It’s My Life: The Third Man

It My Life: Personal Stories

It’s My Life: Personal Stories From A Private Life

Third Man-1

Okay, so I thought it’d be nice every once-in-a-while to share something that gives an insight into my life, outside of photography.  After all, when you book a wedding photographer you’re investing in the person as well as the wedding photography itself, so hopefully these occasional insights will help you to get to know me a little better as a real person – even if that does mean warts ‘n’ all at times!

The Third Man Seen At The BFI


So Friday evening I had the real pleasure of going to see my all time favourite film The Third Man, which was being screened at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London’s South Bank. I first fell in love with this film as a teenager back in the mid-1980s. I received an audio book of the novella by Graham Greene (on cassette back then) one Christmas and having been blown away by the story I sought out the film  – which I ended up recording off the TV at some point (on Betamax no less – it was the “future” back then!)  I think I can safely say that since that first time I have re-watched it hundreds of times!  Yet, like lots of old films you only get to watch on your TV, I had never seen it on the big screen. After all, its original cinema run was way back in 1949…a bit before my time!  So when I saw that the BFI was running an Orson Welles season, which was to include a screening of The Third Man, how could I resist?

The Beauty & Intrigue of Film Noir


So what’s so brilliant about The Third Man? Well, being a photographer, it’s hard to not be totally blown away by the beautifully atmospheric cinematography,  by Robert Krasker, of post-war Vienna which is a perfect setting for a film noir thriller.  In fact, it’s dark and gritty black and white cinematography has more than likely influenced my own love and personal style of b&w photography.

Then there’s the brilliant cast…Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Trevor Howard and the sadly beautiful Alida Valli all coming together as one filmic tour-de-force.  The story itself is by the fantastic Grahame Green, rare in being a well respected novelist of his time who wasn’t opposed to also writing for the screen too (often looked down on by other literary writers!).  There’s humour, there’s sadness, there’s drama and thrills, classic lines and, of course, a great twist of sorts – all deftly handled by Director Carol Reed. And lastly there’s the hugely memorable theme tune and soundtrack by Anton Karas – his zither will definitely have you in a dither! So it’s no wonder it’s often cited among polls for the greatest films ever made.

Big Screen Big Impact

Seeing it for the first time on the big screen really was a fantastic experience. There’s something about the shared experience of watching  a film on a huge screen with others in a cinema that just can’t be re-created at home on TV.  And seeing a film you are so familiar with, and sharing with lots of other people for the first time, it’s quite reassuring and moving when they laugh and gasp at the same things you always have.  I genuinely found the polite applause the film got at the end quite emotional. I don’t think I’ve been to a film at the cinema where there’s been a round of applause at the end!

So if you’ve never seen The Third Man, then I thoroughly recommend you do – it’s got something for everyone in it and is perhaps why it has such a lasting appeal. Even if you’re not lucky enough to get to see it on a big screen, then do watch it at home. It should be a film you’ve at least seen once!

Now I can’t wait to see another of the films in the BFI Orson Welles season, this time a film noir I’ve never seen called Touch of Evil. By all accounts it’s another b&w film classic.  In-between, I’m going to see another of my all time favourite films, again on the big screen for the first time, and that’s the cult 80’s sci-fi movie Blade Runner, with Harrison Ford and by director Ridley Scott.  Yet it is essentially a film noir that just happens to be set in the future.

I really can’t wait!

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