Wednesday, September 22, 2010

. Still Film: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951): Part 1

"Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" unfolds like a moving painting.  Despite the fact that the version of the film I saw was unrestored, it's visually lush --and the grainy picture made it seem more rare and distant.  The rich, dark color and warm,muted tint of the film reminded me of "The Red Shoes" but since the picture I saw was pretty gritty it had more dark haze and less visual pop than the Red Shoes.  I hear a new version was restored by Martin Scorscese's film archive project and rereleased recently.

"Pandora" tells a classic tale of the siren from a deep, mysterious lens.  Director Albert Lewin braided the styles of surrealism, film noir, fairy tales/folk lore, with modern literature to unravel the dismise of the naive expats of sleepy Spanish seaport Esperanza that attempt to tango with American beauty-Spanish resident Pandora.  Played by the living goddess Ava Gardner, Pandora bridges ancient myth of the siren with the modern femme fatale, giving men a lethal dose of Passion.


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