Extasis Silent Cinema The transition from silent to talking movies

Extasis

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Oti Rodríguez Marchante

Extasis (1933). Director: Gustav Machaty (89’)
Presentation: Oti Rodríguez Marchante

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  1. Oti Rodríguez MarchanteOti Rodríguez Marchante

    Periodista y crítico de cine del diario ABC, escribe desde su blog “Una de piratas”. Ha publicado numerosos artículos y varios libros dedicados al cine y a sus protagonistas, como Dos para la tres (1992), Ana Belén (1993) y Amenábar, vocación de intriga (2002). Ha sido colaborador de los programas de televisión ¡Qué grande es el cine! y Cine en Blanco y Negro.

    En 2012 recibió el Premio de Comunicación Alfonso Sánchez de la Academia de Cine; también ese mismo año publicó el libro de cuentos infantiles Adiós a la Tierra de los Colores Vivos.

The Czech director Gustav Machaty is an echo, a flick, in the history of cinema, and a century after his century he still powerfully rumbles in it thanks to a movie entitled Ekstase (Ecstasy) which he did at the dawn of the thirties (it was premiered in 1933), when sound films where being listened to in Hollywood, and in Central Europe what was heard were the sound of the boots and the harbinger of a muted world. Ekstase is nowadays a unique container with two contradictory universes in it, the already deceased silent films on one side, and one of those stars that shone there for the first time and forever, Hedy Lamarr, on the other. Although the stamp for that passport to eternity (of both, the actress and the film) is represented by a scene never seen in the screen of commercial cinema: the extremely young protagonist (who was not Hedy Lamarr yet, but Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) ran completely naked across a field. A long scene, full of perfect naturalness and which preluded what is the essence of the movie, a mixture of lyric and erotism, amplified even more in the other non-obscene scene of carnal passion with her lover, over a close-up view of her face, also fully naked. Following the mix of success and scandal of Ekstase, Gustav Machaty did not have a long trajectory, but the young Hedy Kiesler would become a few years later, and already in the steam-pot of Hollywood, Hedy Lamarr, a prodigy of beauty and sophistication who strolled around the cinema of the time like a cat by its sill. But behind the showcase of Ekstase, a full-bodied Lamarr, there is also a deep back-office unusual for the time full of the dilemmas about love and sex, passion, time and chance.