Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Annoying little insect* hovering haughtily above. Spying on us, sniping at us.

Light it up like a firework and bring it down to earth.

What knavery is this to deny us explosion by cutting away before the deed is done (I Am Legend) or worse leave a crumpled heap of metal, dry and unexploded?

If you want a picture of the future of cinema, imagine a helicopter exploding - forever.

Its eye is shining... it here for good or ill. Is it here to take us away from this hell...?

 ...and we ascend vulnerable, hanging as if by a string.

A helicopter can be devil, a swarm of death from above, or, in the same guise, angel - mercy and salvation on its whirring wings.

Maybe it is just a mystery...

*A helicopter being looked upon like an insect is an image brilliantly used in the first (later pulled) trailer for Spider-man, when it is caught like a fly in a web that spans the gap between the twin towers of the World Trade Center :


  1. A helicopter in a movie must blow up, or it's not a good movie.

  2. Helicopters are rad. I mean that.

    I think John Woo’s Broken Arrow has at least four different helicopters that are blown up one way or another. But we gotta talk Blue Thunder, starring Roy Scheider and Malcolm McDowell (“Catch ya later!”’s a line from the movie), because it features a high-tech police force helicopter from the 80s. In case you just now weren’t listening and missed the key words, let me break it down for you: 80s. High-tech. Helicopter. The perfect recipe for entertainment. Seriously, Scheider fights fucking jets in that movie!

    1. Cannon,

      "I think John Woo’s Broken Arrow has at least four different helicopters that are blown up one way or another."

      Is that in slow-motion?! With doves fluttering away from the blast. I haven't heard of Blue Thunder, let alone watched it. You certainly give it the big sell! I will go investigate.


  3. The use of helicopters in APOCALYPSE NOW has never left my cinematic consciousness. It part and parcel to the film's visual tapestry.

    Great idea here as usual!

  4. They don't blow up, but Altman shot helicopters very hypnotically at the start of "MASH." He'd had previous experience with the subject, as a director on the TV series "Whirlybirds" (where he met his wife).

  5. Craig,

    Oh, I haven't seen more than a couple of minutes of MASH. I'll try and find that scene. I haven't heard of WHIRLYBIRDS either.

    I think you could make quite a study of couples who met on the sets of films and television shows and later got married.