Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Sky

(1954, UK, 86m, b/w)
d/sc Gavin Lambert p Aymer Maxwell ph Walter Lassally ed Vera Campbell cast Victoria Grayson, Catherine Lacey, Taïeb, Ahmed ben Mohammed, Lee Montague, Alan Forbes

The sole directorial effort of Gavin Lambert, co-founder of Sequence, editor of Sight & Sound, novelist, biographer, screenwriter and sometime lover of Nicholas Ray. It tells of Rose, a young buttoned-up Englishwoman in Marrakesh, companion to a rich eccentric, who finds herself overwhelmed by exoticism and a mad passion for oud-player Tayeb. The clipped, would-be poetic voiceover is rather dated, but wordless desert sequences are swathed in wind and music, market scenes are crowded with drums and chatter, and together with (feature debutant) Lasselly’s rich photography of arid days and sweltering nights, the film has an ethnographic power that effectively evokes the heady Otherness that so intoxicates Rose. Grayson is barely adequate, but her nervy demeanour helps ease the descent into mad romantic folly; not a great success, but fascinating, and would only have been more so if the protagonist had been, perhaps more naturally, a man.

© Time Out Film Guide

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