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The Art of the Moving Picture

Especially as Viewed from the Heights of the Civic Centre at Denver, Colorado, and the Denver Art Museum, Which Is to Be a Leading Feature of This Civic CentreIn the second chapter of book two, on page 8, the theoretical outline begins, with a discussion of the Photoplay of Action. I put there on record the first crude commercial films that in any way establish the principle. There can never be but one first of anything, and if the negatives of these films survive the shrinking and the warping that comes with time, they will still be, in a certain sense, classic, and ten years hence or two years hence will still be better remembered than any films of the current releases, which come on like newspapers, and as George Ade says: -"Nothing is so dead as yesterday's newspaper." But the first newspapers, and the first imprints of Addison's Spectator, and the first Almanacs of Benjamin Franklin, and the first broadside ballads and the like, are ever collected and remembered. And the lists of films given in books two and three of this work are the only critical and carefully sorted lists of the early motion pictures that I happen to know anything about. I hope to be corrected if I am too boastful, but I boast that my lists must be referred to by all those who desire to study these experiments in their beginnings. So I let them remain, as still vivid in the memory of all true lovers of the photoplay who have watched its growth, fascinated from the first. But I would add to the list of Action Films of chapter two the recent popular example, Douglas Fairbanks in The Three Musketeers. That is perhaps the most literal "Chase-Picture" that was ever really successful in the commercial world. The story is cut to one episode. The whole task of the four famous swordsmen of Dumas is to get the Queen's token that is in the hands of Buckingham in England, and return with it to Paris in time for the great ball. It is one long race with the Cardinal's guards who are at last left behind. It is the same plot as Reynard the Fox, John Masefield's poem-Reynard successfully eluding the huntsmen and the dogs. If that poem is ever put on in an Art Museum film, it will have to be staged like one of Æsop's Fables, with a man acting the Fox, for the children's delight. And I earnestly urge all who would understand the deeper significance of the "chase-picture" or the "Action Picture" to give more thought to Masefield's poem than to Fairbanks' marvellous acting in the school of the younger Salvini. The Mood of the intimate photoplay, chapter three, still remains indicated in the current films by the acting of Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford, when they are not roused up by their directors to turn handsprings to keep the people staring. Mary Pickford in particular has been stimulated to be over-athletic, and in all her career she has been given just one chance to be her more delicate self, and that was in the almost forgotten film: -A Romance of the Redwoods. This is one of the serious commercial attempts that should be revived and studied, in spite of its crudities of plot, by our Art Museums. There is something of the grandeur of the redwoods in it, in contrast to the sustained Botticelli grace of "Our Mary."
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Art of the Moving Picture
  • Author: Vachel Lindsay
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • ISBN: 9798656555289
  • Length: 0.31 inch
  • Width: 5.98 inch
  • Languages: English
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Film Theory
  • Publication Date: 24/06/2020
  • Pages: 144
  • Height: 9.02 inch
  • Weight: 0.44 pound

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