Download PDF by Denis Gifford: A Pictorial History of Horror Movies

By Denis Gifford

ISBN-10: 0600369269

ISBN-13: 9780600369264

Difficult hide e-book, complete review of the horror motion picture style. totally illustrated with nice images.

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Unforgettable is the scene in which she is driven by the man diagonally to screen left and then rolled to the bottom front of the screen by force of a fence which has cued the direction of the action all along. Indeed, the vamp's final exit from the village drops her diagonally away from us to the upper left-hand corner of the screen, leaving the glistening lake restored [31]. Murnau emphasizes the defeat of the diagonal when the shot following her exit displays the crossed bodies of the reunited couple [15].

Robin Wood4 catalogues many of these: the still lifes of wooden bowls and bread on a table that is raked a la Van Gogh [9]; the second honeymoon voyage in which the vertical moonstreak and small sailboat on the dark lake recall paintings of the Brucke group; the scene of the search for the lost wife with its frontal image of bobbing lanterns, suggesting impressionism [17]; the inserts of the village itself [10], seen always mistily or at night with the steeple and full moon prominent above the clustered houses, which draw on a frequent topos in late nineteenth-century painting.

Indeed, the film as a whole has been seen as a conflict between expressionism and naturalism, Germany and America. As in any fable, the story proceeds between two distinctly segregated poles: the vamp and the wife, the city and the country, land and water, night and morning. While the alternation of these elements produces a dramatic energy which is intensified by sequences of conflicting pictorial styles, the same energy can also be released within a single shot through the use of diagonal compositions, to which I now turn.

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A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford


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