Easily one of my favorite films of all time. So entertaining, yet so intertwined with artistic themes and craftsmanship. Definitely landed its spot in the history books.
On par, if not above par, with some of the greatest silent pictures ever presented on the silver screen. Battleship Potemkin, The General, etc. all gracefully complete with this masterpiece to gain the grand prize as becoming the most important silent film of all time. But what's so special about Sunrise that it even competes in that category? Murnau's amazing direction, the impact it played on films to come, and the amazing narrative.
Murnau was one of the best directors to come out of the silent era and still have a lasting career even after the invention of sound. Emerging from the horror genre with the very popular Nosferatu, and the lesser-known The Last Laugh, he cemented his career with the horror genre. The way he moves the camera, positions actors, and frames shots are all so perfectly done. In one scene in Sunrise, the camera lingers into a crowded area and while moving reveals more and more about the environment.
The impact the film left on cinema still brings up discussion. It was the first film to use sound effects, like thunder. It featured music that was synchronized with instruments played in the film, and it was basically the first best picture winner ever.
Narratives often play a key role in a film with little to no dialogue, a silent film. Sunrise's narrative blends artistic themes of self-reflection, with more mainstream plots like a typical romance story. Although combining two partial polar opposites, the film works on so many levels and carries great entertainment value.
Overall, F.W. Murnau's Sunrise stands as a great film, one of my all-time favorites, and one of the greatest films of all time.
Time Stamp: January 6, 2020