We shall have to adapt ourselves to the shadowy screen and to the cold machine. A new form of writing will be necessary. I have thought of that and I can feel what is coming. But I rather like it. This swift change of scene, this blending of emotion and experience ... in life, too, changes and transitions flash before our eyes, and emotions of the soul are like a hurricane. The cinema has divined the mystery of motion. And that is greatness.
I don't why this quote by Leo Tolstoy came to my mind when I saw these images by the talented photographer, Sylvain-Emmanuel. Something about Tolstoy's words, expressed in a letter to a friend about the advent of cinema, seems to fit with Sylvain-Emmanuel's photography. There is a contradictory tone to these photographs. On one hand, they appear mythic and soaked within a dream-like mist of infused light. But on the other hand, they have a hard and modern edge to them, a kind of grittiness. This seems to perfectly capture the idea I have in my mind of what early cinema signifies: a dream-like wonder, but also, a completely modern form of artistry. Aren't these images just beautiful? Visit Sylvain-Emmanuel's flickr page and website to see more.
Image credit: all images copyright Sylvain-Emmanuel. Thanks for letting me feature them here.