Closer shot: The first floor
Darkness of night.
But! Descending the first flight of
like a shadow; at first unrecognisable.
It is. He stands.
Only a black shape.
Does he look upwards, slightly?
upwards: Above Tartuffe’s door:
A second door.
Lit from behind.
And there: The shadow of Dorine.
Combing her hair.
Then: suddenly: the light
Has it gone out?
Closer shot: Tartuffe.
Returning his gaze.
Slowly. Pale in this
I’m currently reading the BFI Film Classics book on Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari and the first chapter gives this wonderful extract, not from Caligari but from the script of Tartuffe. It was written by Carl Mayer and it’s given in the book as an example of his ‘truly Expressionist’ style of writing. I thought that it was quite striking, not least because you’d never get a film script written in such a way now, but because it actually does read like a poem.
I’ve never seen Tartuffe but this does make me want to watch it. It’s so wonderfully evocative of what is a simple and obviously significant moment, a light going on to reveal a man in a scene framed by darkness.