Old Hollywood
Cinema
1900-1979

Nostalgia is a seductive liar - George Wildman Ball
Enrique Rivero in The Blood of a Poet (1930, dir. Jean Cocteau)

Enrique Rivero in The Blood of a Poet (1930, dir. Jean Cocteau)

Les Enfants Terribles (1950, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)

Les Enfants Terribles (1950, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)

Josette Day in Beauty and the Beast (1946, dir. Jean Cocteau)

Josette Day in Beauty and the Beast (1946, dir. Jean Cocteau)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, dir. Robert Wise)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, dir. Robert Wise)

Anouk Aimée in 8½ (1963, dir. Federico Fellini) 

Anouk Aimée in  (1963, dir. Federico Fellini) 

Spies (1928, dir. Fritz Lang)

Spies (1928, dir. Fritz Lang)

The Three Witches in Macbeth (1948, dir. Orson Welles)

The Three Witches in Macbeth (1948, dir. Orson Welles)

The latest in 1920’s astronaut style via Woman in the Moon (1929, Fritz Lang) 

The latest in 1920’s astronaut style via Woman in the Moon (1929, Fritz Lang) 

Peter Lorre in M (1931, dir. Fritz Lang) 
"My trouble is that I try to cover a part entirely. When you do there’s the danger that the patron will leave the theatre feeling that you are so perfectly suited to the character he has just seen that he can’t imagine you in any other part. Mothers with children ran from me in the street. Terrible letters came to me. Letters came from strange people; people who I never believed lived in the world; depraved and disturbed minds, thinking they saw in me the perfect companion, a fellow psychopathic. A success can be too great, I tell you."
-Lorre, on his role in M

Peter Lorre in M (1931, dir. Fritz Lang) 

"My trouble is that I try to cover a part entirely. When you do there’s the danger that the patron will leave the theatre feeling that you are so perfectly suited to the character he has just seen that he can’t imagine you in any other part. Mothers with children ran from me in the street. Terrible letters came to me. Letters came from strange people; people who I never believed lived in the world; depraved and disturbed minds, thinking they saw in me the perfect companion, a fellow psychopathic. A success can be too great, I tell you."

-Lorre, on his role in M

Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961, dir. Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins)

Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961, dir. Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins)

The  Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton, screenplay by Truman  Capote, based on Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw)

The Innocents (1961, dir. Jack Clayton, screenplay by Truman Capote, based on Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw)


L’Inferno (1911, dir. Giuseppe de Liguoro)
The hurricane of Hell in perpetual motion                                            
Sweeping the ravaged spirits as it rends, Twists, and torments them. Driven as if to land, They reach the ruin: groaning, tears, laments,
And cursing of the power of Heaven.     I learned They suffer here who sinned in carnal things— Their reason mastered by desire, suborned.
As winter starlings riding on their     wings Form crowded flocks, so spirits dip and veer Foundering in the wind’s rough buffetings,
Upward or downward, driven here and     there With never ease from pain nor hope of rest. As chanting cranes will form a line in air,
So I saw souls come uttering cries—wind-tossed, And lofted by the storm.
-Canto V, The Divine Comedy: Inferno

L’Inferno (1911, dir. Giuseppe de Liguoro)

The hurricane of Hell in perpetual motion                                            

Sweeping the ravaged spirits as it rends,
Twists, and torments them. Driven as if to land,
They reach the ruin: groaning, tears, laments,

And cursing of the power of Heaven. I learned
They suffer here who sinned in carnal things—
Their reason mastered by desire, suborned.

As winter starlings riding on their wings
Form crowded flocks, so spirits dip and veer
Foundering in the wind’s rough buffetings,

Upward or downward, driven here and there
With never ease from pain nor hope of rest.
As chanting cranes will form a line in air,

So I saw souls come uttering cries—wind-tossed,
And lofted by the storm.

-Canto V, The Divine Comedy: Inferno

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz  Lang)
On the creation of Robot Maria:
"The  concentric rings of light that surround her and move from top to bottom  were in fact a little ball of silver rapidly swung in a circle and  filmed on a background of black velvet. We superimposed those shots, in  the lab, over the shot of the robot in a sitting position that we had  filmed previously."
-Fritz Lang

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

On the creation of Robot Maria:

"The concentric rings of light that surround her and move from top to bottom were in fact a little ball of silver rapidly swung in a circle and filmed on a background of black velvet. We superimposed those shots, in the lab, over the shot of the robot in a sitting position that we had filmed previously."

-Fritz Lang

“Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry.”
-Carl Theodor Dreyer, Thoughts on My Craft
(Anna Karina in 1962’s Vivre Sa Vie watches Renee Maria Falconetti in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc)

“Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio than to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry.”

-Carl Theodor Dreyer, Thoughts on My Craft

(Anna Karina in 1962’s Vivre Sa Vie watches Renee Maria Falconetti in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc)