Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
For Nestor Almendros, Sunrise is 'a dialectical movie'. Similarly, for Tony Rayns, its 'meaning springs largely from [its] oppositions'. For Dorothy Jones, it 'communicate[s] by establishing significant contrasts'. While these critical views highlight the film's antitheses (a trope that Berman associates with modernity), they stress separation at the expense of continuity (or 'disunity' at the expense of 'unity'). Rather than embrace fixed divisions, Sunrise is a text marked by fluid boundaries - junctions that trace the subtle connection between entities rather than their clear demarcation. It is this complex mode of 'border crossing' (this world of 'Both/And' - not 'Either/Or' [Berman]) that makes the film so poignant, resonant, fascinating and modern.
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Allen and Gomery American amusement park Ansas artiﬁcial artists associated BFI Film Classics Blaue Reiter Blaue Reiter group boat Borzage Cabinet des Dr Caligari camera movement characters Charles Rosher Chico City Woman Colin MacCabe couple’s critical culture Desilets Diane director drama drowning early cinema Eisner Elsaesser European Everson Expressionist F.W. Murnau farm couple Fieschi ﬁgure ﬁlm’s ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnds ﬁrst ﬂapper ﬂowing Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau German Expressionism Gliese Herman Bing Higashi Hollywood Indra inﬂuence Janet Gaynor jazz Kandinsky Kandinsky’s Karl Struss Last Laugh Man’s marshes Mary Ann Doane Mayer melodrama metaphor mise en scene modernity Molly Haskell montage Motion Picture movie Movietone newsreel murder Murnau’s ﬁlm narrative Nosferatu O’Brien Petrie photography psychic quoted Roethel seems sense sequences Seventh Heaven sexual shot signiﬁcant Signiﬁcantly silent cinema silent ﬁlm Similarly studio sublime Sudermann’s story Sunrise theme trafﬁc trolley University urban vamp vamp’s wife Williams Wood York