Film sampling starts here
Stephen M. Amy | Portland, OR United States | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are a couple of film arteests located somewwhere in Calif. who have produced entire epics out of having assembled clips of extant films- dialogue dubbed over. "The Projectionist" seems to have been the genesis of the idea (don't know who of people I've discussed obtained legal rights, but who cares? We're only interested in art, correct?). There are wonderfully inventive sequences of clips in "The Projectionist" that are a hoot in their making sense as part of a sequence, but also can't overcome their familiarity to movie fans, so they work on two dimensions.Also, there is some interesting juxtaposition of clips forming sequences of feelings of standard Mom-Apple Pie-Chevrolet U.S.A. flag-waving, but they are counterparted by sequences of clips showing the dark side and hypocrisy of the American Dream (myth?). There is the voice of JFK, delivering his most famous line: "Ask not...(etc.)", with that audio timed perfectly to sync with Hitler exhorting and gesticulating (No particular disrespect to JFK, I'm sure- just to make the point that Hitler demanded sacrifice to further the dreams of the State, also, and the misguided adventure in Vietnam was very topical at the time of this film's production. At least I think that's what the point is).This movie also has the wildest use of split-screen, ever.And the finale harkens to "The Stunt Man", i.e., where does the movie begin and where does the part not in the movie end?Richard Rush, the director of "The Stunt Man", says he's excited by pushing the envelope of film syntax. That is really accomplished in "The Projectionist"."
A must see for movie buffs
Stephen M. Amy | 10/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"a wonderful fantasy that shows a pure love of film. an interesting artistic journey that holds up after all these years."
Annie Van Auken | 02/23/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
A projectionist (Chuck McCann (I)), whose name we never find out, is a major movie buff and a loner of sorts. To find pleasure in life he fantasizes about himself (as Captain Flash) visiting and making famous movies. The upscale theater where he works is owned by a man named Renaldi (Rodney Dangerfield) who is mean to all of the employees and the projectionist, but the projectionist isn't as affected by the treatment because he is a union worker. As part of the projectionist's fantasies he casts Renaldi as 'The Bat' and battles with his henchmen over a girl (Ina Balin). The movie uses clips from older movies to tell the story interspliced with a few scenes of the actual cast. In the end, Captain Flash kills The Bat and saves the girl and the projectionist's life goes on.My Comments:
The movie really is surprisingly better than I had expected because of the way it is setup. If the movie was just the story of the projectionist/movie buff and his life, it would be pretty lame. But, because he lives his life in his fantasies about the movies, it is somewhat interesting. Also, the acting in 'real life' is not too bad, but could be much better. This is contrasted with the acting in the fantasies being farcical, which the movie can pull off because they are fantasies. With that leeway, the movie isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. There is also very little dialogue; most of the old scenes are just put to music. I don't know that the movie is trying to push a social commentary, but perhaps it is. The basic idea I get out of it is that movies can be, for some people at least, a way to make their humdrum, boring life something more. It is also a commentary on how ordinary most people's lives are. When the movie first opened up I thought for sure I was going to be bored stiff, but I was surprised in the end. I don't know that the movie is truly worth watching for most people as it is a bit obscure and unless you have seen most of the movies from which the clips are taken, it might not be as funny. Overall, the movie was fun, though very, very slow at times."
The projections of the mind
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE PROJECTIONIST is hard to categorize-- not exactly a comedy, although there are some amusing things in it, and not a drama as the story deals with the undramatic ordinariness of every day life and what one man does to cope. Perhaps this movie is most accurately described as a comic/fantasy/non-drama.
Chuck McCann stars as an employee of a run-down theater owned by the somewhat tyrannical Rodney Dangerfield (in his screen debut). McCann (the unnamed projectionist) invents a superhero alter-ego named Captain Flash, whom he calls upon whenever the blues, boredom or the boss nag at him. In McCann's daydreams, Dangerfield appears as "The Bat," a villainous Nazi who can only be defeated by the heroics of "Flash," and theater ushers are Bat's henchmen. These b&w 'B' grade movie serial phantasms seem far more colorful than real life. It's little wonder the projectionist indulges in them as often as he does.
McCann was a supporting player to Alan Arkin in THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(5.6) The Projectionist (1971) - Chuck McCann/Ina Balin/Rodney Dangerfield/Jára Kohout/Harry Hurvitz/Mike Gentry/Lucky Kargo/David Holliday/Sam Stewart/Robert Lee"