Monday, January 10, 2011

Lost Squadron

The Lost Squadron Press book

The Lost Squadron is a terrific aviation picture made in 1932 about a group of airmen who get a job after the war as stuntmen for a sadistic film director played by Erich von Stroheim [who else] who in order to get realism into his film rigs it so the airplanes will go down in mid-flight. It's got action, comedy and a good amount of irony. It is also a darker film than you might expect from the period - except it should be noted that there was a certain fatalism in many of the aviation pictures of the time, which reflected some of the malaise soldiers felt after the affects of World War I.

The press book link is from the William K Everson archive at NYU. For those who don't know William K Everson seek out his views. He was a film publicist / historian / programmer who knew everything about American cinema in the pre-VHS/DVD world of film. Which means he was watching movies on the big screen, programming them and writing extensive notes to keep viewers informed about great films. The archive has many of his notes and press kits to peruse. He also wrote a good number of books that are worth seeking out. I consult his Screwball Comedy book all the time as it is about the best on the subject.

[It should be noted that Everson was a mainstay at the Telluride Film Festival for the first few years after it's inception. He helped with programming and introduced many films].

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