Sunday, August 10, 2008

Light and Shadows

You’ve heard the expression “pure cinema”? Well, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer(known for his 1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc), defines the term. Vampyr (1932, Criterion, $40.00, 73 minutes) an early cinematic tale of the supernatural, is as surreal as it is scary, and it sustains an unbelievably pervasive mood of dread, with Dreyer’s absolutely distinct camera work, his incomparable use of light and shadows, combining it all with the moodiest of soundtracks and the director’s extensive use of long takes and amateur players. Light and shadows, it’s as simple and pure and unforgettable as that. And truly as powerful.

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