The Sunday Intertitle: She’s not there


Our hero looks at the telephone (a gleaming, seductive thing of metallic curves).


I like the mental leap: telephone = woman. Because he can use the phone to call her, obviously. Because women like telephones. Because women are like telephones?

This odd train of thought may be emerging because I’m half-asleep, or because Jean Epstein and his writer/sister Marie has just given us an eccentric scene where the hero shows his servants how he got a traffic ticket, by reconstructing the incident with upturned chairs and cutaways to jolting jalopies and a stern policeman. Unconventional film syntax is already upon us.

Then I realize that the hero was looking at the telephone because it was RINGING. And he thinks ELLE! because he’s been hoping/expecting a call from that special person. It’s a silent movie, so we don’t hear the ring, and I’m half-asleep so my brain doesn’t make the required leap when he suddenly looks at the telephone.

Although, when we eventually meet her… she does look a bit like a telephone.


Oh, the film? SIX ET DEMI ONZE (1927).



3 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: She’s not there”

  1. Tilda Swinton definitely gives off a candlestick telephone vibe, and I say that as someone who has never seen a Tilda movie without idly pondering where we should go on our first date. Well, except for “Snowpiercer.”

  2. I recommend meeting her. If you get introduced, she turns such a penetrating interest and attention on you, you practically feel like you ARE on a date.

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