Monday, 11 January 2021

Schalcken The Painter.

Rewatched this beautiful BFI presentation of the  Schalcken The Painter. An adaption of the story by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. This is a wonderfully crafted piece of work that stands up to much watching in that different aspects of this very disturbing tale of unearthly lusts and the cruel abstractions of art are married to Olde Worlde storytelling. If you are interested in art and its creation there is enough here for a viewer on that level. If you are a more swarthy individual who enjoys fireside wintery tales that send a chill down the spine then there is even more here for you.
             One of the BFI's finest and most treasured releases was its MR James collection. The jewel in the crown of supernatural storytelling and marks a series of landmark productions we rarely see the like off these days.It was probably a perfect storm of talent that brought these stories to fruition. The BBC's drama department was probably one of the greatest and unequalled talent pools ever assembled behind the camera. Schalcken sits with that boxed set as an equal. even feels like a missing story. Which is not to diminish the singular talent of LeFanu. It is more the affection and respect that one feels for the work of James that would lead me to compare the pair.
              The nights are fair drawin' in.
              Autumn is here and winter will follow.
             Squirrel this one away like some ghostly nut for a dark night in front of the television.
             The Dark Nut Returns. So to speak.