In an ancient book there was a man who lived on location in the desert. At noon he wrestled with the sun the way Jacob wrestled with a hot human angel all night long.

When he got up from the dust, he had a new name that rhymed with his old one. Paul was the exemplary convert.

On film it’s Pauline who’s in the wilderness—a confused ideal of vulnerability and strength, of genius and foolish luck.

The perils of her serialized life unfold among other encounters with identity staged on nearby sets.

Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille are codirecting what is said to be the first full-length feature whose centerpiece is not Pauline’s starched curls upon the rails, but a frontier pileup of cultural, sexual, and class anxiety in the interracial West.

Conquest and ruin are the stars of a new experience of time and inevitability.

The clock is the god of film. Speed it up. Run it in reverse.

Take the body in your arms. Before you reach the falls.