Daily Archives: November 5, 2005

Journey Into Night

F.W. Murnau, one of the giants of silent cinema, directed this 1920 German melodrama about a love triangle involving an eye surgeon, his wife, and a blind man (Conrad Veidt). It’s Murnau’s sixth feature but the earliest to survive; I’ve seen it only in incomplete form, but I can still report that it prefigures Nosferatu (1922) in many ways. 70 min. (JR) Read more

Kings Of The Sky

Chicagoan Deborah Stratman, who specializes in experimental documentaries, spent four months with tightrope walker Adil Hoxurcited in the Guinness Book of World Records and the latest descendant of a family of tightrope performers over many centuriesas he and his troupe toured Chinese Turkestan and performed nightly in small villages. Among his biggest fans are fellow Uygurs, a Turkic Muslim people seeking religious and political autonomy. Stratman emphasizes the everyday over the exotic, a consistently fresh and personal way of relating to the material; she trusts viewers to make many of the right connections but never comes across as esoteric. Her sense of rhythm in this digital video, particularly evident in the way she edits and lingers over certain kinds of movement, is especially impressive. 68 min. (JR) Read more