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Posted on 17/06/22 4:16:48 PM
DavidMac
Director of Photoshop
Posts: 4003

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50th anniversary of "THE HARDER THEY COME"
50th ANNIVERSARY OF "THE HARDER THEY COME"

It is fifty years ago this month that the Jamaican cult classic the "Harder They Come" had its release. Fifty years on, it still has a huge following today, including many young viewers. It was Jamaica's first ever self made movie. It portrays the real Jamaica unknown to the tourists. Shot in the shanty towns of Kingston, it is based around reggae and the ganga trade. It is ruthlessly honest about Jamaica and feels almost more like a documentary than a movie.

I did the principal photography for this movie in 1969 when I was in my mid twenties. It was shot in Super16mm (I think the second ever film to be shot this way). On the recommendation of Kodak I shot on Ektachrome reversal because of its finer grain. It was a truly horrible film stock with a speed of just 25 ASA and unbelievably limited latitude and I bitterly regretted following their advice. Combined with only a tiny amount of desperately primitive lighting equipment this leaves the photography looking very raw, which somehow seems only to add to its gritty atmosphere.

If you haven't seen this unexpected and surprising movie you can watch it here. Do make sure to switch the subtitles on (2nd control bottom right of screen). They leave much to be desired but without them the Jamaican dialect will be completely impenetrable.

As an aside it features a twenty three old actress, Janet Bartley, who some years later became the first Mrs. Macdonald. She plays a very unsophisticated young girl and is easy to spot as she appears initially in the church choir and soon after in a horrible flowered shower cap!

Driven along by a wonderful classic reggae music track it is a truly unusual movie. Indeed it is this movie that brought reggae and Rastafarianism, virtually unknown until then, to the world outside Jamaica.

If you do watch it please let me know what you think here. Shooting it and the months I spent in Jamaica (I was the only non Jamaican involved) were an exciting and important part of my formative years.





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The subtlety and conviction of any Photoshop effect is invariably inversely proportional to the number of knobs on it .......

Posted on 17/06/22 4:21:52 PM
Steve Caplin
Administrator
Posts: 6542

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Re: 50th anniversary of "THE HARDER THEY COME"
Splendid, David! What a historic accomplishment!

Posted on 17/06/22 4:49:04 PM
DavidMac
Director of Photoshop
Posts: 4003

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Re: 50th anniversary of "THE HARDER THEY COME"
You should watch it Steve. I think you would really appreciate it! And it has some great music. You don't need to be a reggae fan.

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The subtlety and conviction of any Photoshop effect is invariably inversely proportional to the number of knobs on it .......
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