13 June 2023
Oscar 1929 : Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Actress
Sunrise is a silent movie by FW Murnau filmed in 1927. The story is a simple one. A sophisticated city woman seduces a farmer and convinces him to murder his wife and join her in the city, but he ends up rekindling his romance with his wife when he changes his mind at the last moment. The film is now widely recognised as one of the greatest of the silent era. The largest set (at the time) was built to record city scenes. There were numerous panning shots - something not common at the time. There was also a number of long continuious takes - again something not common at the time. Many techniques were used to improve the feeling of a depth of field on set. for instance midgets were hired to walk in the background to make it look as if the set was larger that it actually was.
Of course choosing a black and white silent movie was going to be risky. So Simon prepared well and gave an excellent presentation of intresting facts about how the film was made. He had also prepared his own pate and crostini. On top of that he had carried two bottles of carefully selected Uzbekistan wine for us to sample.
It must be said that there were a number of people who nodded off during the film. However, we concluded that collectively the whole film had been viewed with at least one of us awake at any one time. The marking was complicated by the addition of quarter marks. Scoring extremely well with the presentation allowed Simon to take the lead in the season thus far by 0.25999%.