Featuring a Bolex
Bolex Camera's appearing as a prop in Feature Films / TV:-
Life and Death of Peter Sellars" (2004)
This film made by a joint venture between HBO and the BBC recreates as the title suggests the life of Peter Sellers starting with his early rise to fame in the BBC radio series the Goons and then following him thoughout his film career.
Peter was an obsessive film fan so much so that he would document large parts of his life on tape recorders and on film.
In early 2000 the BBC screened two excellent documentaries made using the extensive library of footage he had shot of himself and his family, some of the films even included him messing around in his back garden with members of the royal family. In one shot he filmed himself in front of a Mirror and he's holding a Rex camera.
The feature film has stayed authentic to the brand and the Rex does appear being held by his son. But the Bolex camera that appears the most documenting his early years is a Bolex B8L. So looks like Peter stayed Brand loyal when going from 8mm to 16mm. The feature also recreats some of the films he shot using them but it's unclear whether they used the actual cameras to make them.
Steven Spielbergs "Taken" features a Bolex camera used to film a US Military alien autopsy.
Uncle Sam seem to have aquired a H16 that runs for minutes rather than seconds & without being wound up or without being started. Anyhow the alien explodes and takes half the building with it, the camera survives and is still running on the ground later. You can't beat Swiss workmanship can you!
"My Architect" (2003)
This documentary shot by Nathaniel Kahn tells the story of his father Louis I Kahn a famous architect who fathered children in 3 families, none of whom knew about the others until they all met at his funeral.
Despite a hectic social life he managed to have a busy and productive working one and was acclaimed as one of the greatest Architects of the 20th Century.
The documentary is structured so that when talking heads are on screen discussing his work it's all shot on video but whenever the buildings take centre stage the Bolex takes over. You get to see Nathaniel using his Bolex in the film.
with Love" (2003)
This film you could describe as a bit of fluff and is an updated version of those 60's films such as Pillow Talk, it makes fun of how male/female relationships were in the 60's by doing a modern day spin on them.
Unfortunetly you won't see either Renee Zellwiger or Ewan Macgregor in the main film with a Bolex camera titlehough it would be something the character Catcher Block played by Ewan Macgregor would have had as an accessory.
However if you browse the extras on the DVD you find the director of the film Peyton Reid messing around on the Universal back lot filming Renee and Ewan with one.
Were Soldiers" (2002)
Another solid performance from Mel Gibson helms this inteligentaly made Vietnam war film. Mel and his fellow soldiers find themselves personally trying to beat communism by taking a region of vietnam.
The Bolex cameras turn up at the end of the film when a number of reporters are lead around to photograph the scene of devastation after the battle. They all come bouncing of a plane at the end of the film. One with an arriflex one with a Bell and Howell Scopic some with still cameras and two with Bolex Rex's.
This scene reminds me of a number of Bolex cameras i've seen come up on ebay a while ago with the abc and NBC logo's painted on them. A time when all news gathering in the field was done with film cameras.
The biopic of the controversial New York shock Jock Howard Stern is a very funny and honest film about the protagonsists life.
I must admit to never having heard of him before seeing this film, but despite this it was great with a surprisingly good story and central performance from a non actor.
The Bolex Rex 5 appears in a section when Howard wins a student filmaking competition while at college where he meets his wife for the 1st time and persaudes her to be in the film he is making.
"The Bigger Picture" (1989)
The film the Bigger Picture stars a very young Kevin Bacon and is a feature film parellel of one of the story Arcs in Dawsons Creek where a young idealistic filmaker who has made an award winning short film comes to hollywood to try his luck.
Bacon comes to town with two feature film ideas but has to compromise his vision on both and soon become disolusioned. He in the end shoots a pop video for a local band and at this point we see a Bolex Rex5 Appear.
The video wins lots of praise and he's now the hot young thing again and is able to make his feature film.
"Midnight Cowboy" (1969)
This gritty and realistic film about a male hustler who comes to New York won an academy award. The first one given to a film with an R rating. Jon Voight plays the hustler while Dustin Hoffman I suppose is his pimp who tries to set him up with women and gives him shelter in a grotty abandoned room in a tenament that he lives in which is about to be demolished.
Both of them are pretty much pennyless and after a few days Jon Voights character Joe Buck has already spent all the money he saved doing kitchen work in dinners before comming to New York. Dustin's charatcter Ratzo Rizo looks permantly unwell throughout. About halfway through the film the two get strangely invited to a party by some 60's hippy types and that's where the Bolex appears documenting the weird and waky types that have turned up at the party. You get to see on screen in a box what was shot using the Bolex which was blown up to 35mm.
Have you spotted any Bolex camera's appearing in films or TV as props not included in my lists? or do you know of anyone shooting / going to shoot / has already shot a film using a Bolex? If so get in touch i'd love to add anything i've missed to my list. Other places to watch Bolex cameras appear are 60's and 70's press conferences where you will always see a cameraman with one of them.