Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This excellent three-part documentary focuses on the art and techniques of filmmaking as found first in the editing of U.S. Westerns, next in the editing of German documentaries, and finally, in the interpretations of experimental filmmakers. American directors in the first segment include Edwin S. Porter (The Great Train Robbery) and D.W. Griffith (The Battle at Elderbrush Gulch). In focus is the method for showing duels between gunslingers, and the technology of editing in the first half of the 20th century. In part II, German documentarians include Nicholas Kaufmann and Wilhelm Prager (Ways to Strength and Beauty(1925)) and Ella Bergmann-Michel (Street Salesman (1920)) and later directors like Peter Nestler (A Worker's Club in Sheffield(1965)) and Klaus Wildenhahn (In der Fremde(1967)). An interview with Joris Ivens and clips from his Spanish Earth (1937) end this segment. In the last part, there are interviews with Werner Nekes, Jean-Marie Straub, Daniele Huillet, and others on the nature and art of experimental filmmaking.