Celluloid : the film to-day (1931)

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X PREFACE Perhaps it will carry further the aim of The Last Laugh —the creation of a film so perfect in visual continuity that titles or speech are unnecessary. At any rate, whatever the merits of Tabu, made in the open air (Murnau was essentially a studio-minded director), it is my sincere hope that the artist in Murnau will live for many years in revivals of his major works. Lupu Pick, less known in England, is memorable for his pioneer work in the gradual transition of the German film from studio-theatricalism and macabre themes to the more naturalistic methods suggested by von Gerlach's Vanina. A good director, he appealed principally to the public as an actor, especially in the small but exquisitely played part of the Japanese minister in Lang's The Spy. Of his films, which included The Rail, The Last Cab, Ibsen's Wild Duc\, New Years Eve and the British-made A Knight in London, only the last three were to my knowledge shown in England, each being noted for its slow, measured development of plot and character. The brilliant musical scores written by Edmund Meisel for Berlin, Battleship " Potemfyn," The Ten Days that Shoo\ the World and The Blue Express are known in London through the enterprise of the Film Society. It is generally acknowledged that they greatly strengthened the appeal of these already violent pieces of technique. That Meisel should be denied recogni- tion in the future of the sound cinema, which he had largely foreseen in his expressionist " visual " music, is not to be countenanced. As will be observed at a later stage in this survey, Meisel's experimental sound-music