Georges Méliès Short Films (1896-1912)

I recently (re)watched several early and classic Georges Méliès films. These pictures are incredibly ingenious for the time - the cutting room floor plays a key role in the development of each of these films as we see Méliès's chaotic and imaginative world filled with magic and intrigue. His world is often chaotic and scrambled with characters … Continue reading Georges Méliès Short Films (1896-1912)

Coeur fidèle

Coeur fidèle (Faithful Heart) (1923) Director: Jean Epstein Coeur fidèle is a beautiful and slow-moving French Impressionist film. Jean Epstein once said: its purpose was "to win the confidence of those, still so numerous, who believe that only the lowest melodrama can interest the public... to create a melodrama so stripped of all the conventions ordinarily … Continue reading Coeur fidèle

The Peloponnesian War, Book V: Battle Recommences and Melos Enslaved

Book V opens at the conclusion of the truce between Athens and the Spartans. Cleon leads the Athenians in an attack on Thrace. A double surprise attack is launched against Cleon and the Athenians by Brasidas of of the Spartans, catching Cleon off guard and kills him en route, as well as Brasidas. After this … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book V: Battle Recommences and Melos Enslaved

3 Bad Men

3 Bad Men (1926) Director: John Ford Early cinema was filled with the Western archetype and its accompanying tropes: trains, cowboys, stagecoaches, Indians, covered wagons, and so on. Audiences were enthralled by the American pioneering spirit. However, by the late 1920s and early 1930s, Western films had become a box office dud. John Ford, the … Continue reading 3 Bad Men

The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

Book IV opens with yet another revolt from allies of the Athenians, this time the city of Messana. Syracuse encouraged the revolt to prevent Athens from a clear path to Sicily. Additionally, Athens is again invaded by the Spartans under King Agis, son of Archidamus. Meanwhile an Athenian fleet builds a fort as an outpost … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

J’accuse

J'accuse (1919) Director: Abel Gance J'accuse is the first great war epic film by the master director of epic silent film. Like his other silent films, J'accuse is a long film. In the modern edited down version, it lasts nearly three hours, but the original was 14 reels long and Gance shot much of the harrowing footage … Continue reading J’accuse

Stachka (Strike)

Stachka (1925) Director: Sergei Eisenstein Stachka (Strike) is the first feature film of the master Soviet propagandist, Sergei Eisenstein. The Battleship Potemkin, his masterpiece, was made later that year in 1924-1925. After production for Stachka was complete he wrote an influential essay called "Montage Of Attractions" that appeared in a Soviet journal. In it he argued for … Continue reading Stachka (Strike)