Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

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Mr Sausage
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Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#1 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:20 pm

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, July 9th.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#2 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:21 pm

Our discussion this week is the winner of our most recent 1920's List thread. Much thanks to swo17 for putting that together, as always.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#3 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:12 pm

Ah, my fifth most favorite Murnau film... ;-)

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Roscoe
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#4 Post by Roscoe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:23 am

SUNRISE is a film I've always struggled with -- for all the brilliance of the production, it just falls apart for me when the whole Country Mice In The Big City schtick gets going. Murnau's better with anxiety murder guilt etc. than with tender love stories, his comedy is tastier without the sugar.

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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#5 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:03 am

The over-the-top (and belonging to an even earlier cinematic era) wicked City Woman bothers me even more than the attempts at humor and cuteness in the country mice in the city portion of the film.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:35 pm

Wow. I guess I can understand the criticisms because on paper, when you break down the basic building blocks of the plot, it doesn't seem that promising, but that's not how it plays out at all. I think John Bailey was spot-on in describing the narrative as "elemental" - none of the characters even have names, just basic descriptions, and that alone says a lot. There's a calculated, minimalist approach in the way the plot and the characters have been sketched out in script form, but then there's pretty much the polar opposite approach in how this material is presented on screen. The result absolutely feels like the apotheosis of cinematic art to me - the brilliance is all that you see up there, and not what's been written down or what could be read off a page.

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Lost Highway
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#7 Post by Lost Highway » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:18 pm

Anybody not moved during the reconciliation at the wedding needs to check their pulse.

I think it's one of the most visually astonishing films ever made. To see German expressionism done on a Hollywood budget is simply amazing and the movie is endlessly visually inventive. It makes sense to construct the design of the film around a relatively simple story about archetypes. There often is this countryside/small community=good, city=bad dichotomy and the movie appears to threaten that with The Woman From The City, so for me as a 100% city person it always was refreshing that the film ultimately celebrates city life.

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Roscoe
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Re: Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

#8 Post by Roscoe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:02 pm

Not so much my pulse that needs checking, more my tolerance for sugar. Sure, it's as archetypal as all get out, duly noted, the movie rubs its ARCHETYPOSITY in our faces with that simpering opening subtitle "A SONG OF TWO HUMANS" just to make sure that we Get It, and for all the prettiness and camerawork it's a pretty familiar little song with zero surprises and even less interest after the Wife survives the Man's murder attempt. There's so much less here than meets the eye, and it has to be said that a whole lot meets the eye (those sets and that camerawork are of course justly celebrated). If Murnau had made the characters as interesting as he made his sets and camera I might be more interested in it.

I've sometimes wondered whether it wasn't all a big joke on Hollywood Happy Endings, it's all just so outlandishly over the top, rather like the ending of THE LAST LAUGH.

Mileage varies.

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