The Damned was Joseph Losey’s 1963 film for Hammer Film Productions. (It is Losey who also directed one of my favourite films ‘The Servant’ the same year).
The Damned features teddy boy thugs and nuclear science fiction, it’s really rather odd. The plot revolves around a sculpture called Freya Neilson. The sculptures featured are all by British artist Elisabeth Frink.
Frink not only lent these but also was on location for their shooting and coached Lindfors on performing the sculptor’s method of building up plaster, which was then ferociously worked and carved. According to Evan Jones (interview with the author), Frink was around for all the location shooting, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the process, and became quite good friends with Losey and members of the crew. There is no evidence that she was paid. She did receive a prominent screen credit, however, and there is anecdotal evidence that Frink welcomed the exposure, and that it enhanced her career. †
Elisabeth Frink – Bird, 1959
The experience of growing up during the war years strongly affected Frink’s sculpture. This work is one of a number of bronzes, executed in the 1950s, in which animal forms are given a menacing, military appearance. Although only thirty-eight centimetres high, this bird appears simultaneously aggressive, powerful and like a damaged but defiant survivor of a nuclear attack. Typical of the sculptor’s early work, the distressed, textured surface and spindly, striding legs of the bird recall the work of Giacometti, who Frink cited as a great influence. ‡
† Real Objects in Unreal Situations: Modern Art in Fiction Films by Susan Felleman, 2014. p258. 9781783202508