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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans Single Film Study

jclarke | Wednesday May 29, 2019

Categories: Film Library, A Level, EDUQAS A Level, Component 2 Global Filmmaking Perspectives, Section C (Film Movements Silent Cinema), Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, American, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Directors, F.W. Murnau, Silent Era, Genres & Case Studies, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Silent

YouTube link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCgbFay53BA

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There’s an idea (elegantly expressed by the novelist Italo Calvino) that’s worth engaging with and returning to quite often in relation to the films that we study at A Level and it’s this: that a classic is a story that has not yet finished with what it has to say to an audience. The film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is one such film ‘classic’. Indeed, it is a silent film that’s sometimes discussed in relation to two other films that were contemporaneous with it: The Wind and The Crowd.

Sunrise, then, is a major Hollywood studio production of the late-silent period. As an aside, so alluring is the film’s visual style that it even informs one of the shots in the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

Like all art and media formats, cinema is always in a state of evolution and this is an exciting process to witness, to explore and to seek to understand. Understanding the present is always enriched by examining the past and, so, taking the opportunity to engage with silent cinema is a vital part of our work in studying Certainly, Sunrise is one example of many notable films that have transcended its original moment of release to become something of a landmark in film history. Film, and an understanding its traditions, can offer us with stories that examine the complexities of human relationships with each other and the world around us. Stories remind us of the nuances and infinite complexity of what motivates thoughts and actions. To more fully understand a film, which is what we are required to do within Film Studies, we need to establish some sense of the era in which it was produced.

As you will have...

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