Rognon de la Flèche and ‘Treasons Bargain’

Treasons BargainFound – an art catalogue from 1990 of an exhibition at the Michael Parkin Gallery in Belgravia, London. Rognon de la Flèche was the name by which Lady Cara Harris was known in her role as an artist. Parkin’s intro explains:
Rognon de la Flèche was the pseudonym of Lady Cara Harris and literally means ’ the tale of the arrow’ or more to the point ‘the sting in the tale’…To mention her name to old friends like John Betjeman, John Sutro, Adrian Daintry, Cecil Beaton and David Herbert would bring forth a knowing smile, almost instantaneous laughter and the inevitable hilarious story. I personally love the one of her daughters wedding date when she forced the somewhat reluctant bride-to-be to accompany her to Harrods to choose some new bath taps..having wasted the Harrod’s assistants time for several hours not to mention her by know somewhat agitated daughter’s – she apologized serenely remarking that she was suffering from the severe problem of ‘bidet fixée.’

The only daughter of the redoubtable Mabel Batten, known as ‘Ladye’ who was a ‘close friend’ of both Edward VII and Johnnie Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness, Cara Harris was also the mother-in-law of Osbert Lancaster. The art of Rognon de la Flèche 1865 to 1931 (Lady Cara Harris continued until 1952) was first shown in December 1933, at the Warren Gallery, in Bond Street. Now some 57 years we are showing not only repeated this eccentric exhibition but also a collection of homemade dolls whose births, marriages and social activities became regular features in the pages of The Times and Tatler. Also showing during the exhibition will be one of her remarkable films Treasons Bargain (1937). Described as having five acts and 106 scenes it stars an elderly aristocrat (Lady Cara) who successfully outwits the ‘baddie’ Catptain Desmond Sneyke (Osbert Lancaster) and features performances by Lord Berners, Sybil Colefax, Lord Donegal, Victor Cunard, John Betjeman and and Cecil Beaton…’ Continue reading

Stuntmen- a ‘respected heavy’

IMG_1966Found in Spotlight’s Register of Stunt Performers and Stunt Arrangers: 1991-93 this entry on the ‘respected heavy’ Michael Crane. A fascinating book, mostly men, some listing the equipment that they can provide (Abseiling equipment, Air Bags, Fire Suits etc.,) Michel Crane, a formidable figure, also worked as a bodyguard in those inevitable resting periods in the life of a stuntman…minding Heads of State, Royalty, Pop Stars- the usual crew. His entry reads:

Michael Crane.

Height: 6ft 7in

Weight: 25st

Chest: 55in

Credits: 

Stunt Arranger: Henry Rawlinson’s End.

Stunt Performer: Brannigan, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Legend, Defrosting the Fridge.

Capabilities: Driving Stunts, small arms expert, boxing and all general stunt work.

Acting Experience: twenty-five years experience playing small parts, heavies, giants, monsters, pirates, Scotsmen, Blacksmith etc.

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chaplinto

A statement from Chaplin via Raymond Williams

Found in a copy of Preface to Film (Film Drama Limited, London  1954) this statement by Charlie (Charles) Chaplin. An interesting and rare book by two notable figures from the 1940s - Michael Orrom and Raymond Williams. The dust jacket art is by Michael Stringer, an illustrator mainly associated with natural history books. Williams was an important academic, novelist and member of the 'New Left' and Orrom , also a man of the left, became a documentary film maker. Chaplin's statement first appeared in the magazine The Adelphi in 1924, this is probably its first appearance in a book. Orrom and Williams' book advances new film theories: the blurb states: 'The main belief of the authors is that naturalism, as a dramatic method and technique in the film, is not finally satisfactory...' There is one change in Chaplin's statement from the 1924 version, possibly a misprint - 'terrifying' becomes 'terrific.'

I prefer my own taste as a truer expression of what the public wants of me than anything that I can fathom out of the things that I observe either in my own work or in that of others who are unmistakably successful.

I have heard directors, scenario writers, and others who are directly concerned with the shape that the motion picture shall take, argue under the shadow of this great fear of the public. They begin with a good idea, then they lose courage and deceive themselves. The consciousness of what the public will want is for them so terrific [terrifying.]If they do something that is a little different because they have forgotten while filming the episode that there is such a thing as an audience, they are in doubt about it when they stop to consider. It is difficult to consider the public secondarily, but unless the person making the picture can achieve that state, there will be no originality in his work. [Charles Chaplin]