Fragment #20: To The Motion Picture: An Appreciation

Film magazines, it seems, used to publish a lot more poetry than they do today, if this piece from the April 1914 edition of The Famous Players Review is anything to go by:

Marvel of science, mirror of art, product of the ingenuity of man and the inventive power of the mind – we speak to you, the Motion Picture!

Not with the sword, not with the oppression and persecution of cruel might, but with mere human sobs and smiles, you have conquered the world.

You are the struggle and the victory! You are Aspiration and Achievement – Hope and Realisation!

You are King in the Land of Mechanical Wonders, supreme in the domain of daring dreams!

Your silence speaks of the genius of man, the strength of his purpose, the courage of his endeavours, and the wealth and worth of his labours. You are the mute voice of progress, the echo of creative potency, the symbol of constructive force.

You are the soul of skill and the spirit of Service, the essence of energy, and the germ of enterprise. You thrill with the common sympathy of the universe, and throb with the throes and thralls of united humanity.

You translate the world’s sorrows, and delineate life’s joys. You bear the burden of the earth, the load of care and misery and evil, the pathetic definition of futility and fatality; yet you catch the gleam of a sunbeam, the lilt of a song – and we laugh!

YOU TEACH! You distribute knowledge, diffuse the secrets of science and the glories of art; you spread civilisation. You bring light where darkness, and life where is only existence. You banish ignorance; you cheer and comfort.

YOU PREACH! Your pulpit is the hearts of the world, your creed faith and sympathy.

Motion Picture you are great! You are the agent of the age, the messenger of futurity!

You are great – and we are grateful!

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