William Fox and His Friends, Part 2

Dressed to KillMore from MoMA's spectacular retrospective (see part 1 of our guide here), skimming the cream from the top of the William Fox archives, a major studio whose films, apart from a few known classics by Frank Borzage, John Ford, et cetera, have been sunk in obscurity for too long. Fox opened his doors to experimental geniuses like F.W. Murnau and Erik Charell, and encouraged major talents like Ford, Howard Hawks, Raoul Walsh and Borzage to spread their wings.In Borzage’s masterpiece 7th Heaven, how many viewers have any problem with the glaring fact that the garret where Janet Gaynor lives is apparently reached by two completely different stairwells, one that’s angular, for the crane shot, and one that’s spiral for the overhead angle?UpstreamThe idea is consistent with the expressionist approach at Fox. Edgar G. Ulmer claimed that the German expressionists would build a new set for every camera angle,
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