FAYARD & HAROLD NICHOLAS (The Nicholas Brothers) in
STORMY WEATHER — 1943, dir. Andrew L. Stone
Fred Astaire told the brothers that the "Jumpin' Jive" number in Stormy Weather was the greatest number he had ever seen on film. He would have been more impressed had he known, Harold admits, that "when it was time to do the jumps over each other's heads into splits in the routine, we never rehearsed it." Fayard adds: "It came nice and easy. Nick Castle [the choreographer] said not to rehearse it, that we knew what to do, so we did it like a rehearsal. And in one take!"
— Brotherhood in Rhythm:
The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers
by Constance Valis Hill
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Solaris / Солярис (1972) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
It may seem that the nature scenes that introduce the film are too lengthy, but the layering of these scenes, which depict a certain farewell to nature on Earth, creates the emotional basis of the story after the main character is sent up to the space station, and tortures the viewer with an incredible nostalgia for Earth’s nature, a feeling akin to being homesick. Without this long introduction, you cannot make the audience experience the actual desperation felt by the people trapped on the Solaris station.
I saw this film late one night at a screening room in Moscow, but while I was watching it, my heart was aching from an incredible longing to return to Earth. Just where is scientific progress leading mankind? This film manages to capture perfectly the sheer fearfulness. Without it, science fiction becomes mere fancy.
These thoughts were racing through my mind while I was a captive of the screen.
Tarkovsky was sitting in the corner of the screening room watching the film with me, but he got up as soon as the film was over, and looked at me with a shy smile. I said to him, “It’s very good. It’s a frightening movie.” He seemed embarrassed, but smiled happily. Then the two of us went to a film union restaurant and toasted with vodka.
Tarkovsky, who does not usually drink, got completely drunk and cut off the speakers at the restaurant, then began singing the theme of Seven Samurai at the top of his lungs. I joined in, eager to keep up.
At that moment, I was very happy to be on Earth. — Akira Kurosawa
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