Archive for August 2, 2020

The Sunday Intertitle: A Certain Capital

Posted in FILM with tags , , on August 2, 2020 by dcairns

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From THE GARDEN OF ALLAH — ravishingly beautiful but somewhat dull from a dramatic standpoint.

Nobody seems to have come up with a name for this kind of title: it’s not really an intertitle as it’s only “inter” the opening credits and the main body of the film. It goes over an establishing shot and augments it with geographic or temporal detail, although in this case it’s oddly coy.

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THIS one, however, seems to me to qualify as an intertitle. It’s well into the film, and it describes a plot development in abstract terms rather than merely giving detail of a location. True, it’s superimposed over action instead of being a static card with text and maybe illustrations on, but it’s behaving in a silent movie way.

Strange how these retrograde devices (which I love) followed Dietrich about — see also THE SCARLET EMPRESS.