Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NYT's Dave Kehr reviews Lonesome

The rediscovered silent film treasure, Lonesome, which will be screened free at Page Hall 7:30pm, 9/21, with live musical accompaniment, is reviewed by silent film enthusiast Dave Kehr in the New York Times:

“Lonesome” came along at a time of great creative ferment in the film world, when the Germans, led by F. W Murnau, were developing the possibilities of long takes and elaborate camera movements (Mordaunt Hall, the film critic for The New York Times, reviewed “Lonesome” in the same Oct. 7, 1928, column in which he covered Murnau’s now lost American film "Four Devils"; the Soviets were extending the possibilities of cutting to new expressive heights in films like Sergei Eisenstein’s "October"; and the French, led by Abel Gance and Jean Epstein, were exploring the superimposition of images, among other techniques, to create a loosely defined school of cinematic Impressionism.
“Lonesome” incorporates all of these techniques — Fejos was clearly a voracious and discerning filmgoer — at the same time it embraces the latest technology. Although completed as a silent and briefly released as one, “Lonesome” was recalled and refitted with three dialogue sequences, in addition to an unusually dense synchronized music and sound effects track.