The oddest silence

Unbelievable document from 1939, from one of our greats: the blacklisted Communist, Brecht disciple, and Pinter collaborator, Joseph Losey.

This was before those Red days, and what you have here is a remarkable piece of Big Oil stop-motion propaganda weirdness. (The page where this video can be found has a good deal of useful backdrop.)

Most odd and oddly gorgeous is the weirdly lyrical segment from minutes 8 to 11, where the vision of a world without oil resembles, at once, a lunar deathscape of frozen industry, De Chirico meets the snowy ghost towns of The Big Silence, weird Svankmajer attention to decaying dolls and domestic obejcts, trains sitting still on the tracks, all ice-encrusted and glistening. The quiet slow freeze of the end of human progress.

(Many thanks to the Institute for sending this gem my way.)

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