The Life and Death of 9413 : Film Theory Essay by Bradley Kane
The Life and Death of 9413 is a 1928 short silent experimental film directed by Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich. The film lasts 13 minutes and follows the story of an aspiring movie star who moves to Hollywood to make his dream come true. It was photographed/shot by Gregg Toland, who was responsible for the cinemtaography on American masterpieces such as Citizen Kane (1941) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939).
The film beginnings with various obscure shots, showing the environment 9413 is in. These shots show a city with tall skyscrapers and cars on the road. By the expression on his face, it seems like an environment he has never been in before. Continuous shots going back and forth from ‘9413’ to the shot of the skyscraper extend on his excitement for being in this new environment. Sharp changes to the lighting in these opening…show more content… Throughout this montage we experience what he hopes to achieve whilst in Hollywood, but failing miserably.
They do not show how he died or if he killed himself or not, it was left ambiguous. The person who he was talking to on the phone, which made his facial expression go from sad to sinister, is also unknown. But it was the filmmakers decision to not reveal that character, leaving the audience thinking who it was from that point in the film to the point where he reached heaven.
This is one of the many famous ‘shoestring budget films’, costing only $97 to make, constructed mainly from cardboard and mirrors. The visual effects for the film successfully told the story in a very simplistic manner. For the 1920's visual effects were an exciting new concept, so seeing something as simple as a model man being pulled up by some string on a moving image screen, was quite