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Commentaries on this Media!

Attractions in narrative films

by Kate Fortmueller

The Dying Swan is a melodrama about Gizella, a mute ballerina and a painter who wants to capture death. This is the first sequence where the painter sees Gizella. The dance in this sequence resembles many of the Edison films - a dancer on a plain stage in the center of the frame. This sequence is set apart from the narrative both in its color and composition. Just because films started to move toward narrative does not mean that the interest in attractions (such as dancers) disappeared.

The Dying Swan (1917) - The Performance of the Dying Swan

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In this sequence Gizella (Vera Karalli) performs the Dying Swan. The artist, Valeriy (Andrej Gromov) is in the audience for this performance.

from The Dying Swan (1917)
Creator: Yevgeni Bauer
Distributor: Milestone Films
Posted by Kate Fortmueller