The Monday Intertitle: Dreamcatcher

Scan 2

Picked up for 1 Euro at a movie and photography market in Lyon — a lovely little booklet produced by a company offering intertitles for home movies. The pamphlet is from 1948 but the designs look like they’ve probably been around since at least the thirties — which means they look LOVELY. A reminder that silent cinema didn’t end with the twenties, since home movies stayed silent for decades to come.

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titres

The illustrated cards are particularly nifty.

These would add professional flair to anybody’s holiday footage. The choice of titles offered in the booklet also suggests the kind of movie the average cine-wielding Frenchman was thought likely to produce. I confess to bafflement, however, over what sort of shot would have followed THIS card ~

Scan 21

“An infant’s dream.”

It seems the question “What do babies dream about?” was not always a mystery. In France in 1948, most middle-class families with 9.5mm equipment could answer it with confidence, and furthermore were able to extract imagery from their infants’ crania, rather the way Bernard Quatermass does with Martian memories in QUATERMASS AND THE PIT. If any of these in-child movies still exist, I would be fascinated to view one.

2 Responses to “The Monday Intertitle: Dreamcatcher”

  1. David Boxwell Says:

    Interesting to see bold sans-serif Art Deco lettering in France as late as 1947 (the same design as your NATAN posters . . .) In the States, that style had disappeared (killed off by the War?) and was replaced in advertising and film publicity and credits with a set of “fancy” cursive designs (think of the credits for “Gilda”).

  2. I suspect Cinematheque Ardennaise just hadn’t updated their designs since 1931! And the home movie crowd probably weren’t concerned with typographical fashion so much. Although in an alternative universe I’d love to see what 40s, 50s and 60s intertitles would have looked like. Come to think of it, the 60s saw a mini-revival in Lesterish things, but they were all consciously retro.

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