This is a disappointing entry into my series, it really is, there’s no questioning the feeble nature of my analytic skills this time around. We begin with Murnau’s Tabu (1931) and hell, I got nothing to say, the film bored me, I struggled to watch, I found it utterly tiresome with very little to drag from its odd domain. Le Million (1931) was a non-find. Which brings me to this entry’s biggest flop City Lights (1931) often heralded as Chaplin’s magnum opus this film did very little for me. Chaplin’s ‘Tramp’ is a try-hard and I cannot be bothered with him, I find something so utterly despicable about his presence, his fumbling, tripping and accidental luck frustrate me, his conclusions make me role my eyes and his faux-sentimentality makes his suspicious, I said before and I shall say again, Chaplin simply doesn’t fit this era…Chaplin and school shootings cannot coexist. A Nous Le Liberte (1931) forgettable, I left it a little while before writing this entry and I cannot remember a single thing of this film.
Finally, some light in the darkness, Fritz Lang’s M (1931) is a masterpiece, there’s no question. I wont bother with comparison, ranking against Metropolis, they’re too different. From its very beginning M brings from the outside sounds and paranoia, a danger lurks just out of sight for us viewers, there’s a constant unease – even with killer in shot – that control has been lost and something entirely unnannounced may enter diagonally into the social-linear at any moment. This world of M rife with purchase of crime fiction, with crime and danger as capital and commodity, a societal lust for both overrides the real danger of a psychotic break. And thus from this mass connection via the overarching spell and enticement of crime begins the media’s hysteria, fuelled by fear, paranoia and murder; a mass contagion brough into existence by the failure of authority to act, to secure and to make those accountable safe. And so the murder is needed by many as a structural pivot. The media needs its existence to fuel their profits, the police their job and so society, the public are the ones left nearest the outside. A lot gets lost amongst the smoke of a hundred smoking gents here. The truth of danger flutters into a nothingness amongst the lusts and profits of the apathetic. The whistle warning offscreen marks the neglect of family, of children, of the family-unit. That which should be protected is currently at danger from the malicious whistle.