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Top 5 Fish in Film

Thursday 17 July 2014, by Judy Harris

In anticipation of catching the aquarium scene from The Lady From Shanghai at the BFI later this month MyDylarama’s favourite crustacean celebrates these aquatic wonders.

5. Noodlefish- Jinman Kim (2012)
It looks like sand, yet sounds like water. This story of a bored and lonely noodlefish desperate to explore life above sea level takes place in an ocean made of sand with a soundtrack made from water. As good as it feels to set eye against ear it’s when noodlefish flings himself out of the ocean and into a rustling spaghettiscape that your eyes really pop.

4. Watunna- Stacey Steers (1989)

These scaly scamps bite with sharp and shiny snappers! Captivating animated shape shifting mega-metamorphosis. The tales are inspired by the creation cycle mythology of the Yekuana Indians of the Orinoco region of Venezuela.

3. Stromboli- Roberto Rossellini (1950)
Vivid, violent, documentary style scene of island fisherman netting tuna. Waves crash, the camera rocks, your stomach turns. After heaving the nets onto the boat the fish lie stabbed and suffocating. Brutal yet strangely refreshing.

2. A Tale of Tales- Yuri Norstein (1979)
In another world within another world a pen and ink fish floats knowingly above a woman washing clothes in a tin bucket. Nearby a bison rhythmically turns a skipping rope. Heartbreaking.

1. Lady from Shanghai- Orson Welles (1948)

Fish have never looked so good. This film shows that to really see fish move, you need to see them in black and white. Stripped of colour these aquatic monsters are all contour and motion. Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth illicitly meet in the San Francisco aquarium amongst a throng of writhing, floating, glimmering marine life. Who knew that giant gawping carp could be so erotic? Carpe moi, Orson! Carpe moi!

The Lady From Shanghai is showing at the BFI Southbank between July 26th- August 21st. https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp

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