RIP Jack Cardiff (1914 – 2009)

RIP Jack Cardiff (19142009)

Jack Cardiff OBE, B.S.C. (18 September 1914 – 22 April 2009) was British cinematographer (Black Narcissus, A Matter Of Life And Death), director and photographer.

He was best known for his influential cinematography for directors such as Powell, Huston and Hitchcock.


The Girl on a Motorcycle (music by Les Reed)

Of importance to the Jahsonic canon is his film The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) starring Marianne Faithfull and Alain Delon. The film is based on the story La Motocyclette by André Pieyre de Mandiargues[1], co-written by Cardiff himself, Ronald Duncan (The Rape of Lucretia) and Gillian Freeman (The Undergrowth of Literature).

A married woman leaves her husband, zooms off on her motorcycle to see her lover, and crashes to her death while indulging in sexual reverie, a motif –or variant thereof — also to be found in Ballard’s Crash.

The film isn’t all that great, I suspect, it’s just one of those films where the idea of the film, and its paratext, are more interesting than the film in itself.

See “When the paratext is more interesting than the text.”