Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sunrise (F.W. Murnau)

One of the greatest silent films from one of the great silent film directors, "Sunrise" dispenses with an admittedly great plot within the first half hour (one that would have carried a lesser film for its entirety) and embarks on an extended sequence of mood and atmosphere, in which a murderous, philandering, crazed, depressed husband decides against killing his wife, falls in love with her all over again, takes her to a vaguely futuristic city to attend a carnival, then returns home and gets caught in a violent storm at sea. Plus, you get to see a pig drink a bottle of wine. Murnau uses tons of then-new visual innovations to give the film an atmosphere of a long, nightmarish, but ultimately life-affirming hallucination.

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