Skip to content
MUSEUM AND NWFC CLOSED: The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are closed in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All public programs, screenings, and events are canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Slavko Vorkapich, John Hoffman

United States 1941 10 mins.

Subjectivity informs Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman’s Moods of the Sea, a lyrical documentary utilizing Felix Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave” as musical accompaniment. Opening with a view from a cave onto the ocean, the film orchestrates images of a powerful natural environment: giant waves breaking on the shore, cliffs towering above the surf, a gull flying overhead, otters playing in the waves, clouds gathering, the sun setting on the horizon. True to Vorkapich’s interest in montage, the images from the constantly moving camera are cut precisely to the music, and each sequence reaches a rhythmic crescendo with the melody, emphasizing the subjective nature of the camera’s point of view.—Jan-Christopher Horak

Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Preserved from the 35mm nitrate picture and track negatives. Laboratory services by YCM Labs, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio, Inc. Special thanks to David Shephard/Film Preservation Associates.

Genres: Documentary