What does it mean to speak of cinema’s apical meristem? In part it means to speak of films that generate cine-plastics which can be extended without quickly becoming clichés. These shots, from Epstein’s L’Or des Mers, of children watching the formally starving protagonist spend his newfound wealth on food, become models for variations in much later films.
The protagonist of L’Or des Mers, becomes the old man in Bela Tarr’s Turin Horse (2011).
The children watching him through the window fragment into the Bakers, the bread rioting girls, and the parents of the militant boys in Rossellini’s Rome Open City (1945).