it is almost like a silent movie from the German expressionist era. This is emphasised by the presence of silent screen star Lilian Gish as the force for good who stands in the way of Mitcham's demonic preacher. If you haven't seen it, I'd urge you to grab a copy and see something truly original.

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