Destiny is Changeless
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: Lillian Christy, Tom Fortune, Robert Thornby. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1911/12
“While there are issues, like the fact that all Indians wear Comanche War head dresses, like many of the movies of this era, the chief point is the camera work. It’s very handsome work, abetted by color in every frame. This seems to have been accomplished by toning, in which the silver nitrate of the film was chemically replaced by related compounds, yielding strong blues and lavenders, adding a strong side key light. (…) the camera techniques make this an interesting note in the evolution of film.”
“If anything in this film is ironic, it might be the elaborate symmetry between the two halves of the plot. The bad guy becomes worse and worse, until he turns around and becomes more and more self-sacri- ficing and heroic. But I am more interested in the ironic potential of the filming itself. By making the movements so emphatically frontal, the viewer is told that this concerns her/him, but also, that this is a trick of representation. The film’s narrative is no longer told ‘in the third person,’ evolving on the screen out there, but comes rather aggressively at the viewer. With the close-up of the guilt-ridden convertee as the central moment, the moralizing nature of such recognizable plots is perhaps driven home a bit too emphatically to be credible. Yet, (…), there is no inherent reason to consider this film parodic.”
Nanna Verhoeff: The West in Early Cinema. After the Beginning. Amsterdam University Press 2006, p. 274
The Redemption of Red Rube
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: Robert Thornby, George Stanley, Anne Schaefer, Eagle Eye. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Rollin Summers Sturgeon (1877 – 1961) was an American film director of silent films, active from 1910 to 1924. He directed 101 films during this period.