Our Daily Bread #7

An essay on dissolves: for time and movement, for juxtaposition and abstraction.
Neil Bahadur
Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas opens with a series of disguises, image overlays revealing to us Fantomas’ various personas.
Often used by silent filmmakers attempting to conjure the supernatural, they conjure the abstract instead:
“It’s a visual medium”–John Ford
“[Erich von] Stroheim asked me personally to take on the assignment (after the studio removed him from the film), and I did so without any protest on his part…”
– Josef von Sternberg
***
We move from dissolves to hard cuts:
Later in The Wedding March:
Counterpoints:
And beyond:
We call for help, mere seconds later our cries our answered:
 “We’ve got a trial ahead of us.”
Time is meaningless: there is no difference between past and present.
Impressionism becomes Expressionism:
But we keep being reborn:
Love exists:
Love unites us all, re-engages us with the world:
We cease being individuals:
And become a collective--
We become a crowd:
None of us are alone:
*** 
Sources:
  • Fantômas (Louis Feuillade, 1913)
  • India Matri Bhumi (Roberto Rossellini, 1959)
  • Pilgrimage (John Ford, 1933)
  • The Wind (Victor Sjostrom, 1928)
  • Wagon Master (John Ford, 1950)
  • The Blackout (Abel Ferrara, 1997)
  • New Rose Hotel (Abel Ferrara, 1998)
  • Shanghai Express (Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
  • The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim, 1928)
  • In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard, 2001)
  • Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)
  • Not Reconciled (Jean-Marie Straub, 1965)
  • 'R Xmas (Abel Ferrara, 2001)
  • Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926)
  • Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
  • Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2014)

Our Daily Bread is a column on not necessarily beautiful images, nor similar images, but images that when brought together interact in meaningful ways.

Tags

Our Daily BreadImagesLouis FeuilladeAbel FerraraRoberto RosselliniJohn FordVictor SjöströmJosef von SternbergErich von StroheimJean-Marie StraubF.W. Murnau
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