Cultural theory and Documentary film

Vertov again
August 24, 2009, 14:34
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I thought I had embedded the Vertov clip from YouTube here. But I hadn´t so here it is. I really like this version with the music from the Alloy orchestra, the movie is edited in a way, that it  still feels very modern and the footage from the time is interesting. Our course literature has several articles that dwells upon this movie and it´s supposed objective to acccomplish a “international cinematic language”.
As it is, one could state that the Hollywood drama movie has moved to a level of international movie language, as it´s format is understood and imitated all around the world. Several TV-formats are also spread around the world and made over and culturally adapted by television companies for their home markets. Formats are being used from everywhere in the world in the TV-companies constant chase for new entertainment that could sell advertising time. The latest import from the “Otherness” were the japanese gameshows that have been widely both adapted and shown in their original format with contestants from home markets.
Or should we say, as the old Hollywood actors said in a earlier post I wrote, that the international language of silent movies was for ever lost with the introduction of sound movies. As sound is very much less understood over boundaries. Had they really, as they claim, come to develop a internationally understood pantomime?
Well, let´s see if I manage to introduce the clip here, you´ll have to go to YouTube for the 8 other clips that makes up the whole movie.

    Update 2011-01-13
    It seems like all versions with the excellent soundtrack with the Alloy orchestra is drawn from the net, so the link was not working, now I found the clips with orchestration by Cinmematic Orchestra, which has to do…

    Update 2011-01-13
    Found an interesting comparison of DVD:s with the film here:


Speaking up for the silent movie
July 24, 2009, 14:14
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Without knowing if this is a commissioned material, you can still look at it so long it is presented on the tube. It is a presentation of the early days of Hollywood production and the silent movie. I think the old actors defense for the silent movie is a wonderful attitude, “we spoke a language understood in the whole world”, “had the highest niveau of pantomime” etcetera…

A important reminder is, because we are mostly going around with a inadequate opinion on how this films were shown to audiencies. They didn´t see bleached out films with strange flitter and other damages to the pictures and jerky movements. They could see the total greyscale of the original copy of the nitrate film, and what is more they could, sometimes, hear a live orchestra doing the soundtrack, it is something very much more vivid and enthralling with a the sound of live instruments rather than a often bleak electronic representation.

The first part makes this clear showing a maybe restored filmclip and telling about the grand theatres in New York.

Amazing music
July 22, 2009, 22:35
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Much efforts for every film is made for their music/sound scores. In the days of silent film the accompanying music could be anything from nothing at all to a full scale orchestra depending on how fancy movietheatre you were visiting. Today were are all used to the intricate music/sound building of modern hifi techniques often in five channels if not more.

But to return to the silent era there was lot of standard solutions in the business. When restoring old silent movies they are tuned up with a totally new music score. Now I found out that there is a orchestra specialized on making music to silent film. They made a fascinating score to the “Man with a moviecamera” film by Voritov, which I will return to soon. In the meantime I would like to direct traffic to the website of “The Alloy Orchestra”, they seem to be on tour most part of year to screenings and filmfestivals of silent movies. Which doesn´t surprise me,  since they really do have a sense for making music for silent film. When I first saw Voritovs movie I thought it was some sort of of a larger orchestra that had made the music, but it turned out to be only three gifted members in the group using modern musical devices for making the musicscore sound nearly as a full set symphony orchestra.