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Columbia Daily Spectator (02/Apr/1937) - Van Doren Sees Rapid Action for Cinema




Van Doren Sees Rapid Action for Cinema

Shakespeare Is Handled Too Reverently In Movies, He Says

The prime function of the cinema is the art of telling a story — preferably a melodrama, Professor Mark Van Doren told Philolexian last night. The modern movie should rely on rapid or violent action told directly by the camera, he said.

Deploring the reverent handling of great classics by Hollywood directors, Professor Van Doren, who is motion picture critic for the Nation, prophesied that all of Shakespeare's works adapted to the screen would be dull until directors completely remodeled the original play to fit the demands of the movies, if necessary, making them unrecognizable.

Hitchcock Praised

Alfred Hitchcock, director of "The 39 Steps" was praised by Professor Van Doren for his excellent use of suspense, and for his knack of keeping audiences in an "almost painful tension by the continuous series of actions on the screen leading up to the final sequence."

The use of sound and dialogue in the talkies should not detract from the action before the camera, he pointed out, mentioning that, in his opinion, the advent of sound had delayed the development of the art of the motion picture considerably.