Video Essay: Mechanised Flights: Memories of ‘Heidi’

| February 12, 2014

Catherine Grant’s video essay in memory of Shirley Temple.
 
A video made on February 11, 2014, in memory of Shirley Temple (1928-2014) who died yesterday. It is forged from personal reflections on HEIDI (Allan Dwan, 1937), and uses refilmed, cropped and re-edited digitised sequences from the black and white, and colorised versions of the film.

The following quotations were swirling around in the editing space, too, along with inevitable thoughts of Laura Mulvey’s videographic study of Marilyn Monroe and Martin Arnold’s found footage experiments.

‘[Shirley] Temple must be approached as an intermediary and complicating presence poised between the adult originated film fiction and the viewer.’ [Gaylyn Studlar, Precocious Charms: Performing Girlhood in Classical Hollywood Cinema (University of Califirnia Press, 2013) p. 67. Read Chapter 1 here: ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520274242]

‘The only other Temple film released in 1937 was HEIDI, which, according to Edwards, was a story suited to Temple’s “slightly more mature personality”. Edwards points out that Temple’s hair had darkened and her ringlets brushed back into curls. Temple’s theatrical instincts had sharpened, Edwards observes, and she suggested the Dutch song and dance dream sequence. After minor disagreements about the dance steps with the other children in the scene, director Allan Dwan had badges made reading “Shirley Temple Police”.’ Every child was issued one after swearing allegiance and obedience to Temple. Shirley wore one reading ‘Chief’. “Shirley Temple”, Wikipedia, Accessed February 11, 2014: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple. Citing Edwards, Anne (1988). Shirley Temple: American Princess. William Morrow and Company, Inc.: 106, 107, 111.

‘Il faut voir cette menue créature secouée par les saccades du numéro “In Our Little Wooden Shoes” dans Heidi: il n’a jamais autant ressemblé à un automate. […] Shirley Temple, un cyborg? C’est une hypothèse.’ Mathieu Macherey, “Allan Dwan & Shirley Temple: L’homme et la machine”, in David Phelps and Gina Telaroli (eds), Allan Dwan (A Dossier) [Lumière, June 2013) 155-159. Online at elumiere.net/especiales/dwan/onlinedwan.php. Also see: mubi.com/notebook/posts/presenting-allan-dwan-a-dossier.

More here: filmanalytical.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/mechanised-flights-memories-of-heidi.html.

Catherine Grant

http://vimeo.com/86428511

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Category: Exclusives, Featured, Video Essay

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