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Cinema as Refuge: Frank Borzage and the Mystical Tradition / Alan, Bilton

Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume: 46, Issue: 1, Pages: 33 - 42

Swansea University Author: Alan, Bilton

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Abstract

The article explores the late silent films of American film-maker Frank Borzage via the prism of religious ritual and visionary experience, interpreting the strangeness, beauty and narrative waywardness of 7th Heaven (1927) and Street Angel (1928) in terms of a cinematic haven or sanctuary, what S....

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Published in: Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal
ISSN: 1548-9922
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa29291
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Abstract: The article explores the late silent films of American film-maker Frank Borzage via the prism of religious ritual and visionary experience, interpreting the strangeness, beauty and narrative waywardness of 7th Heaven (1927) and Street Angel (1928) in terms of a cinematic haven or sanctuary, what S. Brent Plate terms a "sacred canopy". Drawing upon the film writings of Siegfried Kracauer (1889-1966), the article explores the notion that the way to the metaphysical 'real' is via discarded matter and profane refuse. This draws upon a rich vein of religious experience - from freemasonry to Russian icons to medieval ecstatic visions -in order to conceive of the link between religion and film in a new manner.
Keywords: Borzage, Religion, Film, Freemasonry, Kracauer, Matter, Visions, Silent Film, Ritual, Sanctuary
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 33
End Page: 42