Film: Double Bill: Jim Kouf, Director of `Gang Related' (Released Tomorrow) on His Ideal Cinematic Pairing
The Third Man Dir. Carol Reed His Girl Friday Dir. Howard Hawks
Thursday 13 August 1998
The music is all done with one instrument, the story was written by Graham Greene and it is a really smooth blend of comedy and dark drama. The way that Carol shot it was unique for its time. The camera angles are very different, the use of shadows and lighting, and the fact it is shot in war-torn Vienna, which was still in ruins in 1947, must have been very challenging.
I love the fact that it has such superior acting, and the writing is brilliant. I think everything is great, the photography, the directing. There is not a frame that I would change. This is quite rare because, as a director, I always think: "If only I had done this or that", especially as I also write. But I don't have any questions at all with this, or with His Girl Friday.
His Girl Friday is one of the greatest comedies, certainly the fastest dialogue I have ever seen on screen. Again, it is a great combination of farce and dark humour. It's the kind of humour I enjoy, but when I write it I get flak because a lot of critics today don't think you can mix the two.
Both films are made by two of the top directors of the time. To me, a film is absolutely right when I can't think of anyone else that could have played those roles. If I walk away and think: "If only so and so had played them", then it is not a great film, but with these you don't think that anyone else could have pulled it off.
It is very satisfying and pretty wonderful to watch such great films, which is why I go to the movies. I hate walking out of a movie theatre really disappointed. I think everyone wants to put together a fine piece of work, nobody sets out to make a bad movie. But sometimes it's down to a roll of the dice whether it will gel because of all the people involved, and the different points of view. It is wonderful when all the voices seem like one voice. And these have stood the test of time.
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