Jeff, I'm not feeling the Birth of a Nation comparisons. Sit down and watch the whole Griffith masterpiece with Chris and you'll know I'm right about that one.
Griffith makes racism fun. Dreyer makes vampires boring. I know who I'm siding with.
I'm being silly, but the point is that Griffith's film is emotionally engaging while Dreyer's isn't. I respect that this is entirely subjective. Here I stand.
I conceded that there were some interesting images in Vampyr. Sure. I also got sick of the gauzy cottony look pretty quick. I think that there are a few interesting things here. Enough to steal and use in a better movie. Not nearly enough to hang my hat on in this one.
"If you can't admit that VAMPYR is great merely for its "how" instead of its "what" then you need to call BIRTH OF A NATION a piece of trashy, low-brow garbage passed off as one of the greatest films ever made right now!"
BUT! It's precisely the "how" that I'm calling into question here. Specifically "how" Dreyer uses text in the film. This relates to the entire "how" of the visual structure of the film. I think that it breaks the flow, neatens things up, and renders the whole ridiculous. I think that Dreyer fails in his "how" by trying to tidy things up. I also think that the main actor is a doofus.
I'm starting to realize how great it is that the whole world, but especially Denmark, has moved past the 1930s.