Analysis Of Fritz Lang 's Film Essay

1298 Words Apr 23rd, 2015 null Page
Not often does a decision made by a director due to lack of funds create an end result that critics will continue discussing for nearly a century. However German director Fritz Lang, made such a decision for his 1931 film, M. Partly due to monetary constraints, and partly due to feelings that his own artistic vision would be compromised by including sound in his piece, the end result was a film with roughly a third in total silence. No film, as of yet, quite encapsulates the deafening power of silence like M. Lang uses sound, and lack thereof, to elicit emotional responses from the audience and amplify suspense. Through these techniques, Lang creates a piece that not only works as a thrilling crime drama, but also shines a light on the total depravity of humanity. Fritz Lang, a formerly silent film director, created a non-silent piece that Tom Gunning describes as “turn[ing] like a hinge between Lang’s silent cinema and sound cinema.” (Gunning, 164) The lack of music is what keeps it from becoming the quintessential blend between silent and sound cinema. On the surface, it may seem to embody both styles perfectly. However, the hallmarks of a typical silent film included accompaniment by an orchestra, intertitles conveying relatively trace amounts of dialogue in terms of a typical movie, and excessive acting to fill in the lapses in spoken conversation. While Peter Lorre’s somewhat over the top and larger-than-life portrayal of Hans Beckert is reminiscent of silent film…

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