…and, in this cylindrical container pilfered from an unsuspecting uncle, the ammo to go with it.
Today I’m off to the Glasgow Film Theatre to see ROBIN AND MARIAN in 35mm, but first off, here’s a look at a 1911 short by Louis Feuillade, BEBE TIRE LA CIBLE (Baby Shoots the Target, AKA JIMMY PULLS THE TRIGGER). Before LF recruited little René Poyen as child star, he worked extensively with Bebé, aka René Dary AKA Clément Mary, who was a right little bastard.
While the Liquorice Kid lived outside the rules but used his powers for good, Bebé lives a pampered existence as a spoiled brat, motivated only by an instinct for mayhem. In this short, an indulgent uncle presents the little beast with a toy shotgun, hanging on to the ammunition so that the firearm can only be used under supervision.
Of course he does! You don’t need Google Translate to work that one out, do you? See top image for illustration. Before long, small holes pepper the parlour and the cook. It’s a Louis Fusillade!
As in later Feuillade films, the actors are all somewhat aware of the camera and perform little gestures for our benefit, to aid comprehension. Considerate of them. And like the Liquorice Kid, Bebé enjoys our confidence more than the other characters. But there the resemblance ends. He’s a little shit.
He did, however, enjoy an unusually long career, making his last appearance in Walerian Borowczyk’s GOTO, L’ÎLE D’AMOUR in 1968.