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The early influence of the movies


New challenges: A werewolf movie and a prison movie
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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I'd love to do a werewolf movie... very much like to. I have... I have a sort of a bad script but a good idea for a werewolf movie that takes place in the Caribbean. I'd like to do that. One from the... done from the werewolf's point of view... the werewolves are the good guys. I want very much to do... oh, this is a kind of plea, I guess. I very much want to do a women-in-prison movie. I want to do a women-in-prison movie that is shot... probably on video, cheesy, 60mm black and white, or video, and that has... that is like an exploitation movie, with naked shower scenes, and... and women with sweaty clothes bending over and having their clothes cling to them, and really just as cheesy as that can be. And yet, every once in a while, when the proper time comes, it would turn to glorious beautiful Technicolor and they would lip-sync great girl-group songs from the '50s and '60s, you know – ‘Mr. Postman, look and see, is there a letter, a letter for me’, and thinking of all of those songs... songs of the Shirelles and people like that. And then it would go back to being a cheesy, women-in-prison movie. I want very much to do that. If somebody would give me some money to do that, I would do that in a second. And... because this is... girl groups are... girl group songs from the late '50s and '60s are extraordinarily powerful and have not been studied or given their due. And what they are is a form of religious allegory in everyday life, in a curious way. Not, I think, Christian religion, but the last movie I did, we worked for a week at the end in Paris.

I had one day off and I was wondering through the Louvre and I came upon a section of Greek and Roman sculpture. And I saw a life-size sculpture of the three Graces, who were beautiful, lovely, staggeringly beautiful nude women, and I realized they were a girl group. And, in fact, girl groups are pre-Christian religious allegory in everyday life. They really are. They're... they're songs sung to whatever deity it is that they are trying to evoke at the time. And this is a perfect example of the truest poetry is the most feigning. If I could do that as a... as a cheesy, exploitation, women in prison movie. So if anybody wants to do that, please, I'm your man. Other than that, I want to do... I would like to go back to painting and I very much want to grow vegetables and catch fish and cook them and eat them. And I will be doing that in a few weeks, I hope. I can't tell you how good clam spaghetti is when you've dug your own clams and chopped up your own garlic and some onions, a little... a little olive oil, and, oh God, it's really nice.

Michael Chapman (1935-2020), an American cinematographer, had a huge influence on contemporary film-making, working on an impressive array of classic films including 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Fugitive'.

Listeners: Glen Ade Brown

British Director of Photography and Camera Operator Glen Ade Brown settled in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

He has been working on features, commercials and reality TV. He played an instrumental role in the award-winning ABC Family series "Switched" and is also a recipient of the Telly and the Cine Golden Eagle awards for Best Cinematography. He was recently signed by the Judy Marks Agency and is now listed in her commercial roster.

Tags: werewolf, prison, girl groups, Christian, exploitation, women

Duration: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010