Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Special Appearance

In case anyone is interested, the length of screen time that Christopher Lee has in THE GOLDEN COMPASS is roughly equal to how long his screen credit appears. In addition, Daniel Craig’s in the movie for about ten minutes and Eva Green’s in there for maybe five, give or take.

I’m not going to write about THE GOLDEN COMPASS because it doesn’t really interest me, but Christopher Lee’s presence in the film, with a character simply named “First High Councilor”, does. His name isn’t billed in the ads but it is the third and fourth credit among the actors at the end and it’s there in big, booming letters—not even a “special appearance by”-type mention which you’d probably expect for this sort of thing. Getting prominent billing for such a miniscule appearance reminds me there was once a time when Lee’s name would be used as the selling point for a film, even though his part didn’t really warrant it. Maybe it’s THEATER OF DEATH or some Jess Franco film I’ve forgotten, but maybe I’m really thinking of one of the Dracula films where he doesn’t get resurrected until the halfway point and even then he gets next to nothing to do—there are few films other than TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA where the top-billed star has such little screen time. And now here he is, once again, playing a role where he gets great billing in the credits but appears for about the time it takes to buy a soda from a vending machine. Hearing that familiar boom of his voice does manage to make THE GOLDEN COMPASS seem like a real movie for a few seconds, however. It’s nice to know that some things don't change.

Anyway, his part is so brief that I couldn’t find a still of him, so here’s a shot of Eva Green in the film. This will have to do.

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