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Our Daily Bread #7

An essay on dissolves: for time and movement, for juxtaposition and abstraction.
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.

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