Russian films of cinema’s early history were commissioned for very particular purposes at the hands of politically charged filmmakers and politically motivated backers. But beneath the usual cacophony of manifestos, propaganda, and revolution, Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth emerges and may outlive its revolutionary counterparts of this idiosyncratic epoch. Earth, as with the case of its comrades, […]Read more "Earth (1930)"
As before, I feel a short warning is necessary to precede L’Age D’or, but as I am at a loss, I will instead use an excerpt from Robert Short’s excellent commentary – ‘The warm reception of Un Chien Andalou by “le tout Paris” was both a blessing and a curse for Dali, Bunuel and surrealism […]Read more "L’Age D’or (1930)"
‘Good evening’ It seems the only proper way to introduce Alfred Hitchcock’s first inclusion – Blackmail. Other of his pictures prior to this may be deemed important to include; perhaps his debut Pleasure Garden or an introduction to his life long obsession with the macabre in The Lodger. But Blackmail is fundamentally essential because it […]Read more "Blackmail (1929)"
First, Betty Compson smouldered in the misty Docks of New York as she rumbled the hero’s world, but without an ounce of malicious intent. Brigitte Helm drew the panting men of the dizzying Metropolis with her apocalyptic dance. But this was only a machine double of the virtuous heroine. Pandora’s Box presents a whole other […]Read more "Pandora’s Box (1929)"
Man With a Movie Camera is one of those illustrious classics you hear of long before knowing what it is. Sight and Sound magazine places Dziga Vertov’s picture as the eighth greatest of all time, IMDB rates it at 8.4, and Roger Ebert awards an outstanding four stars. By many others, it is voted as […]Read more "Man With A Movie Camera (1929)"
Vicarious exploration is easy to take for granted when the entire world is visible at the touch of a button. For many years, and especially in 1929 when this picture was released, cinema held the distinction beyond static photographs and restricted phonographs of transporting audiences to alien landscapes through living images. Franz Osten was one […]Read more "A Throw of Dice (1929)"