Author Topic: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films  (Read 7721 times)

1SO

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #80 on: June 15, 2012, 01:08:19 AM »
I wouldn't have seen it without Jannings. There are so few names who I get excited about just watching them act. I recently got Waxworks. No idea what it's about, but it stars Jannings so I'm in. I hope to see Tartuffe one day which reunites Jannings with F.W. Murnau. (They collaborated on The Last Laugh.) I'd even be interested to see Ohm Krüger, even though it's pro-Nazi propaganda.

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2012, 12:03:53 AM »

METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang, 1927)
All of the characters are singing, but not a word can be heard. Why? Contrary to how the film formats itself, Metropolis is not an opera. It feels like one.  The score sweeps you up like an opera score would. Yet there is no singing voice, only music. How strange? I could only imagine how beautiful and wondrous this would be if it were adapted into a musical. The characters run into position as if they are pieces on a chess board. The story's simplicity combined with the way these actors shift from statuesque pose to statuesque pose creates an accessible and a constantly engaging film. I have long watched the films of Eric Rohmer, where dialogue is the main factor of the films. Lang presents here the exact opposite. The argument Lang presents is that the language of film is much like the language of a ballet or of an opera. Film is a presentational performance piece; it is the natural extension of theatre with a larger capacity for expansive imaginative ideas. The world of Metropolis is prescient of today's times where America is on the fast track to completely losing the middle class, creating a large divide between the very poor and the very rich. The film fuses ideas of Marxism with equal parts Judaism and Christianity. It is a parable about what divides us in class while also being a sly critique on how we are separated religiously. False prophets abound in Lang's world. Obsession, sex, murder. The seven deadly sins and the Angel of Death itself. Symbolism is everywhere, but fear not because Fritz is intelligent enough to not distance the viewer by dwelling on these matters. The film is first and foremost a piece of escapist entertainment that becomes increasingly engrossing as it comes to its nail-biting climax. I confess that I usually have a difficult time maintaing interest in silent films. My mind never once wandered away. I sat compelled by the screen the entire time. Not even the old special effects took me out of the film. Metropolis is a marvelous achievement that transcends its time period, becoming eternally timeless from the first frame to the last. Thanks Oldkid!

:)

Totoro

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2012, 12:07:35 AM »
On a related note, am I the only one turned on by False Maria's facial expressions?




1SO

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2012, 12:48:54 AM »
There's a definite lewdness to them.

oldkid

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2012, 01:51:32 AM »
Metropolis is a true science fiction masterpiece, filled with powerful images and ideas.  So happy you liked it, Totoro!
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sdedalus

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #85 on: June 28, 2012, 03:44:25 PM »
sdedalus will be watching Diary of a Lost Girl (Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, 1929) by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.

OK, it's been over a month and I still haven't thought of anything particularly interesting to say about this.  I liked it and I'm very glad to have been dictated into watching it.  Louise Brooks is really good and the story is more interesting than the other Pabst/Brooks collaboration, Pandora's Box, with a nice sentimental reversal at the end that's completely counter to the other film's darkness.  But I think Pandora's Box is ultimately the more memorable, more iconic film and the one I'd be most likely to watch again.
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pixote

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #86 on: August 21, 2012, 04:03:34 PM »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Antares

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Re: May 2012 MDC: Silent Films
« Reply #87 on: August 21, 2012, 06:05:22 PM »
Hooray!

Is this the first month where everyone completed their dictation?