newly sprung in June" presents us with
moisture and warmth and the glow of crim-
son and the softness of petals inextricably
mixed and strung upon the lilt of a rhythm
which suggests the emotional tenderness of
love. All this, which is accessible to words
and to words alone, the cinema must avoid.

But if so much of our thinking and feel-
ing is connected with seeing there must be
some residue of visual emotion not seized
by artist or painter-poet which may await the
cinema. That such symbols will be quite
unlike the real objects which we see before
us seems highly probable. Something
abstract, something moving, something call-
ing only for the very slightest help from
words or from music to make itself intel-
ligible—of such movements, of such abstrac-
tions the films may in time to come be com-
posed. And once this prime difficulty is
solved, once some new symbol for express-
ing thought if found, the film makes has
enormous riches at his command. Physical
realities, the very pebbles on the beach, the
very quivers of the lips, are his for the ask-
ing. His Vronsky and his Anna are there
in the flesh. If to this reality he could add
emotion, and thought, then he would begin
to haul his booty in hand over hand. Then
as smoke can be seen pouring from Vesuvius,
we should be able to see wild and lovely and
grotesque thought pouring from men in
dress suits and women in shingled heads.
We should see these emotions mingling to-
gether and effecting each other. We should
see violent changes of emotion produced by
their collision. The most fantastic con-
trasts could be flashed before us with a speed
which the writer can only toil after in vain.
The past could be unrolled, distances could
be annihilated. And those terrible disloca-
tions which are inevitable when Tolstoy has
to pass from the story of Anna to the story
of Levin could be bridged by some device
of scenery. We should have the continuity
of human life kept before us by the repeti-
tion of some object common to both lives.

All this guessing and clumsy turning over
of unknown forces points at any rate away

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from any art we know in the direction of an
art which we can only surmise. It points
down a long road strewn with obstacles of
every sort. For the film maker must come
by his convention, as painters and writers
and musicians have done before him. He
must make us believe that what he shows
us, fantastic though it seems, has some rela-
tion with the great veins and arteries of our
existence. He must connect it with what we
are pleased to call reality. He must make
us believe that our loves and hates lie that
way too. How slow a process this is bound
to be, and attended with what pain and ridi-
cule and indifference can easily be foretold
when we remember how painful novelty is,
how the smallest twig even upon the oldest
tree offends our sense of propriety. And
here it is not a question of a new twig, but
of a new trunk and new roots from the earth

Yet remote as it is, intimations are not
wanting that the emotions are accumulating,
the time is coming, and the art of the cinema
is abut to be brought to birth. Watching
crowds, watching the chaos of the streets
in the lazy way in which faculties detached
from use watch and wait, it seems some-
times as if movements and colors, shapes and
sounds had come together and waited for
someone to seize them and convert their
energy into art; then, uncaught, they dis-
perse and fly asunder again. At the cinema
for a moment through the mists of irrele-
vant emotions, through the thick counter-
pane of immense dexterity and enormous ef-
ficiency one has glimpses of something vital
within. But the kick of life is instantly con-
cealed by more dexterity, further efficiency.

For the cinema has been born the wrong
end first. The mechanical skill is far in ad-
vance of the art to be expressed. It is as if
the savage tribe instead of finding two bars
of iron to play with had found scattering
the sea shore fiddles, flutes, saxophones,
grand pianos by Erard and Bechstein, and
had begun with incredible energy but without
knowing a note of music to hammer and
thump upon them all at the same time.