Thursday, April 9, 2009

A New Love to Share...

(Film still by M. Engel)

"The concept of making the film almost unnoticed among crowds seems to be working."
- Morris Engel on Little Fugitive

Last night we returned home from a fundraiser/dinner with friends at about 9:30. The dinner began at, you know. While Cub was tossing and turning in her bed, singing and talking to herself- I channel surfed because I was just too tired to do anything else.
And then I stumbled upon the films of Morris Engel, a man who is said to have influenced two indie-film pioneers who I love...John Cassavetes and Francois Truffaut.

The artistic, crisp black and white photographic images were what first captured my attention, so I watched, riveted-the rest of the film Lovers and Lollipops. Appropriately, the NY Times review referred to it as a "picture film," because that is exactly what it is. This film mysteriously contains a little piece of my soul.

After that, TCM aired Weddings and Babies, another Engel film, which was not as focused on photographic aspects (not as stylishly slick) but naturally realistic, and creative just the same.
I noticed both films were set in NYC and I immediately assumed only a native New Yorker could capture the compelling beauty of the city. Turns out, Engel was born in Brooklyn and lived and worked in NYC for all of his 86 years.

At midnight, I did some more research on Engel and found out that he collaborated with his wife, Ruth Orkin (and another man, "Ray Ashley") on another film Little Fugitive, which is set in Coney Island, Brooklyn. I hypnotically watched the trailer released at the time (1953) and after much scouring on the internet, finally was able to secure a copy through the NYPL website. I can not wait to watch this one!

...I just wanted to share the unexpected gem we occasionally stumble upon
during the stroll through ordinary existence.
These films reconnected me to my love and attraction
towards natural images; the ones of
people and places we see throughout
an ordinary day.

1 comment:

Second Star to the Right... said...

Hey Cyndy..Little Fugitive is one of Steve's favorite movies!! You will be moved! We got a copy for my Dad for Fathers Day a few years back. Growing up in Brooklyn near Coney Island at around that time..he just loved it! ENJOY!!