The soul of the moving picture (1924)

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80 The Soul of the Moving Picture ing of being exhausted. In a mimic and sensuous moving picture it does not suffice to portray a painted surface as a picture. Such scenery will do on the legitimate stage, but, in the motion picture, the symbolism of it fails to reach the heart. The decoration of the film must be plastic. Such a film can have only one meaning; it can be important in only one way: it is an experiment, and experiments are rarely useless. They may even be quite valuable; for to start out on a wrong road is not useless in itself, since we thereby learn that it is the wrong road. We learn that we are in a blind alley, that there is no use to try to go any farther, that any attempt at a new creation is beaten at the beginning, and can hope to end only in the most wretched of conditions — such as those find themselves committed to who have arrived late. Any achievement in the way of film scenery can have and be of enduring value then and only then when it serves as a stimulus to colleagues in other branches of the same art; it must leave some room for many minds. A film such as that of Dr. Caligari, which begins with irony and ends with resignation, can never be regarded as more than a curiosity. The Decla Company made another expressionistic film entitled Genuine, die Geschichte einer Blutsduferin (uThe Tale of a Vampyre"). It revealed the