4th Apr | History of the Movies – a talk by Mark Mitchels

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20190404_192403It was an evening at the flicks for Capel Ladies and friends at our April meeting. Mark Mitchels took us through the origins of film-making and told us interesting facts and figures about movies through the ages, illustrated by film clips of each genre. Many of these were very familiar while some were new to us – and it was particularly interesting to be told some of the background stories and techniques employed by early film-makers.

20190404_211409 (2).jpgThere was a good turnout for this meeting and something for everyone’s taste. Many of us gasped at the antics of Harold Lloyd climbing the skyscraper and hanging from the clock-face – done without a stunt-man in sight! We were also amazed by the fast-moving high-speed chase involving Cowboys and Indians in the 1939 black-and-white film “Stagecoach” starring John Wayne, where there were some incredible stunts on and off horseback and stagecoach by fearless stuntmen who must have risked their lives during the making of that movie!

We learnt that the rainwater in that wonderful sequence from “Singing in the Rain” had to be souped-up by adding milk to it in order for it to give the desired effect and appearance for Gene Kelly’s famous dance scene. We also gasped in admiration at the amazing geometry of the violin-playing dancers in Busby Berkeley’s choreographed scene from the 1933 film “Gold-Diggers”. To achieve this perfection Berkeley developed the new technique of having the cameras above the dancers looking down on the action.

All in all, it was a very entertaining evening, which was enjoyed by everyone.

For more of the same why not come along for a taster visit on the first Thursday of the month in Capel Library. We start at 7.45pm and you will be assured of a warm welcome!

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