Intertitle of the Week: Cafe Society

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This is the only intertitle in A HASHER’S DELIRIUM, aka LE SONGE D’UN GARCON DE CAFE, aka THE DREAM OF A CAFE BOY (I’m translating from both the French and the 1910s US slang) animation pioneer Emile Cohl’s 1 minute 20 second hallucinatory satire on the café set. A little fellow in what appear to be short trousers sits in a void, staring at a huge sphere, upon which are projected various morphing nightmares. Yep, that’s what my experiences in cafes tend to be like.

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At film’s end, the video-sphere disappears and the boy elongates, Alice-style, into an auto-arse-kicking ourobouros.

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It might all seem a bit, well, arbitrary, were it not for the smokin’ jazz score provided on my copy, which somehow gives the whole thing a context of jumping energy and anything-goes jazz-age brio in which Cohl’s surreal contortions seem, if not inevitable, at least perfectly natural.

4 Responses to “Intertitle of the Week: Cafe Society”

  1. Christopher Says:

    hmmmm..they must be serving Welsh Rarebit at the cafe…

  2. Or hash browns made with real hashish.

  3. Surely a drug-induced prophecy: The future of character actors, Burgess Meredith (circa Man in the Eiffel Tower), Humphrey Bogart (after some kind of hair-setting accident) and a late-period Peter Lorre all fade in from our future.

    But what can the Kick mean? Was Cohl stuck for a punchline? Was his vision interrupted?

  4. I think it perhaps means “Wake up!”

    Now here comes the whole film…

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