Nuns Doing Karate! I Repeat: We’ve Got Nuns Doing Karate!
October 3, 2011

Here is a video of some nuns doing Karate and Aikido, which is obviously a great way to start the week (no duh!), but seeing as it’s a video of nuns doing Karate and Aikido, it raises all sorts of questions. For example: Is this real? Also: If this isn’t real, can we please pretend it’s real? Furthermore: Wait, did that nun just put that dude in a choke hold with her Rosary and then punch him in the balls?!? And most importantly: Is this better than when Joan Crawford did her Judo chops? Haha, that last one’s a trick question! IT’S NOT.

Much love to Buzzfeed for this one.

Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Kathleen Byron in Black Narcissus
June 29, 2010

Because this single shot of Sister Ruth putting on her red lipstick in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 masterpiece, Black Narcissus, is simultaneously the single greatest moment of high-camp pleasure and psychological horror.  She’s undeniably fabulous, for sure, but this bitch has also lost her damn mind.

Oh, and don’t hesitate to click to enlarge and appreciate the fabulousness of it all.

Rest in Peace, Jack Cardiff
April 22, 2009

I hate to be a Debbie Downer at this late hour in the day, but the BBC is reporting that filmmaker Jack Cardiff has passed away at 94.  He had a wonderfully long and varied career as both and a director and a cinematographer.  I think he’s a Technicolor genius, and his cinematography work with Michael Powell and Emerich Pressburger on the exceptional melodramas Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes may be some of the greatest ever.  I cannot recommend these films enough; his work in these movies is one of the great cases for film as a true art.  It’s a testament to his talent that, even on YouTube, his ability to capture color is simply stunning.  Let’s celebrate the life of a true artist with (what I believe to be) the crowning achievement of his work:

I recall sitting in a film class and encountering this scene for the first time.  I see plenty of movies, and many of them excite me in some way or another, but this scene was something special.  I crackled with an electric shock, like I was a human battery, as I sat through these moments, and the sensation never leaves me.

If it were not for the way that Mr. Cardiff captured the redness of Sister Rose’s lipstick of eerily calm pinks of the Himalayan sunrise in the sublime manner that he did, I wonder if this scene would have the same hypnotic control over me.  Powell and Pressburger indubitably played a large and important part in crafting the perfect finale of Black Narcissus (they’re the directors, and geniuses in their own right, after all), but the colors–so necessary to the feel and mood and affect of the film–are Cardiff’s doing.  He’s a man of supreme talent, and he shall be missed.

%d bloggers like this: