F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise isn’t very far on the from the German director’s famed 1922 Nosferatu and hangs on your emotions as a dark film as well, despite its title, happy ending and moral lessons. A “woman from the city” convinces a “married village man” to drown his wife and move to the town with her. It doesn’t happen, the village couple gains back their love while on a whirlwind of a trip to the city. It’s the man’s violent ferocity in trying to strangle his seductress that blew away the happy ending for me.
Where Sunrise stands apart from its Nosferatu is in its visual extravaganza, one that I haven’t found in any other silent films. Constant camera movement, animated titles, sets, montage and some piece of superimposition that strikingly resembles a 2017 one of which I thought to be unique.
I’ve seen the film in a cine-concert format, powered by a super-professional duo of musicians called Diederdas. Hear me out, silent film is not dead!