Archive for Louis Delluc

Musidora muses

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by dcairns


And amuses.

From Cinea magazine, run by Louis Delluc and considering Jean Epstein’s theory of “photogenie”

Musidora’s statement reads something like: “One must be “photogenic” from head to foot. After that it is allowed to have talent.”

Maybe I’ll just spend the rest of my life grabbing images from Lantern.

The Sunday Intertitle: Missing In Action

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on April 8, 2012 by dcairns

Louis Delluc’s FIEVRE has no intertitles — not, as with Kirsanoff’s majestic MENILMONTANT, because it was designed that way, but because they’ve all been lost. Maybe during the film’s travels around the world, when it was common to cut out the French  titles and splice in new ones in the language of wherever the film was playing.

A number of movies which suffered this fate have since had their titles restored, using the censor’s records. The censors, you see, ARE good for something. A famous example is Feuillade’s serials, admired by the surrealists for their freeform irrationality. They were slightly less irrational when they had titles (as they once more do) — but only slightly.

Delluc got off lightly, for his film has such a slight plot, and wallows so exquisitely in the emotions produced by said plot, that it’s easy to imagine text adding an unwelcome literal quality. Who knows?

What’s left is certainly a delirious evocation of emotional turmoil augmented by drink… note all the ads for Dewars, a nice Scottish element. Note also the reassuring presence of Gaston Modot, France’s most psychotronic actor. Modot seemed to move casually from modest roles in mainstream fair like LA MERVEILLEUSE VIE DE JEANNE D’ARC to leading roles in the likes of L’AGE D’OR (if that film can be said to have a “like”). Seeing this familiar supporting player gaze passionately at a statue’s toes or kicking a blind man must have had a strange and blasphemous feeling for contemporaneous audiences. To get the same effect, we’d have to mentally sub in Greg Kinnear or something.

The Sunday Intertitle: When Delluc Met Dulac

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by dcairns

“Life is producing cinema all the time. The cinema needs to start producing life.” ~ Louis Delluc.

DE L’IMPRESSIONISME AU CINEMA PUR is a nice little documentary about Delluc, Dulac, Epstein, L’Herbier, and all that groovy crowd. Sadly, my man Kirsanoff doesn’t get a look-in due probably to the fact that the structuring device of the documentary is the connections between the different film-makers, their meetings and cross-pollination, a sort of Avant-Garde Family Tree. And Kirsanoff didn’t really mingle. Though his wife, being an actress, did form connections with other directors, as we shall see in Thursday’s edition of The Forgotten.

Incidentally, many accounts of Germaine Dulac’s career have her ceasing her filmmaking activities at the end of the twenties, when Louis Dulac died. But the IMDb intrigues with one more short, JE N’AI PLUS RIEN, from 1934, and it’s a Pathe-Natan production, interestingly enough. Natan was investing in shorts, and he also seems to have had a memory — unusually for a movie exec, he could recall filmmakers who were no longer active and “hot,” and would sometimes employ them.

So I would *love* to see  JE N’AI PLUS RIEN if anyone has it.


“The total film which we all dream of making is a visual symphony made of images given rhythm to, and which are ordained and cast onto the screen by the artist’s single emotion.” ~ Germaine Dulac

Intertitle from LA FEMME DE NUL PART by Louis Delluc.

Avant Garde – Experimental Cinema of the 1920s & 1930s