8/9/16

A BIT OF BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE: "OLIVER!", 1968



Above is some behind-the-scenes footage shot on the set of "Oliver!" in 1968. (Or more likely in '67 as the movie was released in '68). The director, Carol Reed, gets a lot of attention--he's the imposing, white-ish haired chap who plays with the cigarette and stands behind the camera looking at unseen actors in an imploring sort of way. Ron Moody is also seen as is Mark Lester (Oliver), mouthing to the playback of one of the songs. The film is silent like yesterdays 1903 footage of London--is this an English thing?--and the silence brings the ghost-like quality of the footage to the fore; it plays like a memory you're having rather than a conventional recording of the activities at hand. The movie won Reed his only Oscar and I watched it recently (some of it anyway), quite impressed with how un-limp, un-widescreen, un-big-boring-60s-old school-musical it was. Reed made it move, filled the screen with dynamic imagery, and the amount of dancing extras, crowds, children etc. left me feeling quite sorry for the A.D. team.

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