Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood is hosting a number of tributes this month including two not-to-be-missed: Alfred Hitchcock's collaborations with the late Farley Granger, and (Cleopatra herself) Elizabeth Taylor. Granger and Hitchock collaborated on two of his more experimental and, arguably, less successful films: Strangers on a Train and Rope. Rope, the story two college graduates and their intellectualizing the "perfect" murder, is the only film I've ever seen shot entirely in one take. The actors were rigorously rehearsed and meticulously choreographed in conjunction with the camera so the film never stops running. Of course, in the days of film, canisters needed to be replaced after a certain running time - so the only cuts in the film are simply to replace the canister. The result is more akin to theater than the movies we know today, but the challenge (for the actors as well as the filmmakers) is considerable, and interesting to watch.
Elizabeth Taylor's breadth of work is considerable, so the Egyptian is taking an indulgent 3 days (two of which screen double-features) to give the late screen-siren her deserved respect.
May 5th, 7:30pm: A Place in the Sun & Suddenly, Last Summer
May 6th, 7:30pm: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof & The Taming of the Shrew
May 7th, 7:30pm: Cleopatra (in 70mm)