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Regen (short; Joris Ivens & Manus Franken, 1929)
Beautiful evocation of a city through still shots and high angles, the 1929 experimental documentary Rain is impressive on the basis of its camerawork and tricky angling alone. Tracing the narrative of an Amsterdam rainstorm, Ivens and Franken find beautiful ways to capture small “events” such as rain falling on different textures, and so on – and by extension manage to capture a very impressive slice-of-life specific to a city and, with hindsight, a specific time in (film) history. One could argue that both Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent (1940) and Johnnie To’s Sparrow (2008) — among others, most certainly — would later reference the specific “sea of umbrella” imagery from this early film.

Regen (short; Joris Ivens & Manus Franken, 1929)

Beautiful evocation of a city through still shots and high angles, the 1929 experimental documentary Rain is impressive on the basis of its camerawork and tricky angling alone. Tracing the narrative of an Amsterdam rainstorm, Ivens and Franken find beautiful ways to capture small “events” such as rain falling on different textures, and so on – and by extension manage to capture a very impressive slice-of-life specific to a city and, with hindsight, a specific time in (film) history. One could argue that both Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent (1940) and Johnnie To’s Sparrow (2008) — among others, most certainly — would later reference the specific “sea of umbrella” imagery from this early film.

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