Tag Archives: 1920s

Kenji Mizoguchi & Seiichi Ina – Asahi wa kagayaku AKA The Rising Sun is Shining [Reedited version] (1929)

Partially lost film. Exactly it is said only 1/4 are extant.

Original story is like the following (translated from the accompanying booklet):

After finishing university, Hayafusa (Eiji Nakano) and Kusaka (Hiroyoshi Murata) enter Osaka Asahi Shimbun Co. Akizuki (Heitarô Hirai), the president of some company, who is from the same province with them, does not pleased of their entrance because he dislikes newspaper, however, his daughter Asako (Ranko Sawa) prays their future successes. At the office of Shinzaki (Shin Minobe), that are located at the same building with Akizuki, dubious foreigners have frequented, Hayafusa and Kusaka can obtain Shinzaki’s encrypted telegram with the help of elevator operator Kurie (Takako Irie). When Aurora, steamship round the world meets with a disaster off the coast of Sumoto, they goes there as reporters. Read More »

Kenji Mizoguchi – Furusato no uta aka The Song of Home (1925)

From David Williams entry on Mizoguchi in World Film Directors:
The first of his pictures still extant, Furusato no uta (The Song of Home), is a studio assignment remote from Mizoguchi’s personal concerns, lauding traditional rural values over those of the wicked city, although it contains some montage experiments in the manner of Minoru Murata. The script by Ryunosuke Shimizu won a Ministry of Education award. Read More »

Man Ray – Le retour à la raison AKA Return to Reason (1923)

More a work in experimental Dadaism than a film, «Le Retour à la raison» was the first film to be made by the celebrated surrealist artist, Man Ray. The American-born artist made the film soon after he moved to Paris in the early 1920s to found the Dada movement.
The film is very short (three minutes in length) but includes some astonishing and evocative images. The early segments of the film iillustrates a technique which Man Ray pioneered in static photography, the rayograph (or photogramme). Here, an object is placed between a light source and photo-sensitive film, in contrast to traditional photography where photographic film captures light reflected off an object. Read More »

Man Ray – L’étoile de Mer AKA The Starfish (1928)

In the modernist high tide of l920s experimental filmmaking, L’ETOILE DE MER is a perverse moment of grace, a demonstration that the cinema went farther in its great silent decade than most filmmakers today could ever imagine. Surrealist photographer Man Ray’s film collides words with images (the intertitles are from an otherwise lost work by poet Robert Desnos’) to make us psychological witnesses, voyeurs of a kind, to a sexual encounter. A character picks up a woman who is selling newspapers. She undresses for him, but then he seems to leave her. Less interested in her than in the weight she uses to keep her newspapers from blowing away, the man lovingly explores the perceptions generated by her paperweight, a starfish in a glass tube. Read More »

Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy – Ballet Mécanique (1924)

Ballet Mécanique (1923–24) is a Dadaist post-Cubist art film conceived, written, and co-directed by the artist Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray).[1] The film premiered in a silent version on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik (International Exposition for New Theater Technique) in Vienna presented by Frederick Kiesler. It is considered one of the masterpieces of early experimental filmmaking. Read More »

Man Ray – Les mystères du château de Dé AKA The Mysteries of the Chateau de De (1929)

Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. A castle is perched on a hilltop. Below it, a posh, modern villa. Meanwhile, far from Paris, two men with masked faces play dice in a bar. They decide to drive to Paris. Country roads, hills, fences. The posh “chateau” appears again: meticulous garden, fancy interior, odd sculptures. And at home? “No one, NO ONE.” For the next two days, masked figures play dice, frolic by the pool, perform exercises with a ball. Two new figures arrive. Masked. They search and find the dice. They dance. Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. Read More »

Janus Sørensen – Grønlandsfilmen aka Elfelt’s Greenland film (1928)

A Danish documentary about Greenland. Filmed by Janus Sørensen for Elfelt Film. Peter Elfelt takes an important place in the history of Danish cinema as being probbly the first documentarist in Denmark and a great deal of his films are about Greenland.

Hard to find much info on this one. Janus Sørensen has filmed several greenlanders, hunters, ships, lots of nature, settlements, dogsleds, kayaks, camps etc.

No intertitles, no audio. Just a series of beautiful locations. The black/white looks amazing in the Greenlandic context. Read More »