Movie reviews for movies released theatrically in 1924.
1. The Last Laugh, directed by F.W. Murnau (10/10)
The best film of the first half of the decade. Seriously. The story is compelling enough. And by leaving out the dialogue, he can focus more on the visuals, which are fantastic for the day. There are some neat effects and some great shots. Also, the sets are very good. The ending is saved by the fact that he admits it’s phony. An absolute classic.
2. The Navigator, directed by Donald Crisp, Buster Keaton (9/10)
The brief comment I wrote about this was in relation to Chaplin’s The Kid, so it wasn’t really about this movie.
3. Die Niebelungen: Siegfried (1924), directed by Fritz Lang (9/10)
Anyone who suggests that you should watch D.W. Griffith to get a sense of the “silent epic” should really, really watch Lang’s massive two-part epic, which is far more interesting on all accounts than anything I’ve seen that Griffith made (before or after sound hit the movies).
1. “Ballet mecanique,” directed by Fernard Leger and Dudley Murphy (10/10)
A really interesting avant garde short that stretches the possibilities of the medium at the time.
2. “Sovietskie igrushki,” directed by Dziga Vertov (9/10)
A really interesting use of animation, though the symbology is as far from subtle as possible. A great little propaganda flick.
3-6. “The Unreal News Reel” 1-4, directed by George Summerville (6/10)
I watched these as part of an anthology of early American radical cinema. Unfortunately I did not record my thoughts at the time, and so I can only attempt to stand by the rating.