A Night of Terror (1937)

Talking while Leaving Theater

When I heard that 3D would be going mainstream a few years ago, I hoped for a revolution in what we think films are. I believe we are seeing some radical rethinking, because with 3D and CGI, we get a less encumbered camera, one whose normal stance is eye height of a human ghost, anchored to the Earth.

In other comments, I have noted how this evolution is developing, even in the safest blockbusters. This by itself is a more fundamental shift in our world than nearly everything because it changes how we dream and love. But I was hoping for something more fluid in what realities we see, like ‘Birdman,’ but for film, not stage.

The film world had a similar period where new technology challenged us to devise a new narrative vocabulary. For better or worse, our present stories evolved in the great experimental period from, say 1929 to 1941 (Citizen Kane). So rattling around in that period, one sees a much greater variety than we have today. Some of the experimental models stuck around for another ten.

Many of these are like this film — a play designed to only engage in the last few moments. This is a bit hard for modern viewers to watch, because there is the barest work to engage. We only have enough (enough for the period) to keep us in our seats. Simple events and a bit of chummy humour.

All the engineering goes into the end, where our growing threat is reversed by our smart woman.

Posted in 2015

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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