Film and Family

Ep. 78 - Movie Club: City Girl (1930)

June 14, 2022 Anna Thalman
Show Notes Transcript

Hey, welcome to the podcast. All right, you guys this time, we're going to get it. So. We actually recorded this podcast episode already. And funny story, we were driving home from a shoot. And we decided to record it in the car because we hadn't had time to record a podcast yet last week we tested the audio and I thought it sounded okay. Yeah, it sounded fine. And we, our air conditioning is not working in our van right now. So we. We're literally like dripping in sweat. With our windows up so we could record this and not have it be too noisy. And. Then we got in and I looked at the file and it was. It sounded really bad. And I usually use the service that can transcribe stuff and it couldn't transcribe it. And so we're going to record this again and it'll be even better this time. Hopefully. Yeah, it'll be great. It'll be quicker at least. So, Quick updates before we jump into this movie club episode, which we'll get into that. Right now, I mean, in terms of updates for us, we are. Still not that it locked on the AR feature. Which, although we should have a colored trailer very soon. Yeah. Trailer be done. Maybe this week, Anna is leaving me on my lonesome I think that was like, ATM's. Idioms there. She's leaving me alone. She's going to a business conference, and, it's in California and I am going to be alone. So we might be able to have that up and running. Finally, and then. That's been a long time. Things are slow. When you're kind of pushing post. Alone with no budget, but the, the film itself, I think, has experienced some major renovations and. It's it's kind of cool. I actually am. I'm. I was just doing a watch through tonight and I feel like. It's looking pretty good. Hmm. I'm surprised. I thought. That some of the changes we were making were going to. We, I thought the beginning was working really great. And I thought that we were going to, like, we were adding stuff into the middle and kind of just shuffling around things overall. We shortened it. I thought it would become. I don't know, disproportional. Disproportionate. And, maybe lag a little bit before we get into some things. Maybe it does, but I think it stays really interesting. I don't know. You don't have to see it. You were gone. So yeah. Well, I mean, More V's equals more cues. So what we say, so we just keep making more and more versions equals higher quality is the idea. And it's true. I think we're doing a lot of rewriting and posts and learning a lot. And. It's coming together. Nicely. It's been really interesting and we've learned a lot. And one of the things that we've learned we've applied, which is, it doesn't hurt to over-prepare and pre production. And so we've been doing, a much shorter form thing. That's going to be. Totally finished and out and living and breathing. A lot sooner than our feature will be, unfortunately. But, we're doing a, sort of a tourism ad for our city. which we were hired to do. And, that was all sorts of interesting twists and turns. I think we've mentioned it on the podcast, but one of the interesting twists was that Anna ended up acting in it, which was like not originally planned, but it turned out to be like super fun and interesting. I mean, And it's not a career actress. To date. And, that that has been a great experience and we really over-prepared on that one. It was like the antithesis of what we did on the feature, which was like, We, we didn't do a lot of script drafts, even though we did a few overhauls, but we did it. I did a lot of storyboarding and scouting and just a lot more prep than I usually do because I'm, I'm very dark centric. Often. And so we did, we really worked on this one and, we had a good team of people. That's not really a big deal. Yeah. So the shooting of it was just a joy. Totally. A joy. And it was fun and it came together and it felt really big. And. We just sent a really well, I wouldn't say really rough, but. It was kind of a first draft of the edit. With it's like temp, color and sound. To the client. She was thrilled. S D yeah. The clients really, really, really excited. So. That always feels good. But, yeah, that was an interesting one. I don't know if we'll share it on a. If it's relevant to share on the, somewhere. Yeah. Maybe not email or something. Maybe not this episode, but I would encourage you guys to. Analyze your shoots as you do them, because if you are shooting short form content or more regular stuff, It's always good when we have a really bad shoot. I like to sit down and say, okay. What did we learn? What worked, what didn't work and what are we going to do differently? It's like a post-mortem that they do in like Hollywood and stuff, which are kind of scary sounding to me. But it's also great on a shoot that works really well. And that's what we've been doing, which was unexpectedly. Extremely enjoyable. And so we kind of have been going through and saying, okay, why did this work so well? Why did it feel so good? You know, a lot of that had to do with the team and the preparation and. And so we're just learning what we do want to keep doing. Yeah, from that. I really safe environment on set is like to die for. And a really unsafe environment on set will kill you. So. Yeah. Anyway. Lots to learn and finding those people is like gold. It's like worth. Each one person that you're like, okay, I found someone who can DP or I found someone who's like a good PA, even like, After that I like to work with. We're always so excited. Find one. One more person. I love working with. Oh, this is great. Like finally, like it's, it's hard, it's hard to find. And maybe we're just really hard to work with. But I think that I think a lot of great filmmakers. I'm not necessarily throwing myself into that club. Maybe one day. Someone else will, but,, I think a lot of great filmmakers have expressed that. So I say, great filmmakers. Because it makes me feel better about myself, that it's okay. If it's hard to find those people, it doesn't mean you're terrible. It just, I think it's just normal. It's like, well, it's good to come friends. It's hard to sometimes in school, you know, It's good to find those people, I think before you get super successful, too, because once you're super successful, It's I don't know. Yeah, you don't really know why people want to work with you and we're not super successful yet, but even the fact that we've made a feature, sometimes people. They are interested in working with us. It's surprising how much legs that gives you, like in terms of career, like yeah, I think feature filmmaking does actually make a difference. Does it equal? Yeah. And our feature's not even out yet. Like our first feature. So it's, it's surprising to me how many people are like, I dunno. They respond well to the trailer. And we showed it to them and they respond well to. Just con con conversations about it. Nothing wrong with that. It's just good to see. Does that friendship ender. And that collaboration still work in rough circumstances. Like when the rubber hits the road. Yeah. Can this person still have a great attitude. Yeah. And the, and that, that goes to show for me, like the value of short form filmmaking. Yeah. Like I think I've really, we do, we pound the value of feature filmmaking on this podcast, in our program and our emails. It's really like the whole thesis of this feature filmmaker academy, obviously. But. But that does not mean that there's not great value in short form. All right. I think it's great. It's it's really good way to hone skills. Take bigger risks because there's less risk in some ways. Also get to know people and collaborate, especially locally, which has been a big deal for us because we up and moved after film school, which was, there are definitely some cons to that decision. Mostly being, it was hard to find people to work with because we moved to a place where we didn't know. Anybody. So, short form has been really, really valuable, but also shooting a feature in our hometown was also valuable for that. We've met lots of people on both of those projects. So anyway, those are some updates from us long update. Sorry. Well, should we jump into the movie club episode? Let's go ahead and do it. And hopefully it works this time. Yeah. So movie club, for those of you who aren't familiar is a series where we pick a movie every month to watch together and discuss on the podcast. And so. We're going to discuss it. We'd like to encourage you guys to discuss it with, friends and family, whoever you watch it with, or, you know, send us an email and join in the discussion with us personally. We love. We love to talk about films that we love. And this month's film is called city girl it's. It was made in 1930 by Murnau. FW Murnau. And he is a legend. He's awesome. Well, and if you like. Any filmmaker. That's ever worked. but no, like, you know, Spielberg. Joe Wright. Shalane. I'm trying to think of people like. Tarantino. Like I'm all these people I think were influenced by FWM or now. Well, yeah, he kind of started. A huge movement. He was from Germany and he kind of started. The first sort of German expressionism was coming from his influence and he moved the camera a lot more and he was really like, Innovative and. And did things that people had never done before. So in the context of the time period, it's really incredible. And there were other people who pushed camera movement in France and in America, United States. But. Ma'am or now is better at it. I feel like he was just like, when I watched films from like the twenties and thirties. There are people doing it, but he was really, really good at it. And I think he had a heavy influence on the vocabulary of film, movement of camera movement. I mean, that we take for granted now. I think he was laying a lot of groundwork. So when you watch it, it feels way ahead of its time. I think in. City girl is not so much as sparse on, tarot cards. As other silent films. Of the era. But when he made the last laugh, for example, that movie was. I don't know if it had any one. Like at the very title card. I don't remember where I just remember. Them saying there was one. One title card. Yeah, I can't remember. I've watched it years ago, but it's truly remarkable. It's told totally visually. so, you know, he's a master visual storyteller. He knows how to. Tell a story without. Needing tons of dialogues. So that's. It's really. It's really great. And, and so we watched that film. You can watch it on YouTube for free and it's right there. It's really easy to just search for it. And we'll probably have some. Spoilers obviously in this episode, but it shouldn't be hard if it's taking you. Nearly a hundred years to get around to watching it. I mean, you can't blame us for spoiling it. So. Yeah, so. Basic premise, I'll try and do better. The last time we did this episode, it was trashed. I went on way too long. So a young man goes to sell his father's wheat in the city and meets a young lady who is waiting tables. She is the city girl, the titular character. And he needs to sell the wheat for a certain price. He sells it for two low and in the mean time falls in love with this waitress and they. Super, you know, shotgun wedding. They show up home for their honeymoon. Sort of like. What it seems like to me is that they like get married, get on the train, go straight home. And the mother is very welcoming, but the father is upset that the wheat sold for too low. And he's also really suspicious of this girl who was written home about before they arrived. And believes that she is probably just trying to get something out of his son. And she has ulterior motives and he's really, really rough with her. And so that puts a huge Shazam in the relationship instantly in their marriage, which had like just started. And they pretty much like were already sleeping in separate rooms before they even had a chance to sleep in the same room. And so they, the big reason being is that he won't stand up to his father. And so you end up with that. That's kind of what kicks off the whole drama. And the film really becomes about not just for winning the father's approval, improving her worth, but also kind of standing up for herself and, A lot of the hired help starts to kind of put pressure on her and flirt with her. The hard help on. This young man's father's farm. And, anyway, so there's, there, there kind of starts to become somewhat of a love triangle, but it's not like a traditional love triangle. In the, like, I don't know. It's a little more dubious than like the typical like, oh, which one should I choose? It's not like, she's like, Between two guys. The other guy, but it just looks like she's with the other guy and her husband has two. Believe that she actually wants to be faithful to him. And yeah. And so it's like they don't know each other very well yet. So there's a lot of themes of trust. I know the Anna, you talked about trust alarm and we watched this and, so yeah. We will. Get more into it, I guess, but that's the basic setup and general idea of a film. Yeah. So today we want to just talk about some of our favorite questions to ask about movies. After we watched them, it's like, okay, what is the theme? What do you think the artist was trying to say with this movie? And it helps if we can back that up by some elements of the filmmaking and the craft. We like to talk about emotional moments, why they work. what we would steal from this filmmaker, what we loved about his approach. And even just takeaways from the film itself, whether that be artistic. Aircraft related or just life takeaways. And the mission of these episodes is really twofold. It's to jump into great movies, right? And we want to share great movies that we've launched. With the most value we got from film school, I think was just being exposed to movies like this, and sort of like getting a crack in the cement of film history. And we can kind of experience that crack because we know where to go now. Like, We've watched one Murnau film. I think, I think I watched one more now. And film school, but now I can dig more in to other films, you know? And the other reason, the other mission of these episodes is to model. A. Eastern model a type of conversation that we can have. Any of any of us, right? After watching films or engaging with media is a big thing for us. And we really feel like media illiterate people make bad media. And so we really need to learn to question. The ethics and morality of our media and our films, but also just like, not just like. Put them on the hot seat, but also just derive as much meaning and value out of them to enrich our lives and experience the most joy that we can. Sometimes we watch the films and we just kind of consume them upon our lists and spit them out. Sometimes we, we consume greatness and we, we don't show it. Five minutes. Too fast, you know, it's like we choose so fast and then, you know, Netflix or whatever streaming service says. Okay. Quick play. The next thing binge. The next episode. So anyway. So what do you think Anna was one of the big themes that stuck out to you? What are some of the messages that you're deriving from this story and the experience watching the film? So I know I talked about trust the first time we recorded this. But I've also thought about appearances. I think it's interesting that, First impressions are often how we judge other people. And decide whether or not we can trust them. Or what we think of them. And in this film, the main character Lem, who said his name? Yeah. Lam meets Kate and is immediately smitten with her. Which is sort of a first impression, but a positive one. And then he brings her home and his father is immediately prejudiced against her. And again, it's sort of this by her appearances, like, oh, she's like too pretty. And she's the city girl. And why would she be with my son? Unless she has ulterior motives. And so there's a belief that she genuinely would want to come live in the country. Right. Most scenarios would not want to, but we establish early on. And by we, I mean, FW Murnau. I'm taking credit for this one. He establishes really early on. This, Desire that she has to kind of get away from the city. She's I think she's kind of. Done being a little bachelorette living alone in the country. That's like right next to the tracks that are super loud and like this hot sweaty kitchen where she works her butt off and kind of isn't liked by her boss and everything. It's like, she's kind of like, Romanticized the country and this. This young man seems like an escape for her. And so she's actually really genuine. We, we, we know that, but the father really doesn't obviously. Yeah. And I think that maybe a theme to take away is just the dangers of. Judging someone based on their appearance basically is it's the first thing you learn about someone. And I love that theme because I feel like how somebody looks is the least interesting thing about them. It's. Good friend of ours said that. Yeah. And I love that. So it's true. I mean, it's good. It's good to, you know, date or marry people that you're attracted to, but. There is so much more beyond that surface level skin deep. Well, First impression and you know what else is like? That was something we've all seen is that a lot of filmmakers cast actors that they're attracted to. Yeah. And it's like, there's a lot more to an actor than that. I mean, there's their skill. Which is huge, but then there's also like how good are they to work with? Which is maybe even more huge. And then there's also just like the ineffable, how. Much do they just embody the character and some of the greatest directors of all time have cast non-actors with really no acting skills other than what they just sort of come with naturally being comfortable. In certain situations or with certain teams or people or directors. And, you know, I guess my point is, is that that's like all the stuff that's under the water, but the tip of the iceberg is like you said, What they look like, and if we're choosing who we work with and who we live with, And anything with, based on how they look. Or who we fight with, even because of like our assumptions about them. It causes problems and a lot of contention that could be otherwise. Avoided. And that is something that definitely happens in this film. Yeah. So I think that's an interesting, yeah. Applying it to film. No, it does apply nicely to film. I think. So what are some elements of the craft? Sort of. Backup. Your interpretation, I guess. And there's L. There's filmic elements like editing, cinematography, directing acting, and then there's just like narrative. Evidence of your theme, which it always comes down to script in my opinion, but. How do you feel like they drove home? These ideas, at least when you watched it. Well, I guess the reason I think. That was a theme is because of the way the characters responded to each other. But you can tell a lot about a character when you're writing, you know, How other people treat that character tells you a lot about who that person is. And. Right. When this guy comes into the diner. There's the city girl, whose name is Kate and her other coworkers. And they're kind of looking at him out the window out the little. Over the counter kind of. You can tell they're interested in him upon first looks and. It seems like. Same thing with her. Most of the guys are interested in her just by looking at her. Wow. But they were also kind of interested in him. He's like handsome, but they were also just like, wow, this kid is like kind of funny. Yeah, because he's like super from the farm. Like he's definitely. He's going to get the. Country fried. A hash brown. I don't remember what it was either, but they all called it out and he, like, it was exactly what he got. And, and I think that she finds that really cute. And I think some of everyone else might kind of roll their eyes a little bit. I liked the character moments though when they weren't with each other, you know, when she's in her apartment and she has this little bird in a birdcage. Oh boy, bird. She has a little. Plant in the window. A pathetic potted plant that she's trying to keep alive. It's like this dream of the country that she has in many foreman. In her bedroom of life in general, like there's no life, it's all like sterile and like concrete. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if there's much more I can think of, but those are. Well, it is like, there's not a lot of communication. And I think that was one of the big themes I kind of identified was just this, like, you know, it's interesting cause it is a silent film, but there's a lot of like talking, you don't hear. Sometimes you can even read lips a little bit. And I think it's intentional. And I feel like. Like there was a lot that they could have sorted out if they were just like slow down and like, Talk it out. But so often I think it's actually somewhat realistic that we don't talk about what we're feeling or what we're thinking. And we kind of don't feel comfortable expressing ourselves, or we feel like we shouldn't have to express ourselves. And I think there was a lot of that in this film. And I think that by today's standards that might seem melodramatic. And yet I actually think it happens all the time. And like, Every kind of relationship. I think we do very similar things. Sometimes even worse and less believable than what we see in this film. I think. Like there's, you know, We just expect everyone to know exactly what we think they should do. And. We don't feel the need. To tell them how we're feeling. We just think they should already know what they should do. Yeah, I sort of human nature, you know? And so I think there's a lot of that here. Like where they just don't, they're not talking it out. They're not explaining themselves very clearly. And it really is communication that saves the day in the end, like her letter, that she writes to him and she runs off and he kind of has to open his heart and come clean. And the dad has to kind of. His actions, I think make him repentant and, Well, and he has to stand up to this. It has to say, come clean with his son and confess and repent. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. But there's this communication that has to happen because. We talked about him, not standing up lamb, not standing up for Kate, with his father. Which really wasn't like go fight his father about it. It was just tell him what he's feeling. And once they could do that wholeheartedly with each other. They understood each other. And that relationship was healed and all of the relationships were healed through communication. For something that. They jumped into very quickly okay, well, what, what moment was most emotional for you and why? I think I'm still the two biggest emotional moments for me were when they're running to his farm house. In love, just married, about to meet his family. And there's just these wonderful. Wonderful score with this incredible camera move. That just kind of runs through, across, over the wheat field with them as they tumble through it. The acting there, I think is interesting because I think nowadays we would struggle with that. As actors and as audiences, but these two actors just sell it. They just sell it right through the roof. They just kill it. And it's so romantic and it's so playful and I, I dunno, there's just something kind of. It just works. Great. And then the end, the very end, the father. Threatens these men who have all decided to leave his farm. And they're supposed to be, inclement weather. That's gonna destroy his wheat. And so they have to, they need to go harvest the wheat all that night and, sort of, an up yours to the old man. They decided not to do that. And I'm mainly at the, Encouragement from one of the guys who's really interested in the girl and he's trying to do it to impress her and show that he will stand up to this old man. Even if his son, her husband won't. And so, they're all leaving. And the father says the first man leaves the farm. I'm going to shoot. And so Lam goes to run after his bride who was just left. And he beats up the one guy and riding on this team of horses on this wagon, but he's so far away that all his father can see is this lamp that's on the. Wagon and he's going to go shoot him. He takes the shotgun off of the mantle piece. I don't know if it was a shotgun or a rifle. And. And shoots him and. I really thought he was going to kill his son. I really thought that's where the story was going. And I think they really sold it and it was really climactic. I thought that was all earned and sold. Well, yeah. And I think it was interesting. I thought even afterwards, like, oh, are they like too scared to end the movie sad? Like would have been more like thought provoking if they would've actually had him hit his son and the Andy just shoots the lamp. And, Honestly looking back, I'm like, no, I don't think, I think that would have just been sad for sadness's sake. Like just for like, I think it would've been the punky thing to do, which back then. You know, nowadays, even when you have a lot of money on the line, that would be riskier. It's hard to know. Cause I don't think there would have been much point in doing that. I think it was, would have been like, oh yeah, don't be mean to your son. When he brings home a new bride, did he just met. It's like. I don't know a good theme, I guess, but this one, I think has more to you. I think there's more to gain and glean from it the way they did it. That, you know, he has to repent and kind of realize you get that sense that he could, he did go too far and that he let his anger take him all the way to this extreme of. Kind of losing his mind. And that was, I think one of the big themes for me in the film was control. I think about this a lot, but it's this father who's trying to control his son. It's the son who has to kind of take responsibility for his own life and grow up a little bit. And, he has to take responsibility for the relationships that matter the most. And he has to realize that this new variety is. A more important relationship. Than that of his parents. And it's time for him to kind of leave his father and his mother and Cleveland was wife and they become one flesh and their own thing. And he kind of says, we're going to strike out on our own. And we're going to go now, dad, like we're going to leave and it took him awhile to kind of. Do that. And I think that's the real arc of Lim. Is that he, he needs to learn. Enough self-respect. And, realize that he's an adult and it's in that in some ways it's a coming of age story, a coming of age story that happens after marriage, which is really interesting. I think, you know, it's this. I don't believe that in real life, many of us come to age, I think nowadays coming to age, it's like, we tell these narratives like, oh, you know, when you're 15 or 16 and like you go try drugs and have sex. And. You know, that's coming of age and I'm like, well, first of all, that's not everyone's experience. And second of all, that doesn't actually make you mature. Right. I actually think that marriage and parenthood. This. Film doesn't really explore parenthood from that perspective, but it devs from his adult son and. This older man. I think. That is a coming of age experience, for sure like that actually I think brings more. Kind of forces you to grow up and take a maturity upon yourself. Having a child is like, We've watched many of our friends. Go through that change. And there aren't always shifts, significantly changes the work that they do, you know, actors, the way that they act and the way that they approach their roles. It's like a visible shift when. You become a parent. It's hard to explain why. And it's not always necessarily like, oh, you're better or worse than everyone brings really interesting, unique things. Even people who aren't parents or aren't married. Two rolls, but I have noticed that. There's a shift that happens. It's just, it's just inevitable that as a person, your emotionality and your depth. Not just your access to your emotions and an actor, but even just your skills. I think. You're it just makes you really, really aware of like humanness. Because these babies are just like the most impulsive people in the planet. And also because it makes you into a baby. And so I think it just makes you really aware of like that. Maybe lower brain animals, side of humanity, but also like that sacrificial higher brain side of humanity at the same time. Like you get more familiar with both which as an actor and as a storyteller, I think, and as a writer and as a director, you know, like that. That always is like, I think really informative. Anyway, but my point is, I guess, with this most emotional moment at the end, I think there was just a lot to learn and I think they chose the right story decisions. At least it works for me. I think there's a lot to learn there. Hm. Yeah. I guess if I was going to follow that up with like craft and how they did that. I think that obviously a lot of the camera movement really added to the craft because he didn't use a ton of camera movement, even though he's like known for it. But at the end it was just this really thrilling tracking shot of him, like racing on this team of horses and. And the light and, and cinematography and everything, even just pulling the gun off the mantle, which is like checkoffs gun. Right. If there's a gun on the mantle piece, right. It has to go off and act three. it's a, it's a very Hitchcockian, well, that's another person who was there definitely influenced by Morneau. It's a very Hitchcockian. Shot when he's hand close up crabs, this rifle off of the mantle. It all heightens that I think it makes it a really emotional and, and I guess in terms of theme, Backing up these themes of like maturity. I don't know, this might sound kind of theoretical, but there's this great shot where he finally catches up with Kate. And he says, I'll take you to the train station. He's not going to try and say like, no, you're coming back with me. Kind of a thing. There's like this respectfulness and they're riding together on the wagon. And the camera. Does this incredible move, where it goes over the horses and it kind of tracks. I mean, it's moving along with them as they're moving through space. But then it also tracks across the two of them. So it kind of moves from I think her side of the wagon to his side. And there's this sort of, this. Feeling of a turning moment. You know, this, this feeling of like, I don't know everything's shifting and how he's shifting his priorities and her heart is turning and, and. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I think it feels intentional. Like that shot would have been too hard to execute for me nowadays with all of our really luxurious commodities that make it so easy. To do things like that. It would have been a difficult shot to get now. Yeah. And how they did it. Is astonishing. I think like, The complexity of getting that shot in meaning it would have been too hard for it not to have been intentional. I don't think they were just showing off the camera move. It felt very. Emotionally well-placed and important, to the way that this person was articulating their. Feelings and thoughts. And so, yeah. Anyway. Some craft there that kind of stuck out to me. On a very, very minute level. Yeah, there are definitely some powerful moments in this film and. We first actually saw that scene where they run home. after they're married through the field in film school, we had a professor Dean Duncan. Who showed us that scene and. You know, I forgotten a lot of things that I saw and learned in film school, but that one really stuck with me and was really emotional for me. And. I feel like it's kind of magical. I still don't really know how they got that camera move to me. It looks like. I don't know a cable cam or something, but it's just cable cams. We've snapped back then. That's why it's magical. I don't know how they did it, but it was probably just a huge crane on a big Dolly. But. It's floating over the wheat and, but it's so well executed. It's, it's kind of amazing. It is. It is amazing. And. And they're just running with this. The acting also in this film is incredible. And. I feel like these actors are so expressive. Get. Over the whatever. 1820 frames per second. Look. Of the 1930s get over it. Get over the silent title card stuff. We really need to grow up. If you're going to be a filmmaker, I think you need to kind of grow up and get over like oldness. And if you think that like movies made in the eighties are old, like. There's almost a century of tradition. Even before those, you know, and so We'll take how much they're saying, without saying a word. Yeah. And look at the acting like if you don't think it's good acting, then you might need to like reconsider what your judgment standards are of acting like. Because I really do. I think that people look at and they go, oh, the eye shadow is really dark and the frames per second, it makes everything look like a little bit fast motion. And it makes me think that it's all kind of hokey and yet. I don't think there are actors nowadays with this, with this particular set of skills and talents that people like these actors in this Murnau film, Chaplin and Buster, Keaton and others, they just don't exist. Actors with the. I don't know if I would say they don't exist, but it is incredible to watch. They're amazing in other ways. And there's all sorts of great actors. And I think the medium has progressed. I'm not going to say that there was a golden age and that will never be as good as that. But their skillset was different. It was a different set of skills for a different. Not a different medium. It was the same medium, but the medium was different. It was. It was an earlier version of it. Yeah. And it was silent, which makes you have to. Kind of act differently, but the craftsmanship is still just, I think it's astonishing and it's so emotionally true. Like, yeah, it's it really is. It's. Relate to it. It's not like we ran across a field after we got married or anything. And run across the parking lot and you dropped. And give you rubbed burn on your face the day before we were going to take pictures of ourselves. Yeah. Maybe that was the closest we got to. It didn't quite feel as wonderful. They also fell, but it was a wheat field. So it probably felt better. Ours probably felt the same until now. Very moment pavement. It was about three seconds after I caught you. And then we had titles. Pictures the next day. It was while we were engaged. Maybe that's why we liked that scene so much. Maybe. Because we're like, oh yeah. That's how it feels. You're just like living out the fantasy that we'd never wild and crazy. We'll be finished. Just in a different way. And falling and tragic ending, but then they stand up and they brush off and they're like, he's brushing her off and she's brushing him off. And they're trying to be like, oh, we have to be presentable now. I mean future. I guess the in-laws. Relatable anyway. But anyway. Yeah. So what. What would you steal or what was your biggest takeaway? Just to wrap this up on the one hand we all talking about more now because of his camera movement. But I would probably try and steal a couple of things. one. Is actually how reserved the camera is in comparison to a lot of today's cinema, where everything is constantly moving in, whether it's handheld or pushing or pulling on tracking on a Dolly. Or. Floating on him. Crazy steady camera rig or whatever. the movements that he chose were really precise and exact and particular. There's all sorts of filmmaking and all sorts of reasons for different approaches and, you know, like Malik moves the camera almost incessantly. But that's for different reasons. It's not because it looks neat. It does look really cool though. but like when he does it, at least not always. And, but I don't know with, with Murnau, I just kinda like, it was like, you know, what if. I was just more careful. About it. The other thing I think I would really pull from is just how simple the story is. The story is so simple. And it really, there's not much to it, you know, it's like they meet, they get married, they show up, there's like a disagreement, some other guys show up and there's these characters that it all seems so simple, but I think. Writing a story that simple takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of, it takes a lot of discipline to be like, okay, I could take it all these places, but how do I just keep the whole story at home? And keep it at home and keep it about this family and keep it about this. And yet still make it like melodrama. I mean, like I don't, I'm not a total fan of melodrama. This was pretty powerful. I don't even know if it fits my definition. And it's not my definition. I guess the definition that I hold or agree with subscribed to of melodrama. which is that the characters are morally polarized. I don't know if these characters are all more morally polarized. some of them are, I mean, the good guys are pretty good. The one bad guy, who's kind of a jerk is pretty unredeemable, but the dad is pretty nuanced character. I mean. He's interesting, in my opinion. Yeah. I just think it's drama. I don't think it's, it's dramatic, it's dramatic and all the good ways, in my opinion. And so, But it's simple. It just, you just, the simplest option is often the best. And I definitely struggle with this. I w I would love to be able to tell stories that simple. And that emotional at the same time. Well, and we watch it and it's simple, but I bet it wasn't simple. I bet you know, it's that simplicity on the other side of a complexity, once you. You know, start with a simple story, but then you have to dive into what are the themes and how do we show it and go through all of that to bring it back to a simple place again. That's a difficult thing to do with this story. I do feel like that simplicity might not have come from. Oh, I came up with this idea and then it got super complicated. And then I had to kind of whittle it down to something simple again, and it kind of like resolved. I don't know if that's really how it happened. I think that what it is that someone. I should look up names here, but I apologize. I don't know them. The writer of this particular film, I'm guessing. We're writers. I don't know. Had a grip on the craft. Enough to this point. And this might've even been a script that was adapt to that. I shouldn't, we should really, I should really have looked at us up, but, Regardless, you know, no matter what the movie is, I think that some films are simple because. There's a. I often think of the word craft and I think of people like Ozu. Or. Certain transcendental style artists who basically put really strong limitations on them. Which actually makes things harder for them. Not easier. But those limitations forced them into like a simplicity. That makes their voice a little stronger. I think a little clear. And more precise. It keeps them from wandering off, not in like, not that like. Digressive news can't be productive, but like, it keeps them from wandering off, into just forbidden paths where we start to indulge in our sort of creative fantasies and sort of do whatever we want and kind of. Make gremlins too, or something stupid, you know, it's like, eh, we, we, we are really, hopefully I didn't offend anyone there. we are really, Kind of locked into something tighter. And I feel like this story was very, like, we just begin in the city, we go home and we just stay there. And we play out the drama with a small cast of characters. On this farm and yet it feels really thrilling and it's not a thriller per se, but there's moments that, you know, are almost Hitchcockian. Like I said, So, when I think of craft, I think of that simplicity. And it sometimes comes from just a ton of work, you know, like simplifying at the end of the day. But I think sometimes it also just comes from. Self-imposed limitations and. That's I think the thing that I want to learn how to do is just say, look, I'm going to tell the story. And I'm just, I know I would love to do all these symbols and all these crazy lighting and do all these crazy camera moves or do all, whatever I want and just say. No, I'm just going to like, Go hard on the limitations and just be a craftsman. You know, And hold myself so hard to these rules that are arbitrary. Right there. There's no truth or better, or worseness about these rules. It's just. The obedience to the rules. That kind of gives. It's such as voice. Yeah. You know what I mean? And I feel like with this, the script was a very disciplined script. It was so simple. And I think that was, that takes a lot of discipline. Yeah, that's so interesting. I've been thinking a lot about things that feel like constraints. But actually open up. The world. It's hard to explain, but it's just this expansiveness and how I feel like most things that are expansive. Feel like they. Are constrained. Maybe this is too complex or they begin with. The constraint and then that kind of leads to an expansive. Yeah. I mean, I think about it in like geometric terms. Like if you have a small circle inside of a large circle, it makes sense that you would think that the larger circle is the more. It's like broad. So it seems like it would be more expansive because it covers more ground. But if you grow that bigger circle, the circle that's smaller and more central and core. On the inside, it doesn't move. Like it doesn't change size. But if you find something that is constrained and small, but it's like at the center of everything. And you expand that. Then everything else expands with it. Maybe again, this is probably like over, I dunno, complicating this podcast episode, but. I'm trying to understand. I think I get it. I just feel like in a lot of things like with our religion or marriage or film, What seems like a limitation or constraint is actually something that once you can learn to work within. Expands your capacity to do everything else. Whether that's your capacity to love or to tell stories or be resourceful or, yeah. And I think that, at the same time, it's that idea of like focusing on like the very, very, very few things that are most important. And then that expansion naturally happens. Like, cause you've like, When you say that? I imagine like the center. Circle being like, there's a big circle. That's like all sorts of interesting, good things. But then there's that center one. That's just like very few of the most important things. And you hone in on that little circle, which is a constraint to hone in on a strength. Right. Yeah. You're like, okay. I'm just, I'm not going to. You know, I'm not like set this thing apart, you know, sort of like focus hard on the most important. And, and then all that other stuff sort of is like, It is. Referenced and added on to it. You. Yeah. Yeah, it's natural, but that all ends up being a part of a good, true story because good, true stories sometimes feel. Transcendent in the sense that they almost encompass everything. Like it's like, wow, you could get almost anything and everything from this experience because it's so. Pure and. Resonant resonant is a good word, I think, because it just kind of. Just kind of ripples through. You know, all the way through the being you're being, you know, like, and, and all the way through like the entire human experience. I, and there's films like that for each of us, I think where we watch it, we go, this film is like scripture. It's like everything, you know, it's so good. And I feel like I can learn something new every time I watch it, because it's. So true. Yeah. Yeah, it hits something that's just right in and they've. Whatever it was, they, they honed in on it and it was. Really focused on what that thing is, you know? Well, and life is too complicated in my mind is too complicated. I need those limitations. I need to be able to like, just say, look, I know it's so hard not to want to talk about other things and explore other stuff that I could explore. And I've just got to like really hone in on like, just this one idea and really. It's gotta be something that I, you know, it's a big part of myself. And then just the way I'm going to do it, you know, even like from a craft perspective, like I'm only gonna use these kinds of shots or I'm gonna put these arbitrary color limitations or whatever, you know, like, And just say like, this is the craft, this is how I'm going to approach this. And then you just force yourself to do it. And, it lets everything kind of like. You know, it gives it a. You know, you can't have a resonant note unless the pitch is perfect. There's the pitches all over the place. There's no resonance, you know, if it's wandering. So it has to hone in on very specific. Yeah, well, and speaking of constraints, I feel like. One of my big takeaways from this film that it inspires me to constrain more in my work is, just visual story telling without dialogue. And I love dialogue. I love people and I could just sit and listen to people, talk to each other or. You know, talking head interviews. And I love that kind of thing. But it could be a crutch if I, you know, not everyone loves it as much as I do, or as, as fascinated by human behavior, as they're talking. And I think. Because in silent cinema, you had to create a title card. Every time someone said a line. You're forced to be very thoughtful about what those lines are and when to use them, they have to be fast. Kind of retracts from the story. And so every time you do that, you're compromising a little bit. In a lot of ways, modern advertising is like silent cinema because we have like copywriters who have to make like title cards and stuff that. They're all fancy and fonted, and it's almost like this. Regression. And it's this sort of interesting thing. Anyway, I'm just thinking like social media now, but whatever. Silence cinema. Sometimes nowadays we just put captions at the bottom instead of title cards, but all ones. A lot of ads I've even made have had like, sort of like a title card ish. Like this is. Text image. And this is like an image all by itself, you know? You have to kind of balance the two. Yeah. Well, but it makes me just want to, from an acting perspective, You know, cut all the dialogue and say, could I play the scene completely silent and communicate everything? That's written down. Without the words. And same thing as a director, I think. You know, could I say this in a different way? Could I say this? Without directly saying it. I don't know, it just makes me want to play with that more. Just really interesting. And he does that very well. So, check it out. It's on YouTube and I could link to it in the show notes. The YouTube looks like it's like two hours long, but it's actually 90 minutes and they replayed the beginning. At the end for some reason, but it's just, just start it and you'll know when it's over. And it was very obvious. And then if nothing else just watch them like run across the field, watch that one shot. What's the whole thing. But, yeah. 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