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The Hollywood Dream 

The Story of Film looks at the period 1918-1928 and examines the growth of Hollywood as the center of an entertainment industry. It looks at the story telling techniques of The Thief of ... See full summary »

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Himself - Interviewee
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Anita Loos ...
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Karl Brown ...
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The Story of Film looks at the period 1918-1928 and examines the growth of Hollywood as the center of an entertainment industry. It looks at the story telling techniques of The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and looks at the comedy work of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd. It examines the birth of documentary film-making with Nanook of the North (1922) before discussing Erich Von Stroheim and his ultra-realistic film Greed (1924). It also looks at King Vidor's influential The Crowd (1928) and how Hollywood rejected its non-optimistic take on New York Life. It also looks at several major Soviet films of the 1920s and the work of Carl Theodor Dreyer. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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10 September 2011 (UK)  »

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Lars von Trier - Interviewee: He started with a very thick script, and then he kind of reduced and reduced. I don't know what he did, but it had this monumental feeling, of course, after reducing for many years. It's like a very good soup, you know.
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Features De fem benspænd (2003) See more »

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The Hollywood Dream
31 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

Episode two features the 1920s, what the narrator calls "the greatest decade in the story of film". Here we have the rise of Paramount, Warner Brothers and MGM. We have sound stages for better control of light. And we have each studio with its own feel and style -- Warner Brothers, for example, stood out as more "streetwise", with stars that were "angels with dirty faces".

Most notably, the 1920s brought the best innovation in comedy -- the trio of silent comedy legends: Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin and (the often neglected) Harold Lloyd. Keaton "defined silent cinema" and "thought like an architect". He was probably the best director working in comedy at the time -- maybe ever.

Chaplin was less into the camera, but more into body movement. He "though like a dancer". I did not realize the connection between Chaplin and Billy Wilder, who had homages in both "Sunset Boulevard" and "Some Like It Hot". While the "Sunset" homage is obvious, the other is not.

Most interesting in this episode, though, is the focus on Carl Dreyer, who experimented with simplicity, whiteness... and was later influential on Lars von Trier's "Dogville". He may not be as famous as the comedy giants, but that makes him no less important to the history of film. I am now inspired to watch the Dreyer films I have not yet seen...


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