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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life & Works: Richard Wagner (1913) and The Dying Swan (1917)


Life & Works: Richard Wagner (1913)

The Life and Works of Richard Wagner, directed by Carl Froehlich (aka Carl Frohlich), was originally released on 20 November 1913.
An early silent film bio-pic.

1hr 21min 34sec

The Dying Swan (1917)

"Умирающий лебедь" (Umirayushchii lebed). Yevgeni Bauer, was the most important filmmaker of the early Russian cinema, who made about eighty silent films in 5 years before the Russian Revolution of 1917.

William M. Drew wrote:

In Umirdyushchi Lyebyed he uses the moving camera for a remarkable psychological effect, tracking back from the heroine sleeping restlessly on her bed during a storm as flashes of lightning plunge the image into alternating lightness and darkness. This shot then cuts to a dream sequence in which her own death is anticipated by her encounter with a spectral figure, and she is seen in a close shot being menaced by many outstretched human hands.

When Viktor meets Gizella one day beside the lake, he takes an interest in her and begins to call on her regularly. The one passion in the life of Gizella, who is unable to speak, is dancing. When Viktor deceives her and she finds him with another woman, she moves away and begins a career as a ballerina. Later, as she is on tour performing "The Dying Swan", the artist Glinskiy attends her performance. Glinskiy, whose own obsession is to depict death in his art, becomes fascinated by Gizella, and he is determined to use her as a model for a special project.
(Russian, English subtitles)

49min 01sec

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