Friday, 13 June 2014

THE GOLEM ( DER GOLEM)

PAUL WEGENER & CARL BOESE
Germany/1920/Silent
A film version of the old Prague legend.  Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck) makes a clay figure of the  
Golem who is to be his servant. But the Golem (Paaul Wegener) will not obey his master and threatens to destroy everything around him. A child in play takes away from  him the  magic formula that gave him life, whereupon the Golem crumbles to dust.

THE CABINET OF Dr. CALIGARI

ROBERT WEINE
Germany/1919/B&W/Silent/60mns.

An extraordinary film, in terms of theme and from, which has a story backeted within another story.

Apparently it is the story of mad magician Caligari, who hypnotises a somnabulist to carry out his murders. He is ultimately found to be the director of an asylum, who has gone mad in his greed for power and his obsessive efforts to re-enact a 18th century showman's murders by proxy.  But at the end of the film we see that the narrator, who so convincingly tells the story, is himself insane and Dr. Caligari is the benevolent director of the asylum who now understands the case of the young man.

The narrative significance of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is in its simultaneously present viewpoints : that the narrator is mad and story is partiallly or totally illusional; or that, as is assumed thoughout most of the film, the story is true.  This play with reality, raises metaphysical questions and problems of contradictory understanding relevant for any period of human history: at the same time the mirrors the inherent tensions of the collective german psyche of that period.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

INTOLERANCE

D.W GRIFFITH
USA/1916/B&W/Silent

The theme of INTOLERANCE is the age-old struggle of men against intolerance; or as Griffith saw it, the  struggle between intolerance and love ( the film was publicated as "Love's struggle throughout the Ages") In order to emphasize that the conflict was a never-ending one.  Griffith decided to present in four separate stones, taken from four periods of history, told concurrently and intermingled as the film proceeds.

The narrative is punctuated at intervals by the figure of a mother, rocking "the Cradle of Destiny".
this daring conception is not entirely successful.  While it gave Griffith a vast canvas and enabled him to secure some striking effects of tempo in the relating of one story to another.  It also splits spectators' attention inseperable between the various stories which is doubtless responsible for its ponderous and exhausting effect on most people.

INTOLERANCE was a lavishly expensive film for its period, costing two million dollars to make. And for secrecy, INTOLERANCE, the most massive and complex film ever made, was shot from beginning to end without recourse to any from of written scenario or script of any kind!  As a result, the nature of Griffith's film was kept a complete secret, from the first day of shooting until the time of its first public exhibition.

Cast: Maye Marsh, Lillian Gish, Fred Tunner, Rober Harron, Sam de Grasse, Howard Gaye.
Cinematography: G.W Bitzer & Karl Brown.

Monday, 9 June 2014

BIRTH OF A NATION

D.W GRIFFITH
USA/1915/B&W/Silent/110Mts.

The American Civil War (1861- 1864) between the Northern States and southern States, was fought on the issue of Slavery in USA.  Abraham Lincoln, president of America, was anti-slavery and was shot dead by a southerner, after the victory of the forces of emancipation of slavery. This was followed by difficult period of political instability in which the newly "liberated" Blacks harried the former rich whites retaliated against them by organising the Ku Klax Klan (KKK) a secret society of white-hooded men.

A southerner himself, Griffith showed strong leanings on racism in BIRTH OF A NATION, and the film ran into strong political opposition from the Blacks and liberals in America.

This films tells the story of two families, one from the South and another from the North going through all this ordeal of American history.  This film also contains a dramatic reconstruction of many historical moments, for example, the murder of Abraham Lincoln.

D.W Griffith is considered by the film historians as the 'Father of Cinema' who worked on almost 500 shot films, through which he developed the language of cinema.  He later made a number of epics, stupendous example of film making for the time, many remaining fo interest even today.

THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY

Edwin S Porter / 1903

The film directed by cinematographer Edwin S. Porterin in 1903. Like the title its theme is about a train robbery. This is the first using different shots for a sequence to create more thrill and emotions to the viewers.

TRIP TO MOON

Dir: George Melie

The director George Melie is the man who has credited the first fantasy film.  The theme of the film 'Trip To The Moon' is entirely different. it is an adventurous journey of a professor to the moon through his space shuttle.  This is the film using large sets and special effects.  This film ran more than 100 days in London.

LUMIER PROGRAMME


Dir: Auguste Lumiere & Louis Lumiere
France/ 1895/ 1 min.

1. WORKERS LIVING IN THE LUMIERE FACTORY

In one film Auguste Lumiere and his wife feed breakfast to their baby daughter who sits dumpling like, between them, in another film the same child is fascinated by a book of gold fish; elsewhere old father Lumiere plays cards and drinks a glass of beer with two cromes, a gentleman bathes in the sea. Madame Lumiere and two children stand on a landing stage watching the  arrival of a small boat. There are scenes of public square in Zyon and of soldiers exercising.

2. THE ARRIVAL OF A TRAIN
The Arrival of  A Train is filmed looking up the platform so that the rails stretch obliquely in to the  distance. The express steams forward and passes the camera on the left alighting, passengers approach the camera again, pass it, this time to the right. The audience of the day is said to have bounded from their seats in shock at the approach of the train.