Oramunde (1933)

Article 5286 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-31-2016
Directed by Emlen Etting
Featuring Caresse Crosby and Mary Binney Montgomery
Country: USA
What it is: Experimental cinema

Waves crash on the beach. A figure in white dances in and reacts to various landscapes.

This experimental piece of dance cinema is somehow inspired by the story of Melisande, and I had to look up the story from a play by Maurice Maeterlinck to learn more about it. I’m not sure if it really helped me to appreciate what was going on in this short, but it did give me a starting point. Granted, I’m never sure we’re supposed to understand movies like this in the usual sense; it seems we’re supposed to react more on a primal level. That being said, there does appear to be an emotional core of loss and grief to the short, and some of the visual elements are striking, in particular the final scene. As for the fantastic content… well, it’s certainly not realistic, and that figure in the boat may be another vision of Death. At any rate, I always feel out of my league in trying to discuss movies like this.


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