Review of “Rain” (1929)
Seen in 2017.
Nominally, a passing shower over Amsterdam.
The highest expression of a then-current theory of film as painting in light. In this sense it is the live-action equivalent of the much more abstract “Symphonie Diagonale” (1924).
As noted by Erik Barnouw in Documentary (1974/1983), shooting took 4 months, and the result is indeed “gem-like”. The same writer sees the doom of this style of filmmaking with the coming of sound, because sound—and economic collapse—brought struggle.
References here: Robot Carnival (1987).