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  1. Slightly off-topic, if we are talking about the differences between the pre-code era and the Hays Code era of filmmaking, there isn't a better example to use than The Letter. One of the key differences is that in the 1940 version, the viewer doesn't know immediately whether or not Leslie is telling the truth. The movie opens with Leslie shooting Mr. Hammond, but we don’t see what led up to it and the truth doesn’t come out until later. But in the 1929 version, we see everything that led to Hammond’s death. We see Leslie writing the letter inviting Hammond to come over and we see what happens
  2. La bête humaine: Renoir On and Off the Rails By Geoffrey O’Brien The opening minutes of La bête humaine (1938) are a bracing plunge into the materiality of the world. The flames of a locomotive’s furnace, the engineer and stoker utterly absorbed in their work, the landscape speeding by, as seen from the moving train: we have the sensation not of observing reality but of being caught up in it, a sensation that is prolonged as we experience, as if for the first time, the shock of suddenly emerging from a tunnel, a moment before pulling into the geometric splendors of an immense rail yard. Forty
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