An anti-semitic vision of Radio London from the WWII Vichy animated propaganda film NIMBUS LIBERE.
Eoin our editor turned in what he calls a “radio edit” of the NATAN film — interviews spliced together to tell the story in big chunks of talk, with nothing to look at (apart from yapping faces). It was over three hours long. But the good news is that it told the story, apart from a few bits we need to create with VO and archive footage and other techniques. I fly back to Edinburgh for the weekend and return Tuesday morning, at which point we’ll be looking at Eoin’s reduction of the footage to around 100 minutes — he’s FAST, this guy. And he’s already incorporating some of the visuals — newsreels, movie clips, tests, and our own material. The final film will be a kind of collage, where we’ll rarely be looking at any one interviewee for long.
The really interesting material I don’t want to talk about yet.
One of our great discoveries was Jean Dreville’s AUTOUR DE L’ARGENT, a making-of film depicting the creation of Marcel L’Herbier’s L’ARGENT, filmed in Natan’s Joinville studio. It’s not a Natan production, but it shows his huge cinema empire in operation during his heyday, just before he purchased Pathe, and affords glimpses of several collaborators, including L’Herbier himself who would make three films for Pathe-Natan.
My co-director Paul Duane struck a deal with L’Herbier’s grand-daughter to use a chunk of this footage, and since the actual Pathe-Natan films are so expensive (despite fairly generous discounts), it’s a real life-saver.