FILM / Director's Cuts: A twist of pure Lime: Steven Soderbergh on the Ferris wheel scene in Carol Reed's The Third Man: 'a masterpiece of subtext'
Friday 18 March 1994
It succeeds on so many levels that it's hard to know where to start. It's a fascinating meeting between two men who have much in common and also much to keep them apart. Basically the sequence is about whether Orson Welles is going to kill his best friend to save himself. It's full of veiled threats; the dialogue is a masterpiece of subtext. But Harry Lime also lays out his world to you and his reasons for what he does, with their own sort of sickening persuasion.
There's enormous expectation about the Harry Lime character, but when that sequence is over you completely understand why he's such an influential presence in the film and in people's lives. Which is hard to do - you've built him up for the entire film and then you present him and, my God, he'd better be great.
Visually, the Ferris wheel is a striking piece of imagery that works both on the surface and as a metaphor. But above all this is just such an amazing sequence as a piece of writing and acting. Scenes themselves should be as well-structured as the film itself, and this is a brilliant five minutes that has a structure all its own. It works on every level, it does what movies can do and should do better than a lot of other media. Something to shoot for]
'The Third Man' is revived today (see review, p25). Steven Soderbergh directed 'sex lies and videotape'; his film 'Kafka' continues at the MGM Shaftesbury Ave
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures