F.W. Murnau, Sergei Eisenstein & More: My Films of the Week #33

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

After Death
dir. Evgeny Bauer
1915, Russia ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A poetic film about love after death by Evgeny Bauer, master of pre-montage era Russian cinema. A bit too slow and self-indulgent but visually rich and atmospherically dense.

 

Phantom
dir. F.W. Murnau
1922, Germany ⭐⭐⭐

A standard-level morality play slightly enriched by subtle expressionist techniques. It doesn’t quite hold up with the best of F.W. Murnau’s works.

 

The Fiancés of Mac Donald Bridge
dir. Agnès Varda
1961, France ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Charming slapstick comedy exploring the objectification of women in a simple, yet provocative way. Starring Jean-Luc Godard.

 

Death in the Garden
dir. Luis Bunuel
1956, Mexico/France ⭐⭐⭐

While exploring intriguing themes, including revolution and man against nature, Death in the Garden is rather dull and seemingly uninspired. Lacking the energy of other better Luis Bunuel works.

 

The Wayward Girl
dir. Edith Carlmar
1959, Norway ⭐⭐⭐

The disruption of woman’s sexuality explored within a rather dull tale of runaway lovers. Though the anti-noir nature of the film is conceptually intriguing, Edith Carlmar’s feature is certainly lacking in character.

 

Daguérreotypes
dir. Agnès Varda
1976, France ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Varda observes life on the street she has called her home for several years, particularly focusing on its shop and small business owners. Scenes of ordinary life intercut with sequences of a magic show. A charming representation of Varda’s idiosyncratic eye.

 

October (Ten Days That Shook the World)
dir. Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov
1927, Russia ⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the landmark Soviet montage features, commissioned for the 10th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution. While the narrative progression is frustratingly confusing, the energy of the film and the power of its imagery is undeniable and groundbreaking.

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