And Yet More Competition: Walsh and Tourneur
Friday, December 18, 2009, 1:30 p.m.
Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
Includes the following films:
The Blue Bird
1918. USA. Directed by Maurice Tourneur. Based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck. Settings designed by Ben Carre. With Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall. Tourneur and designer Carre’s fantastic vision anticipated the alternate reality of the following year’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Silent. Approx. 65 min.
1915. USA. Directed by Raoul Walsh. With Rockcliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Sheer. An early and realistic gangster film shot on the streets of Walsh’s hometown, New York City, which he would later romanticize in films like The Bowery and Strawberry Blonde. Silent. Approx. 60 min.
Politics aside, Raoul Walsh (1887–1980) was not entirely unlike the rakish, swashbuckling John Wilkes Booth, whom he portrayed in The Birth of a Nation. His half-century as a director produced many cinematic milestones, if few genuine masterpieces. Maurice Tourneur (1876–1961) brought with him from France a sense of Gallic, Méliès-ian whimsy and a distinctive visual style that probably influenced his protégé Josef von Sternberg. Politically, he was suspect, first sitting out World War I in America and, after returning to France in the 1920s, running the Vichy film industry during World War II.
In the Film exhibition An Auteurist History of Film
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