Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Henry Hobson in the Moonraker's Arms

Start at 42:00, End at 46:30

Hobson's Choice is a 1954 romantic comedy film directed by David Lean, based on the play of the same name by Harold Brighouse. The film won the Golden Bear at the 4th Berlin International Film Festival in 1954 and British Film Academy Award Best British Film in the same year.

Malcolm Arnold wrote the score for a small pit orchestra of 22 players, and he enlisted the help of a Belgian cafe owner to play the musical saw for the above pivotal scene. A musical saw, also called a singing saw, is the application of a hand saw as a musical instrument. Capable of glissando, the sound creates an ethereal tone, very similar to the theremin.

After a night of drinking at The Moonraker, Hobson is seeing double, and he fixates on the reflection of the moon in the puddles outside the pub. Arnold deploys the musical saw to represent the willowy allure of the moon, as the clumsy Hobson stomps from puddle to puddle, chasing its reflection.

By North Utsire

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