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Birth of the Blockbuster

Ever since we saw Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor, we've been investigating where exactly Hollywood went so wrong. Turns out the turning point was in 1927, when studio head William Fox invited German expressionist filmmaker F. W. Murnau to make an art film with a studio budget. The result, Sunrise, is a heady psychological thriller that played with audiences' minds and tricked their eyes with innovative camera movement. Although it won the first Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production, Sunrise was a commercial flop for Fox, which recognized pay dirt was in generic blockbusters.

See the infamous silent film, which heavily influenced Citizen Kane, this Sunday at 3:45 p.m. at Ciné-Club 24, a film salon tucked away on the second floor of a ballet studio. Sunrise will screen after Hollywood Mavericks, a documentary about cutting-edge directors up against the Hollywood machine, and is followed by Confidential Report, a deep cut from Orson Welles's oeuvre.
Sun., June 13, 3:45 p.m., 2010

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