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Friday, April 17, 2015

The Hidden Film

For many years I've thought it would be immensely cool if some gifted filmmaker or team of filmmakers set out to make a film that spanned multiple decades and genres. The film would be told in short scenes embedded in other movies, background scenes that fit the genre of the film in which they appear but could be seen, in isolation, as mere background action.

The screenplay for the film-within-many-films would be a great secret, handed down from one generation of filmmakers to the next, all sworn to secrecy, hiding the hidden scenes from producers, actors, other screenwriters. The action would be spaced across 100 films and 100 years, until in the final hundredth film the climax of the 99-episode tale plays out, an epic saga of time and space and drama that somehow seamlessly melds the best of all possible genres.

Who knows? Perhaps the film is nearing completion as we speak, or maybe it's just begin. I only wish I were the genius who set the plan in motion, who wrote the ultimate screenplay. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this for a long time. At first, I dismissed this idea has hopelessly twee. But you created a thought that wouldn't let go.

If there's anyone that would have gone for this, as well as who would have left a template for future film-makers to follow, it would have been Stanley Kubrick.

And then I thought more on this. Maybe there's other ways to go at it, but there is one theme that I thought of that has been constant since the beginning of film: naked women. Among the very first films ever shot, there were naked women. Naked women were the reason for the Motion Picture Production Code ("Hays Code") of 1930. Naked women in film accompanied the soldiers of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm I & II, and Afghanistan. I'm sure there are naked women in film now, and watching HBO, a few naked men as well.

A brief, hopelessly incomplete survey of naked women in western film:

George Eastman's Receptionist (perhaps Josephine Dickman? That's my guess, 1895-ish?) in a silent film where her clothes were blasted off by lightning.

Louise Willy 7 minute striptease 1899

Audrey Munson as a nude artist's model, Inspiration 1915

Theda Bara, Cleopatra, 1917

Josephine Baker, burlesque dances 1920's

Maureen O'Sullivan, Tarzan And His Mate, 1934

Jane Russell, The Outlaw, 1941

Bettie Page, S&M queen, 1950's

Jayne Mansfield, Promises Promises, 1960

Shirley Eaton, Goldfinger, 1964

Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1978, and Blue Lagoon, 1980

Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut, 1999 - see? Kubrick!!

Maria Bello, The Cooler, 2003

Malin Akerman, Watchmen, 2009

Of course, I'm missing the transition from cinema to porno, with directors such as Russ Meyers or Ed Wood. Then, too, there are many transitions between naturalistic women to exploitative films involving nude "natives" filmed on backlot sets, underage women (i.e. Brooke Shields rip-offs), the er, development of what we could call "the age of silicon", and the proliferation of on-line porn. It's an engrossing topic with a world-spanning range and more history than any other gernre of cinema, and might well be the focus of The Hidden Film.