WRITTEN ON THE WIND
General Picture - Episode 12

by David WHARRY
1983 / 16mm / color / sound / 1S / 40' 00




Narrated by James McCourt.
What do you remember about a film when you haven’t seen it for ten years? James McCourt’s memory is prodigious. In an office in the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, the American writer recounts his favourite film, Douglas Sirk’s 1956 melodrama WRITTEN ON THE WIND, scene by scene, sometimes almost shot by shot.

"Melodrama meets structural film." - Deke Dusinberre

“I had just finished El Cafetal and I was thinking of making another “invisible” film but this time with an image, in which someone describes their memory of a film in as much detail as they can. I was in New York and told James McCourt about it. He asked me what film did I have in mind? I said I hadn’t even thought about that and besides, it wouldn’t necessarily be up to me. I asked him what film would he choose? He replied cryptically: “in the final scene a woman clutches an object like the Eiffel Tower to her breast”. And I knew immediately it was Written on the Wind – I had just seen a brand-new print of the restored original in Paris. And I asked him: “Could you do it?” He thought for a moment and said yes. And on a joint impulse we decided to go ahead and do it straight away, during the week or so I had left in New York. My friend Jen Sloan was at film school and she and a friend of hers, Bill Barvin, got hold of an Arriflex, a Nagra and lights, and Vincent Virga arranged for us to use his office at Simon & Schuster for Sunday morning only. My material contribution was four 12-minute cans of Ektachrome Commercial, which had to be enough because this was all I could afford. And they were enough: James produced the kind of seamless, scriptless performance I think only a great writer could. And, of course, that only he could with his inherited Irish gift of the gab and entirely looking the part of the film producer persona I wanted him to project. I think if he had arrived that morning with a sheaf of notes in his hand alarm bells would have started ringing. Instead, he arrived in a white suit and cowboy boots with the whole film in his head.” - David Wharry

2 PRINTS IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format DCP on USB stick (SMPTE 2K)
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound sound
original language English
rental fee 84,00 €

distribution format Digital file on USB stick (HD)
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound sound
original language English
rental fee 84,00 €