In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.
Robert J. Flaherty
Colman 'Tiger' King,
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to ... See full summary »
Zvenigora stars Nikolai Nademsky (Earth), as the grandfather of Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko), whom he alerts to secret treasure buried in the mountains and the boy spends the rest of his ... See full synopsis »
A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »
The life of a great city (Paris) from dawn until dusk, including the beautiful and the ragged, the rich and the poor, with little or no comment (intertitles) from the director, Cavalcanti (whose first film this was).
A train speeds through the country on its way to Berlin, then gradually slows down as it pulls into the station. It is very early in the morning, about 5:00 AM, and the great city is mostly quiet. But before long there are some signs of activity, and a few early risers are to be seen on the streets. Soon the new day is well underway - it's just a typical day in Berlin, but a day full of life and energy. Written by
Not as politically motivated as the Soviet documentaries, but an interesting document
Walter Ruttmann's documentary love letter to the German capital, shows the city from the morning proletariat on their way to work, to the decadent bourgeois night of Wiemar Republic, 1920's high living opulence. It shows the shops and market stalls opening, the streets filling, industry moving. The almost constantly static camera captures both the poverty and the affluence. Along with the single shots of the surroundings, there are the occasional flourish of the avant-garde; kaleidoscopic, spinning images similar in experimental joy as Al Bricks Looney Lens series (Split Skyscrapers, Tenth Avenue, NYC (both 1924)), often using split screens and other such optical effects to create hall- of-mirror comparisons.
The films style also often reflects the influence of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov's Soviet montage, a style that suggested sub-textual meaning using a series of juxtaposing images. At the start of Berlin... the working classes, walking to their factories, moving uniformly, then images of cattle, and soldiers are sliced, creating the metaphor. Whilst not as politically motivated as the Soviet's, this is still an interesting document of a city living in stark contrasts, in a country still ravaged by the failures of WWI. But watching it now, you become reflective of the changes to this important city. It's history since the making of this film (events that the director would never see, due to his death in 1941), which is devastated by war, and divided by a wall. It's always fascinating to see visual "objects" of the past. Whilst this doesn't have the interesting longevity of the more political Soviet films, this is an important piece of silent-era documentary, and would go on to influence the British documentary movements of the 1930's and 40's.
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