the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: american generic

Posted by rigorousm on January 19, 2011

To Europeans, what epitomized American life was movement. Compared to themselves—encrusted with traditions, weighted down by forms, customs, habits, procedures; measured, lugubrious, drained of life—American motion, and therefore American motion pictures, possessed an enchanting, irresistible allure. “There were long sequences of action—without a single dull passage—portraying sensational abductions,” Phillip Soupault wrote of the early postwar American movies in France; “there were the pictures of Douglas Fairbanks, of Rio Jim, and of Tom Mix; there were complicated stories ending in the robbing of banks, in violent deaths, in discoveries of gold mines… Doors open and close; bronzed men, strong men, terribly refined or terribly frivolous women come and go with happiness or unhappiness in their hands.” Americans had physical genius; they held the secret of action, and Europeans went to American movies to learn the secret.
America in the Movies

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