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Frame by Frame

Lois Smith / James Dean Silent Screen Test — East of Eden

Click here, or on the image above, to see the complete 49 second silent screen test.

This amazing piece of footage — just 49 seconds long — is a silent screen test of Lois Smith and James Dean for East of Eden, Warholian in its simplicity, and clearly what Warhol was after in his own series of 3 minute screen tests shot at the Silver Factory. See how much can be done with the faces, and nothing more? No music, no soundtrack, just the image of two people, more than half a century old, still reaching out and touching us; clear, direct, and unadorned. The image quality is superb; it’s as if this was photographed only minutes ago — remarkable.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. All comments by Dixon on this blog are his own opinions.

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Wheeler Winston Dixon has been quoted by Fast Company, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The PBS Newshour, USA Today and other national media outlets on digital cinema, film and related topics - see the UNL newsroom at http://news.unl.edu/news-releases/1/ for more details.

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