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By Dudley Andrew

The Description for this booklet, movie within the charisma of artwork, should be forthcoming.

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Yet, the final signature of the text is not that sun which is the most natural thing in nature but an artificial stylized sun. 3 Our suspicion before Sunrise is certainly triggered and sustained by the inordinately powerful effect of the antisocial 3 Mary Ann Doane, "Desire in Sunrise," Film Reader 2 (1977), 76. TURN AND RETURN 33 elements which a first complicit viewing thinks to have suppressed. No doubt the marsh scene and the two frightening water journeys receive extraordinary elaboration precisely to increase the confidence of the community when they are dissolved like morning fog; but they also seem to have their own attraction.

For Griffith the novelty of this ethos lay in the delicate tone sustained through much of the film and culminating in the pathos of the suicide at the end. Here he helped draw up the audience contract that the genre of the "art film" has operated under ever since: the postponement or repression of the easy pleasures of spectacle and story in deference to those higher sensibilities that we bring into play when we respond to inspirational poetry, drama, painting, or music. The suicide, as a mark of unpleasure, guarantees the seriousness of the piece, while the placid and subtle narration, as a mark of sensitivity, insists on the uncompromising virtue of the author, his refusal T H E VULNERABLE TEXT 19 to play on the usual and crass emotions and expectations of his audience.

But it is an easy and facile solution, even a predictable one, equivalent in its way to the vulgar attempts at mysticism in Cecil B. De Mille's religious epics. It would take Von Stroheim and Murnau to open up other, more healthy, avenues for the Art of the American cinema. CHAPTER THREE The Turn and Return of Sunrise S P I T E the lapidary language we customarily employ to Q Echaracterize them (as precious, brittle gems, priceless pearls), elasticity is the property of lasting works of art. It is perhaps their defining property.

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