Tag Archives: 1910s

Paul Leni – Das Tagebuch des Dr. Hart aka The Diary of Dr. Hart (1916)

“Dr. Robert Hart visits his friend Ursula von Hohenau in Saxony in July 1914. There he hears about the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia. He immediately returns to his home town where, just before mobilisation, he meets the Polish count Bransky and his daughter Jadwiga, the French Vicomte Latour and the Russian counsellor of embassy count Bronislaw Krascinsky. Bronislaw is madly in love with Jadwiga and jealous of Dr. Hart. After the outbreak of the war Dr. Hart works close to the Polish frontlines. Bronislaw leads the Russian troops in this area. When Bronislaw is wounded during a battle with the Germans Dr. Hart finds him and takes care of his wounds.” Read More »

Yevgeni Bauer – Sumerki zhenskoi dushi AKA Twilight of a Woman’s Soul (1913)

Despite living in luxury, Vera is lonely and discontented. When she accompanies her mother, the Countess, on a charity visit to the poor, she is troubled by what she sees, and she resolves to do whatever she can to help them. But one man takes advantage of her innocence, and he lures her into a trap so that he can assault her. The dreadful results of this attack will affect Vera’s life long afterward. –imdb Read More »

Sidney Drew – A Florida Enchantment (1914)

Quote:
Early gender-bending silent comedy culled from the long out of print Origins of Film boxset. A must for anyone interested in gender and sexuality in film.

Synopsis:
Lillian Travers, a New York heiress, pops down to Florida to surprise her fiance, Fred Cassadene, the house doctor at a prominent Saint Augustine hotel. The surprise, however, is Lillian’s when she finds Fred in a series of compromising situations with a certain wealthy widow staying there. When she can take no more, Lillian discovers a box forgotten at an old curiosity shop in which lies a hundred year old secret: a vial of four rare and exotic African seeds that promises to transform whoever swallows one from a woman to a man or vice versa. Read More »

Abel Gance – La Dixième Symphonie AKA The Tenth Symphony (1918)

Synopsis:
A young girl, rich and orphaned (Emmy LYNN), harrassed by a deprived adventurer (Jean TOULOUT) and by his sister, kills the latter. The adventurer blackmails her. A year later, the girl marries a famous composer, an admiror of Beethoven (Séverin MARS). The adventurer starts courting, secretly, the composer’s daughter (Elizabeth NIZAN) – daughter by a previous marriage. The composer, on finding out that a sordid relationship had existed, in the past, between his wife and the adventurer wrote, on the occasion of his daughter’s engagement, a symphony describing his unhappiness. The composer hereby defines the theme of the 10th symphony: “At the feet of his master Beethoven , a musician distraught by the treason of women, tries to forget and express his sadness”. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – Rose-France (1918)

Quote:
A few months later, (L’Herbier) directed Rose-France, an excessive and disturbing poem, filmed in the form of a weird symbolist collage. In this movie he started to experiment with special effects and celebrated the young actor Jaque Catelain, an expressive beauty, a true Dorian Gray, whose presence would mark almost all of his silent films. His mastery of the medium earned him a two-year contract at the Gaumont Film Company. Read More »

Marcel L’Herbier – Le Bercail (1919)

Adapted from Bernstein’s Le Bercail, the film follows Evelyne’s attempt to reconnect with her family after a traumatizing experience with a young writer.

Evelyne Landry, intellectuelle et passionnée, a épousé un homme bon et droit, mais fermé à tout ce qui intéresse la jeune femme. Jacques, écrivain secondaire et arriviste, la persuade de son amour. Elle s’enfuit avec lui abandonnant mari et enfant. Sa liaison ne lui apporte que déception, elle rompt avec Jacques et, repentante, demande son pardon à Etienne Landry qui finit par le lui accorder. Read More »

Léonce Perret – L’enfant de Paris (1913)

A film shot as a serial, searching for a real cinematographic form, far from its fairy origins. Beautiful trip to Nice where you can feel Perret’s joy to film. The walk of Bosco-Maurice Lagrénée in the city and on the Promenade des Anglais, the triumph of the return of Captain de Valen-Emile Keppens from the colonies, the poor orphan Marie-Laure, every thing recalls the poetic realism that will be in fashion later in the French cinema, even if there is a reactionnary background in L’enfant de Paris. It makes us think of Duvivier, Carné, Vigo already… Read More »