INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN (Robert J. Flaherty, 1931)

Robert J. Flaherty’s visual ironies contradict the propagandistic aims of Industrial Britain, a documentary paean to British labor of various kinds, from “the coal fields of England, Scotland and Wales” to British steel, which “is used to build bridges, dams and power stations across half the world.” The confident, borderline bombastic narrator’s passing mention of […]

TABU (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1931)

World-traveling U.S. documentarian Robert J. Flaherty and German filmmaker F. W. Murnau, transplanted to Hollywood, partnered in the late 1920s to escape studio interference. Their first project would be Tabu, but Murnau took over the direction, although both kept working on the script throughout the film’s production. Murnau died one week before the film’s premiere. […]