Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Jazz Boat: a face on the cutting room floor
Jazz Boat sailed without me. In 1959, circumstances led me to London and consequently to believe that I might have made a brief appearance in a crowd scene in the 1960 Anthony Newley film. Part of Jazz Boat was filmed on the south bank of the Thames. I searched for the film for fifty years but to no avail.
I eventually told the story this year in a February posting called My Film Career (Offstage). Enter the good Matthew Coniam (Movietone News) of London, who read the posting, told me he had a copy of Jazz Boat, and sent a Region 2 DVD copy to me. (I have thanked him separately, and do so here again.)
In late spring of 2010, circumstances again led me to London and provided me the where-with-all to play the DVD. Came the scene, came the one frame at a time, step by step, came the dawning. A lifetime of watching films, with nary an appearance within one, remained unsullied. Jazz Boat sailed without me.
I informed Matthew, who, not surprisingly, summed up my absence perfectly. He told me in a comment:
“So sorry your fifty year quest for Jazz Boat ended up with the disappointing view of the underside of the editor's table from the vantage of the cutting room floor, but hopefully the scene itself brought back some memories, and remember that the camera does not catch all, merely that which fate casts within its four walls - you are still 'there', even if the lens is not sharp enough to spot you.”
Who could add to that?