Monday, December 28, 2009

color of the day: 'brown' as in clarence

director clarence brown was the favorite of garbo. it is possible norma shearer felt the same. both actresses made multiple films with him.
brown directed 53 movies in his long life (1890-1987) and seems to have had no problem making the transition from silents to talkies. i adore his touch that is ever playful yet profound. whether an officer is walking a straight line while drunk as a lord or snow is swirling around the forms of two lovers as they silently commune, his mark is very strong.

in 1931 he made 'a free soul' with norma shearer. it was a very daring move that required sympathy for that day's devil. everyone is great in this tale of love, sacrifice, and the cost of living it up then down. from the opening credits to the embittered death of lionel barrymore this film is beautiful.

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