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Articles tagged with: redes film

Leopold Stokowski letter located

on Thursday, 22 March 2012. Posted in News

Loepold Stokowski sent this letter to Ned Scott on September 10, 1934 while Scott was still in Alvarado filming REDES. Though there is no record what image Ned Scott sent to Stokowski which called forth the comment about Vera Cruz, one can surmise that Scott snapped a photo there before his final leg of his journey to Alvarado, 50 miles to the south. Peggy Bok, former wife of Curtis Bok, was the mutual friend who introduced Scott to Stokowski, no doubt earlier in 1934 while Scott was still in New York city. Ned Scott was a keen aficionado of fine classical music, as was Henwar Rodakiewicz. Meeting and becoming friends with renowned conductor Leopold Stokowski surely must have been a very large thrill for Ned Scott.

Later on in 1940 when Ned Scott built his new house in La Canada, California, he incorporated a high energy sound system into his living room area. The living room measured 36 x 21 feet, and the height was a full 13 feet. One could say that that room was built for music. Ned Scott had a close friend from the Hollywood studios whose specialty was "sound technician". He and his friend would spend many afternoons tweaking the system for maximum performance. This was high tech for the time. The sound equipment was built from scratch, incorporating a short wave radio, a main amplifier and two pre-amps, two 12 inch woofers and one 8 horned tweeter. It was fabulous.

l. stokowski

REDES film photo depicts religious art

on Sunday, 25 March 2012. Posted in News

Ned Scott was busy with his 5 x 7 Graflex while on assignment in Alvarado, Mexico for producer Paul Strand during filming of REDES/The WAVE in 1934. While not participating in film production, Ned Scott was free to roam the streets and shorelines of Alvarado with his camera. Among the many features he studied with his camera was the church in the center of town. What caught his eye were the religious icons placed prominently in the nave right next to the pulpit. Eight negatives survive of these religious figurines. The camera angles capture a sensitive and sympathetic aspect of each. What is not revealed in these images is Ned Scott's loathing of all organized religion, especially Catholicism. This deep seated hatred issues form his childhood when he was placed into British boarding schools during the First World War. He spoke only French, and being thrust into an Anglican or Catholic boys' school was a bitter experience indeed. He carried this throughout his life. And in 1931, when photographing Ranchos Iglesia in Taos, New Mexico, Ned Scott aligned a grave yard cross superimposed over the crosses of the church pediments--a clear statement of his sentiments toward religion as it relates to human life. But in Alvarado three years later, he had suspended these strong feelings long enough to perform a remarkably delicate and subtle treatment of the Christ and Mary figurines. Paul Strand had perhaps influenced him in the handling of the subject matter since he had created studies of such figures in other churches while there in Mexico in 1933. But there is no record of that possible connection.

madonna in Alvarado Church

Figurine in Alvarado church 1934 by Ned Scott

Redes film photo shows 1934 Alvarado architecture details

on Thursday, 07 June 2012. Posted in News

While stationed in Alvarado, Mexico in 1934 to shoot the Mexican film "REDES" in 1934, Ned Scott used his 5 x 7 Graflex camera to photograph architectural details of the town during his off-duty hours. James Krippner, a professor of history, wrote a book which discussed Paul Strand's work in Mexico from 1932-34 titled Paul Strand in Mexico, 1932-34. His research entailed a visit to Alvarado in early 2010. He communicated to me after the visit that Alvarado had changed completely from those heady and rich days of 1934. The town had lost its rural, semi-isolated flavor, and the structures had been updated. Ned Scott's images of the 1934 architectural details of the town reflect just what the life was like for its citizens, especially the fishermen.

It's a relaxed but highly textured matrix of buildings, residences, narrow dirt roads all surrounding the ubiquitous domed church, set on the estuary of the Papaloapan River. Hints of Greek and Roman classical styles are juxtaposed with wooden plank structures with rolled tin roofs or clay tile. The larger buildings are all government buildings, and the more well-to-do private residences front clay streets. Life was simple, and the economy of the town revolved around fishing for haddock.

dramed door

Framed doorway, Alvarado, Mexico, 1934 by Ned Scott

Redes film letter by Gunther von Fritsch discovered

on Wednesday, 01 August 2012. Posted in News

Life Magazine published a pictorial essay on REDES film on May 10, 1937. The film had just been released in the United States, some two years after its Mexican release. Both Gunther von Fritsch and Ned Scott reacted to this essay in letters, making the point that little recognition was given by Strand to the REDES film collaborators. They were both seized by a righteous fury. No mention was made of Ned, Fred Zinnemann, Henwar Rodakiewicz, Gunther or any of the Mexican contributors to the film.

The Life article described the published photographs as "some of the loveliest photographs ever to come out of Mexico or motion pictures." It then went on to point out that "the photographer who produced The Wave (REDES film) is Paul Strand, one of the best U.S. cameramen alive." A casual reader will make the assumption from reading these two lines that Paul Strand created the stills which fill the pages of the article. Only by checking the credits toward the end of the magazine pages will one find that Ned Scott made these photographs. But hardly anyone is likely to do such a search, especially when the writer of the article leaves the reader with the impression that Strand was the maker of the stills.

Gunther von Fritsch letter