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Quiet in The Crowd


January 31, 2022 by coelhoce

For this post I want to focus on the way the scene was filmed as well as how the actors portray the scene, as Bertolt Brecht (the creator of the film) has a rather unique way of portraying his stories.

Firstly I wanted to choose this particular moment, as it showcases something unique to the way Brecht portrays scenes. In many scenes he will tend to only have one focus between either dialog, music or the setting itself which is something he does throughout the entire movie. I think that this scene best portrays this as its showcasing the way that he focuses on one aspect from scene to scene. For example we see up until 0:30 that the main focus is the sheer amount of background noise. This adds to the atmosphere of the busy train car. Post 0:30 the noise starts to dissipate and we transition to the next scene which is purely dialog with no other background noise. Brecht likes to have pure dialog without music in the background in order for the viewer to focus on only that.

Another thing I wanted to touch on is the way that Brecht has the actors portray these scenes. I’m not sure the exact words for it but I believe we called it “Brechtism” in class. Actors tend to not express much emotions and merely say things. I think this scene is very much outside of that realm, somewhat varying from the rest as, despite the background noise, it plays out like a silent film would. What I mean by this is that the actors are much more expressive than before. They aren’t required to talk, and that was a big advantage to silent film having to only use the body to express feelings and emotions. I personally just think it’s interesting as it shows a way of the characters finding quiet amidst the chaos of the loud and crowded train car, as well as establishing itself as a transition before the next big scene.


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