Wednesday, 24 February 2010

ABC of Weather: Film


Weather is often a feature in its own right at the cinema. A violent storm is the classic device used heighten drama: it adds tension to a horror film or drives the heroic couple to seek shelter in the mansion or castle of fear. It's the portent of impending doom in many films, not just the horror genre. Strangely whilst thinking about this topic, I haven't come up with any cinematic examples involving good weather. Can you?

Imagine a world of film without weather. Frankenstein's monster would have remained lifeless in the laboratory and Count Dracula wouldn't have found his fresh victim. Dorothy would never have been whisked off via a tornado to the land of Oz, nor would she have wistfully sung Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It also means Twister's apparatus - used to measure what happens in a tornado - would have been anonymous rather than bearing her name.

Neither the attendees at Monsoon Wedding nor Gene Kelly would have turned the misery of rain into a celebration. Then without Singing in in the Rain we'd have missed out on one of Morecambe and Wise's classic sketches. I would never have been reminded of the painting Les Parapluis whilst watching Hitchcock's The Secret Agent, nor would I have marvelled at what penguins do in the winter in order to survive. And it would never have been Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, my favourite film title of last year.

Cinema would be a much duller place as a result. What's your favourite film featuring the weather in some way?

And how's the weather with you today?

For more Fantastic F's, do visit the ABC Wednesday blog.

14 comments:

  1. 'The Man Who Sued God' is pretty good. If insurance companies won't pay up after a lightening strike - who will?

    I think this is one of the (many) films which Ming and I have heartily enjoyed but which critics say we shouldn't.

    Esther

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  2. I really enjoyed Monsoon Wedding and other films by that director.

    On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you!

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  3. Weather with me: horrible. Again.

    All-time favourite weather film: The Ice Storm, with Christina Ricci. I think Ang Lee directed it. It has the most amazing depiction of extreme weather I've ever seen - the kind of thing which makes you think, does that really happen?!

    good weather films - how about Shirley Valentine? (also candidate for best menopausal movie ever made :D)

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  4. For some reason 'Big Fish' (with Ewan MacGregor) springs to mind as a good weather film. And I don't even know weather (yes, I know) that's true!

    The weather in the Netherlands on February 24th, 2010 at 5pm: overcast but dry, about five degrees (I think).

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  5. Wow, I never thought of it like that. I am sure happy for rotten weather!

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  6. Good post. I haven't thought much about the weather/movie combo but now I'm thinking. :)

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  7. Wonderful post - it make one think!

    Monsoon Wedding was magnificent. A good-weather film from the 60s or 70s was Joseph Losey's The Go-Between. Golden harvest sunshine, faultless blue skies and beautiful people - all unaware of the sinister liaisons going on.

    Then there was Summer With Monika by Bergman - with what passes for good weather in Sweden.

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  8. Oh it has to be the first 30 minutes or so of Atonement - the stifling heat is palpable. Interesting post - never really connected weather with cinema - love all your choices.

    Weather here - well it's getting warmer ... and wetter!

    Jeanne

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  9. My favourite good weather scene is the barn raising in Witness ( I love that film).

    I noticed that Ellmore Leonard advises that novels should never start off with weather, but I always love the Parisian rain in Maigrets don't you? However, i am not enjpying the persistent London rain this week...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/elmoreleonard

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  10. So many films to choose from. Since I am thinking of snow (as it is currently snowing and I saw in my two minutes in my car three cars in the ditch)...the winner is "The Great Race" with Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis. Jack Lemmon's mustache gets frozen and his assistant Peter Falk breaks it off. Oopsie. The sinking iceberg is also a highlight.

    Christine in Alaska

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  11. Ha - I've just thought of a good weather film In the Heat of the Night, though of course in this instance the good weather led to all kinds of bad!

    Esther - the critics often get it wrong, so I'm not surprised you enjoyed it. I'm adding your recommendation to me list to see :)

    Roger - and thanks for all you're doing for ABC Wednesday!

    CG - Oh yes, I'd completely forgotten about that one. Good choice - I stopped when I got to The Day After Tomorrow, your suggestion's much better

    Mara - that sounds much better after all the snow you've had

    LeAnn - thanks

    Tumblewords - that's a lovely compliment, thank you :)

    Nige - I'd completely forgotten about The Go Between heat had a double meaning there didn't it?

    Cottage Garden - ooooh yes, Atonement good thinking!

    Colleen - Witness is one of my faves and I've just been watching Harrison Ford's interview on Breakfast News. I'm a big fan. It just goes to show, no matter what people say should and shouldn't be done with writing, those rules are meant to be broken. Maigret just wouldn't be the same without all that rain...

    Christine B - welcome! That's one of my childhood faves!

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  12. A film is as good as anything.
    Have a nice weekend/
    Ulla & Brian Sweden

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  13. Film for F is a good idea, but I don't know these films.

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  14. Ladyinblue and Gattina - gald you like films and I hope the suggestions from myself and my fellow commenters inspire you to see one you've not seen already :)

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