A epic film of the sheer depths that humanity can sink to, Greed feels more at home in the 1970s or modern day than it does back in the early 20s. With wonderful acting all around, and some of the best directing I've seen from the era. If this is what's left, I can't imagine what we lost
This is one gritty and powerful film. Erich von Stroheim paints a stark portrait of human nature as money is dangled right in front of these desperate characters who pant for it like dogs. The ending is one of the most beautiful and tragic scenes ever committed to celluloid. A shattered masterpiece that should be restored for the big screen.
The story is not as important as the way the film is made. My favourite scene: the marriage scene in the apartment, while the camera captures a funeral procession on the street. That one brilliant sequence captures the entire film. There are many other less prominant sequences. Cats and birds are equally important.
My paternal grandma is a hoarding serpent, a treasure dragon who'll likely starve herself to atrophy or slip and break a bone while walking miles for infinitesimally cheaper napkins on a winter day. Taking up philosophy at uni was partly in deep opposition to old penny pincher's squabbly, squeaky, monstrously hilarious vice. A MUBI chum urged me to rewatch Van Sant's Gerry. The time is now: Greed's epilogue commands.
Cinema is the only art where people are as obsessed, if not more so, about the unfinished result than the finished one. They want the Legend, not the Truth. The Romantic past over the present. They want a 8 Hour epic of unknown quality rather than the compact 2:15 masterpiece that is in front of them. Von Stroheim has made one of the greatest and most modern silent films, whose influence still continues to spread.