André Sauvage – Études sur Paris (1928)

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André Sauvage’s Études sur Paris has long takes, improvised shots, no special effects, music or plot—essentially unwatchable to devotees of today’s wiz-bang, graphics-heavy documentary vocabulary. Long before tourist bureaus produced pastry-puff shorts or anybody could shoot a space full of holes with their cameraphone, field documentation was a select sport. To be a shooter required strict patience, an adroit sense of composition, and a willingness to lose (and maybe more importantly, money to pay for) film. If less political in the assemblage of its pieces, this is a film that that rubs shoulders with Man With A Movie Camera, Manhatta or Symphony of a Metropolis. Continue reading