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16-Jun-2017 12:10

Throughout his life Cardiff was a great innovator, quick to adopt new technical developments.

He pioneered Smell-O-Vision, an immersive concept in which, at certain points in a movie, odours were released into the cinema to enhance the atmosphere. He turned his hand to directing, too, with films including Girl On A Motorcycle, a psychedelic Sixties fantasy starring Marianne Faithfull as, well, a girl on a motorcycle.

Working with the directors Powell and Pressburger, he filmed the post-war British masterpieces The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. And in 1951 he was recruited by John Huston as director of photography on The African Queen.

It was there he first encountered Katharine Hepburn.‘The love of his life,’ Lindsay says of Hepburn. During the shoot she was so miserable and he looked after her, reassuring her. Sadly for him, she batted him off because the love of her life was Spencer Tracy.’Lindsay, too, knew Hepburn. With his break-out performance in the sitcom Citizen Smith, the young actor from Derbyshire had become hugely in demand.

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She wrote: “My darling Jack, if only I could be how you make me look.”’Lindsay met the renowned lensman towards the end of his life.

‘Everyone else – Huston, Bogart, [Lauren] Bacall – was OK because they stuck to Scotch. ‘It’s that lens looking in your eyes, looking at you sexually. You’re giving your everything to it and the man at the other end is seeing right into you. The director of photography on one film I did worked his way through the entire cast, sleeping with every single girl in the movie. ‘A false light and they will film badly.’Despite working there almost constantly, Cardiff never settled in Hollywood.

An unreconstructed Englishman, he preferred to remain on this side of the Atlantic so he could indulge in his favourite pastimes: watching Arsenal and playing cricket.

But he spurned the chance of TV celebrity to return to the stage.‘John Sullivan [Citizen Smith’s creator] couldn’t believe it when I told him I didn’t want to do it any more,’ he recalls.

‘He said: “You’re mad, this will last for a generation.” But I only did two series.

She wrote: “My darling Jack, if only I could be how you make me look.”’Lindsay met the renowned lensman towards the end of his life.

‘Everyone else – Huston, Bogart, [Lauren] Bacall – was OK because they stuck to Scotch. ‘It’s that lens looking in your eyes, looking at you sexually. You’re giving your everything to it and the man at the other end is seeing right into you. The director of photography on one film I did worked his way through the entire cast, sleeping with every single girl in the movie. ‘A false light and they will film badly.’Despite working there almost constantly, Cardiff never settled in Hollywood.

An unreconstructed Englishman, he preferred to remain on this side of the Atlantic so he could indulge in his favourite pastimes: watching Arsenal and playing cricket.

But he spurned the chance of TV celebrity to return to the stage.‘John Sullivan [Citizen Smith’s creator] couldn’t believe it when I told him I didn’t want to do it any more,’ he recalls.

‘He said: “You’re mad, this will last for a generation.” But I only did two series.

He also remembered it as the toughest of shoots, filming out in the jungle.‘Huston had no idea of the conditions before they went,’ Lindsay says. And Jack said, “What about the generator for the lights? ”‘Where they were shooting was up this valley that Jack said hadn’t seen the sun since the dawn of time.