16TH-CENTURY RUSSIAN WEDDING (Vasili Goncharov, 1909)

It could be that this film is an historical anecdote, the portrait of a wedding, preceded by related domestic ritual, from three to four hundred years earlier. Still, Vasili Mikhailovich Goncharov’s film is so distressing as to suggest something more. Goncharov would be the first director of a feature film from Russia, Defense of Sevastopol […]

MERRY-GO-ROUND (Erich von Stroheim, Rupert Julian, 1923)

Irving Thalberg was Erich von Stroheim’s nemesis; he decimated Stroheim’s work first at one Hollywood studio and then at another. Thalberg, in my opinion, did not die young enough.      Fate, equipped with gleeful abandon, determines the merry-go-round of life. Disparate status and power, including victimization and sadistic cruelty; romance and also unrequited love: everything falls […]