Monday, May 2, 2011

#331: Rose Hobart

1936, TSPDT Rank #953

This short film is a great idea in every way, and has immortalized its star and namesake more than her average films like East of Borneo would have on their own. Which brings us to the concept: the film is basically shots from the film East of Borneo (starring Rose Hobart and made a few years earlier in the decade) edited down to mainly erotic gazes and atmospheric shots. We don't know who the characters are, don't hear them speak, but we intercept their strong feelings and emotions (don't confuse with melodrama). I can tell, even without seeing the film, however, that this film works much better and presents the beautiful star much better than the source material did. How do I know this? Because if East of Borneo on its own emitted this type of energy and effect, then it would be a lot better known than it is today - and better known than Cornell's Rose Hobart because it would have been able to do what was potentially possible with the footage that it didn't do. Goes to show how powerful the art of editing and shot juxtaposition can be. It's not a surprise Salvador Dali kicked over the projector when he saw this because he had had the same concept in mind shortly before watching this film. A landmark of experimental film.

(Rating: 8/10)

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