Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Land Beyond The Sunset (1912)

Silent short movies tend to be funny and when they are dramatic the intention is to give to the audience in a short frame of time a story told in a way that explains many things abruptly, leaving us with the feeling of having tasted a good piece of candy or a sad sip of wormwood, that is why short films are very intense almost since their beginning. Preamble, plot and climax represent perhaps ten to twenty minutes, if so, of our 24 hour day, and either we like them or dislike them. Drama in shorts tend to be exaggerated to give to the audience the sense of fatality and we see this in many shorts from the silent era. Realistic yet brutally sincere, or laughable until reaching tears, silent short films bring up aspects of our emotions in the glance of an eye. The end of the stories are mostly predictable yet they are beautiful to see.

In this case, "The Land Beyond The Sunset" is a poem made short film. A poem that sadly can be applied to our world of now, a world where poverty increases even in places nobody would ever think of. The great thing of this short in my opinion is how it ends, for it doesn't. Something we don't see in our movies today. It is art, movies as an art, as an expression of art. It is a poem, it is more than that, a dream, a wish, a subtle emotion.

We don't see here the Dickens child, thriving to survive to have a plate of soup, but rather a child who, among poverty, thrives to survive for a piece of magic.

This is a tender story that many children and adults should watch, since we are used to not having to think much when we see movies, the end is told, and here things change.

I am happy to know that this movie was one of the five silent shorts that were seen at the University's School of Music yesterday. Not only this, but that students and faculty accompanied these films with music.

Land Beyond the Sunset, The (1912) by Lost_Shangri_La_Horizon

Wikipedia says that "The Land Beyond the Sunset is a 1912 short, silent drama film which tells the story of a young boy, oppressed by his grandmother, who goes on an outing in the country with a social welfare group. It stars Martin Fuller, Mrs. William Bechtel, Walter Edwin and Bigelow Cooper. The movie was written by Dorothy G. Shore and directed by Harold M. Shaw.
In 2000, The Land Beyond the Sunset was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is included on the DVD Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)."

Every child and adult with a child heart should see this silent short. If you like The Little Prince, then I am sure this short will tell you many things as well.

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