Story of Film – Episode 2 – The Hollywood Dream

Mirror Lens Fake
“Mirror Lens Fake” by Thomas Sommer is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


The following material (save for my notes) is from Wikipedia:

Episode 2 – The Hollywood Dream

1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film…

Before utilized films:

The film episode is first characterized by slightly mysterious, climactic music, and by the red ornament that is to represent the new, shiny, Hollywood film industry.

…And the First of its Rebels

  • Nanook of the North (1922) dir. Robert Flaherty
    • The longest non-fiction so far in the stpry of film
    • “Beautiful but conventional.”
    • Focuses on a real man, his family, his psychology, and his mythic struggle.
    • Acting would of course be more effortless, if it was not staged – however, many of the scenes were staged.
    • Real, new, cheerful tone.
  • The House Is Black (1963) dir. Forough Farrokhzad
    • “Beautiful tracking shots.”
    • Tells the story of people with leprocy…
  • Sans Soleil (1983) dir. Chris Marker
    • Imaginary, made up elements/words…
  • The Not Dead (2007) dir. Brian Hill
    • Slurred speaking, difficult to understand
    • Turned his words into poetry, then used film to provide images for the poetry
  • The Perfect Human (1967) (shown as part of The Five Obstructions) dir. Jørgen Leth
  • The Five Obstructions (2003) dir. Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth
    • Strange, robotic almost
    • Distinct blacks and whites
  • Blind Husbands (1919) dir. Erich von Stroheim
    • Main character almost headless in the first scene because of the strange lighting
  • The Lost Squadron (1932) dir. George Archainbaud and Paul Sloane
    • Obsessive teachings of small details
  • Greed (1924) dir. Erich von Stroheim
    • Difficult to follow
    • Tragic premise
    • The color of yellow, the color of greed
    • shows Stroheim’s contempt for hollywood romance.
  • Stroheim in Vienna (1948)
    • Clear
  • Queen Kelly (1929) (shown as part of Sunset Boulevard) dir. Erich von Stroheim
    • Lovely filming
    • Crafted elements (film shadows, flames)
  • The Crowd (1928) dir. King Vidor
    • Realism instead of romance, once again
    • Tragedy, heartbreak
    • Shows “just her growing despair.”
    • “The first movie to use New York extensively.”
    • Magnificent overhead crane shot among other identical desks.
    • Shows mass society emerging and focuses on the everyman.
  • The Apartment (1960) dir. Billy Wilder
    • Clever dissolve to focus on main character
    • Multiple identical subjects creates deliberacy somehow
  • The Trial (1962) dir. Orson Welles
  • Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) dir. Yakov Protazanov
    • Fascinating geometric angles and shapes
    • Modern? costumes
    • Somewhat intriguing plot
    • mysterious
  • Posle Smerti (1915) dir. Yevgeni Bauer
    • Relaxing tone and tint
    • Darkened lighting
    • Usage of opened door to create lighting slit
    • Overall, fascinating lighting
    • “Bravely natural.”
    • Entrance from behind into the shot, allows for the audience to hold their breath slightly, wait for the character to notice
    • Beam of intense light (following her death).
    • Various tints.
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    • Tragic
    • Wrinkles and tears distinguished
    • Almost all close-up
    • Filming done in silence
    • “Even some of the electricians cried”
    • “No depth, nothing in the background, no set, no shadows.”
    • Pink painted walls to remove glare.
  • Ordet (1955) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    • So static
    • Simplified form of the kitchen created clarity/purification.
  • The President (1919) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    • Strange lighting
    • Haloed heads
  • Vampyr (1932) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    • Disconnected shadows against a white wall, which have a life of their own.
    • Suffocation with white flour.
    • “Blank.” – a care for whiteness (Dreyer’s care)
  • Gertrud (1964) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer
    • White
    • Darkness in select subjects
    • Filmed through a white scrim?
    • Dreamy poetry
  • Dogville (2003) dir. Lars von Trier
    • “The opposite of Hollywood romantic cinema.”
    • Jerky, moving, different
  • Vivre sa vie (1962) (introduced in Episode 1) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
    • Slight but bold rectangular shapes

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