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).