Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Chamonix – the Movie
Marvellous card where all sorts of narratives intersect and combine to create a fascinating image. Ladies of good breeding enjoy sublime and commanding views over Mont Blanc as if it had been constructed exclusively for their personal enjoyment. The figures are rigidly posed on the edge of a precipice and regard the Alpine spectacle with fixed stares. There’s a quasi-scientific air to the enterprise as if the recording of vital data is in progress. The horse is an enigmatic intruder in the care of an exotically uniformed groom. There are two vacant chairs and a decanter on the table. We could be looking at the opening scene of a Visconti film, the camera will pull back and in a fluid motion reveal an imposing Gothic sanatorium on the hillside from which a procession of figures advance bearing hampers of food, musical instruments and cases of chilled wines. Cut to a close-up of Burt Lancaster who watches the proceedings through binoculars from a vantage point high above on a remote mountain pass. He removes the cigar from his lips, an evil grin spreads across his suntanned features and he aims a well-directed jet of saliva towards the boots of the man standing next to him.