Visually Exceptional Films, B&W 4:3
898 8.1 8.21. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
72 7.4 7.92. The Cameraman's Revenge (1912)
Early stop-motion animation with insects. Creepy and great, and very well made.
112 7.8 6.93. L'Inferno (1911)
Being a very early feature lenght film, L'Inferno has very little moving camera, actually just a few pans and that's all. But what makes this such a visually striking work are the amazing sets and visions of hell. Now I just can't imagine hell as anything different than a place with wide open spaces, rivers and lakes and rocky terrain. And of course purgatory with grassy fields and trees. Oh, and nearly everyone is naked.
34 7.1 7.24. Suspense (1913)
77 6.9 6.55. Cabiria (1914)
Two things stand out in this one: the impressive large sets and the before its time camerawork. The sets actually remind me a lot of H.R. Giger's later work. This must also be one of the earliest films with moving camera that doesn't follow any action. The camera just moves to add visual interest.
6 7 6.76. The Mysterious X (1914)
33 7.6 6.47. After Death (1915)
294 7.9 88. Intolerance (1916)
Birth of a Nation is of course the more famous movie in terms of camerawork from Griffith, and while the tracking shots are indeed impressive I still hold Intolerance in far greater value as it's far more impressive movie in every way. There's one especially impressive visual moment with a crane shot in a huge set.
32 8.8 6.59. The Dying Swan (1917)
39 8.2 6.710. The Blue Bird (1918)
27 8.3 6.811. I Accuse (1919)
925 8.2 8.112. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
32 8.3 6.813. Warning Shadows (1923)
A film without a single intertitle. Warning shadows is the english title of this film which may sound an odd name before seeing the film. And indeed, there are a lot of shadows in this film which makes a very unique visual style. One of the most impressive achievements of german expressionism on film for sure.
242 8.2 814. The Last Laugh (1924)
85 8.3 7.915. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)
51 8 7.816. Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (1924)
33 8.4 7.817. Faces of Children (1925)
172 8 7.718. Strike (1925)
Eisenstein's debut film is a hugely innovative and energetic. The most striking aspect are of course the super fast cuts and the so called montage that many Russian directors used from this point forward. In addition to the fast cuts, the photography is very unique as well. If I had to select a film that most brings the feeling of energy and innovativeness of its director to the audience, it might well be this one.
702 8.1 819. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
24 8.1 7.720. By the Law (1926)
314 8.3 821. Faust (1926)
83 8.2 8.122. Flesh and the Devil (1926)
92 8.3 7.723. A Page of Madness (1926)
61 8.2 7.924. Ménilmontant (1926)
This is one of the greatest masterpieces of editing. There's all kinds of cuts starting from the brutal ax murder that starts the film to a peaceful and emotional scene later in the movie at a park. The story itself isn't all that special melodrama but the way it is told makes it an absolute masterpiece.
145 7.9 7.825. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
Not really a B&W film as the beautiful tinting is essential to viewing experience. Called the first feature lenght animating, this film is amazingly original in its style of animation. The film is made with silhuet characters with very artistic silhuette backgrounds. The animation itself also features some clever effects. For example in one scene flying monsters in the backround are blurred.
41 8.4 7.626. The End of St. Petersburg (1927)
19 9.3 7.527. The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927)
Pabst's most impressive film at least when it comes to camerawork. Lots of moving and use of hand-held camera. However, the most impressive moment in the film is a scene in which a character anticipating to get payed for his work a large sum of money, imagines the moment and panthomimes the act of counting them. All this is done with very fast cuts between his hands and the frantic expression on his face.
1559 8.3 8.428. Metropolis (1927)
488 8.6 8.429. Sunrise (1927)
47 7.7 7.430. Arsenal (1929)
41 8.2 831. Lonesome (1928)
12 9 6.732. Maldone (1928)
166 8.3 7.833. The Man Who Laughs (1928)
24 8.3 7.934. L'argent (1928)
146 8.2 7.535. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
This is one of the greatest films that uses images to create mood. There is for example one scene in which a person plays a guitar and between the shots of guitar we see shots of nature. These images are used to create a dark and mysterious mood. There's also some great use of hand-held camera.
548 8.8 8.336. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
77 8.2 7.437. Storm Over Asia (1928)
39 8.2 7.638. Street Angel (1928)
17 8.6 7.139. Four Sons (1928)
44 8.6 740. The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928)
38 7.2 7.341. Rain (1929)
998 7.8 7.942. An Andalusian Dog (1929)
28 7.8 7.643. Asphalt (1929)
436 8.5 8.444. Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
29 6.7 7.545. The New Babylon (1929)
31 7 7.446. Applause (1929)
20 6.2 7.347. Au bonheur des dames (1930)
481 7.8 8.148. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
137 7.8 7.549. Earth (1930)
56 7.9 7.450. Limite (1931)
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