Close Up: Cinema And Modernism
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Between 1927 and 1933, the journal "Close Up" championed a European avant-garde in film-making. This volume republishes articles from the journal, with an introduction and a commentary on the lives of, and complex relationships between, its writers and editors.
the beast confronting it? Has that particular beauty conquered the beast, become a joy forever, or just passed into nothingness? Indeed it is difficult to say. For there must have been incidents. Indignant people must have hushed the gigglers. Sensitive people must have cried out in ecstatic appreciation and produced wonder that upon the next opportunity turned to attention hopeful of discovering the hidden charm. Experience gathered in one small local cinema would hopefully suggest that the
when it seemed quite certain.76 Bryher's letters from Berlin, always full of gossip about the Langs, the Metzners and Elisabeth Bergner, also included details about Pabst. On 3 May 1931, just after Pabst had seen Borderline in Berlin, Bryher wrote to Macpherson: Pabst says did you get the wire he sent you? They won't risk Borderline at the Kamera but P is angry as he says he wanted all his cameramen and electricians to see it. He is so impressed himself with the camerawork. And lighting. He says
religious ideals of pure Sophoclean formula. Vol. I, no. 5 November 1927 THE C I N E M A AND THE C L A S S I C S in THE MASK AND THE MOVIETONE The problem arises (it has been dogging us for some time) is the good old-fashioned conventionalised cinema product a more vivid, a more vital, altogether in many ways a more inspiring production than his suave and sometimes over-subtlised offspring? Our hero with sombrero, our heroine with exactly set coiffure, each in himself, in herself a mask of
children, penned in semi-darkness and foul air on a sunny afternoon. There was almost no talk. Many of the women sat alone, figures of weariness at rest. Watching these I took comfort. At last the world of entertainment had provided for a few pence, tea thrown in, a sanctuary for mothers, an escape from the everlasting qui vive into eternity on a Monday afternoon. The first scene was a tide, frothing in over the small beach of a sandy cove, and for some time we were allowed to watch the coming
horror lies not in what they see but in their way of seeing. It is possible that they are immensely above and beyond the world they condemn. It is certain that they are too far removed from it to get behind its conventions. Take any of the stock characters of whom it is said that they never existed on land or sea. The poor dear sheik, for example, the man who can kill, can magnificently adore the beloved carried upon his shield high above his head, can dominate, and kneel. Yet he exists. Even in