SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS (BY LOCATIONS, 2ND TRY) (1927, USA)
directed by: F.W. Murnau

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IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018455

Submitted by Yuri Tsivian on 2008-09-09

Yuri Tsivian's comment:
Shots categorized according to their locations: village, water, city. "Text" stands for the newspaper insert. By "prologue" I marked the "vacationing" montage at the beginning of the film: station, trains, unspecified people on a beach. Mental images, flashbacks and flash forwards which take us from location A to location B are counted as an A, not B locations. The passage from village to the water ride occurs when the dog has been taken back to the shore. The passage from the water to the town is marked after the wife leaves the boat.
Credits not counted. The end title with the sun rising counted as a shot.


Name:
title
text
city
water
village
prolog
Number of shots:
31
1
286
104
162
3
Length(min):
3.29
0.17
39.97
13.96
34.35
0.89
ASL(sec):
6.4
10.1
8.4
8.1
12.7
17.7
MSL 5 10.1 5.5 5.2 9 9.6
MSL/ASL
0.79
1
0.66
0.65
0.71
0.54
StDev 4.5 0 8.7 7.4 12.4 13.3
Min 1.9 10.1 0.6 0.8 1.4 7.1
Max 22.7 10.1 53.3 38.4 91.9 36.4
CV 0.71 0 1.04 0.92 0.98 0.75
Display?
Color            
Loading...

Step: Vertical resolution: Height:
Degree of the trendline: Moving average : Color code?


Users' comments:

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2008-09-09

My count was made using British The Masters of Cinema DVD version. A slight varience with Torey Liepa's (a dosen shots, 2 minutes and 0.1 ASL) must be either because Torey used a different source (the speed is 24 because of the Movietone track) or counted the credits -- which I did not. Also he may have counter fantasy shots with changing backgrounds as several shots (which kind of makes sense) while I didn't. In any case, this is my second try and I am quite confident in my hand/eye this time.

The film's famous sense of symmetry is confirmed when you turn the Color code on and see how the green "village" shots bracket the blue "water" crossings which, in their turn, sandwich the purple "city" shots. The same sense of symmetry ir reinforced when we turn the trendline degree to 2, to 6, or to 12. We see at a glance that the "water" segment is cut significantly faster than the village segment and the "city" faster than "water" is. Degree 12 is quite telling here, for it shows that each of the segments has its own little climax and slow-down. Well-calculated harmony.



Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2008-09-09

Thanks to the new capability which Gunars'  has just added to Cinemetrics, we are now able to do something I could not have done earlier on. Using a rollover shot counter activated when the cursor is run over the graph (try it!) we can establish that the first village sequence is 116 (=121-5) shots long; ( the passage across water to the town is 38 (=160-122) shots long; the uninterruptedcity segment in the middle is 289 shots long (=450-161 diregarding the two village cutaways 361 and 363); the penultimate segment which cross-cut city and water is 57 shoys long (=506-449), and the last section which cross-cuts water and village is 80 shots long (=587-507). So, in terms of sheer number of shots (regardless of their ASL) the pace of the location changes is V116 -- W38 -- C289 -- WC57 -- VW80. Whether we can do anything with these numbers I do not know, but there is clearly a pattern.



Author: Date: 2009-03-31

Professor Tsivian showed me this site and opened up a new perspective on Sunrise: I have always been under the impression that the movie is a dichotomist fable between good and evil (the aberration and perversity of good); translated into terms of location it is a story between the countryside and the city, one idyllic and pure and the other contaminating and treacherous as symbolized by the good wife and the vamp. However, the color coded chart shows clearly that I have ignored a third space: the water. It is on the water where murder has been intended, plotted and rehearsed. It is also on the water where conscience is awakened and repentance started. It is still on the water where the final rite of redemption is completed and tested to be true and all perversity and aberrations are rectified and redeemed. The dichotomy between the countryside and city is not at all that simply demarcated as I thought. The adulterous act and murderous scheme both actually happened in the village, while the journey to the city is the rediscovery and renewal of the man and the wife's holy matrimony (The church bell rings in the city, too!) If paradise has been lost in the village with the arrival of the vamp, as the housekeeper lamented in the beginning "They used to be like children, laughing and carefree", paradise is strangely regained in the city, as the two lovebirds laugh and frolic through gags and slapsticks like children again. Then I realized Murneau did say in the opening title, "For wherever the sun rises and sets, in the city's turmoil or under the open sky on the farm, life is much the same: sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet". This chart helped me see new questions and new challenges to re-think about the location, space, and landscape of this film, and I'm much intrigued.



Author: Mia Liu Date: 2009-03-31

Sorry forgot to include my name in the above comment.




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