Archive for The Brothers Karamazov

Java Head

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by dcairns

Two films by Fedor Ozep form the basis of this week’s edition of The Forgotten, continuing our trawl through the back catalogue of Pathe-Natan. Ozep is my new obsession — careful with the video clips I’ve embedded in the piece, together they may make up more than your allotted daily allowance of cinematic genius — exceed the stated does and you could throw a mental flywheel.

AMOK, from which the above image derives, was subsequently remade in Mexico, and formed the subject of this piece by co-Shadowplayer David Melville, which inaugurated his alphabet of Cine Dorado Mexican melodramas. And THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV — well, when I mentioned the film to my mother, she didn’t say “Dostoevsky?”, she immediately said “Yul Brynner?”

A Miniature

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2012 by dcairns

LA PETITE LISE is the subject of this week’s edition of The Forgotten. Maybe it’s the sole flirtation of the Pathe-Natan company with the avant-garde, in that it features Nadia Sibirskaia from MENILMONTANT, and partakes of a similar aesthetic, evoking psychological turmoil through close attention to faces and places. Narrative, though present, takes a back seat.

If the film seems like a departure from the commercial concerns of the studio, which favoured boulevard farces, crime dramas, and great tales from history or literature when it wanted to go up-market, there are nevertheless intriguing connections to two of the studio’s later literary adaptations — as the story of a pardoned convict trying to go straight it prefigures the 1934 LES MISERABLES, and in a subplot about lovers who need to raise 300 Francs to get hitched, it seems to reference the cash MacGuffin of 300 roubles which starts off the tragedy of THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, which also became a Natan film.

This makes Jean Gremillon the most-featured director in history of The Forgotten, the first to chalk up three appearances. Basically, every time I see a Gremillon film, I write about it for The Forgotten.

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