Terrence Malick's return to movie-making in 1998, preceded by a twenty-year period of largely mysterious retreat, was a tremendous event, the result of which - "The Thin Red Line" - exceeded any expectations one might have had at the time. I can still recall four consecutive evenings in early 1999, when I watched the movie repeatedly at the local cinema in my Polish hometown of Tarnowskie Góry. The first screening was so moving, I felt entranced and compelled to come back the next evening - and the next, and the one after that.
AMC's re-do of the classic British TV series "The Prisoner" gets under way Sunday night, following the conclusion of "Mad Men"'s third season last week. The new version stars Jim Caviezel as Number Six and Ian McKellen as Number Two. (The great Leo McKern played Number Two a couple times in the original series, and there were some other repeats as I recall, but generally there was a new Number Two each week.)
From the teasers it appears that the new version (tagline: "You Only Think You're Free") takes place in a desert suburb of Dubai rather than a quaint seaside village. (Actually, the new "Prisoner" was shot in Cape Town, South Africa, and Swakopmund, Namibia.) The big white bouncy billowy security devices are back. But I'm most interested in the opening credits sequence, because I became so enamored with the ritualistic nature of the earlier one, as you can see from the following obsessive video analysis originally published in 2008:
(Rescued and reposted months after the death of iKlipz caused all my video essays to disappear from the web. Originally published -- with more on "The Prisoner" here.)
Here's just what you've been craving: Twelve minutes and 19 seconds of stopping, starting, slowing down and gabbing (I mean, breathless commentary) over the one-minute, 47-second title sequence that introduces each episode of the cult-classic 1967-68 British science-fiction / spy TV series, "The Prisoner," starring Patrick McGoohan.
I was possessed by the need to do this -- just for myself -- while (re-)watching the entire series again on DVD and becoming mesmerized by repeat viewings of the opening. It sucked me in every time. I hadn't seen the show since it aired -- on PBS? -- in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and this time I was endlessly fascinated and delighted by the sheer sixties-ness of it all -- the camera set-ups, optical gimmicks (zooms galore) and cutting techniques that epitomized the era.
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