1921-1930

  • Jean Epstein – La glace à trois faces AKA The Three-Sided Mirror (1927)

    Jean Epstein1921-1930ExperimentalFranceSilent
    La glace à trois faces (1927)
    La glace à trois faces (1927)

    Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive working-class girl (Lucie). Overpowered by weakness, the coward sidesteps the obligations that love affairs impose: rather than living up to his dates he takes his sports-car from an ultra-modern garage and speeds to the fashionable beaches of Deauville. On his way, he is fatally hit by a descending swallow. The film is divided into three segments each of which consists of events the woman experienced. These sequences are embedded in scenes in which each of the three women is telling and casting her mind back to her own love affair. Thus, present, future and past merge and cannot be distinguished clearly. The intertwinement of several layers of time experience, recollection, telling and showing have been regarded as a source of inspiration of Alain Resnais and this film prefigures his “L’Année dernière à Mariënbad” to a certain extent.Read More »

  • Jean Epstein – Le lion des Mogols AKA The Lion of the Moguls (1924)

    Jean Epstein1921-1930DramaFranceSilent
    Le lion des Mogols (1924)
    Le lion des Mogols (1924)

    In the kingdom of the Moguls, Prince Roudghito-Sing, a young officer of the palace, falls in love with Zemgali, a captive princess held prisoner and coveted by the Grand Khan. Fleeing the country, he takes refuge in Paris and his presentability allows him to be hired as an actor by a French film company. The trouble is that Anna, the star of the movie, is attracted to him. Which displeases banker Morel, the producer and Anna’s lover…Read More »

  • Jean Epstein – Le double amour AKA Double Love (1925)

    Jean Epstein1921-1930DramaFranceSilent
    Le double amour (1925)
    Le double amour (1925)

    Quote:
    Countess Laure Maresco falls in love with a player, Jacques Prémont-Solène. He loses a large sum and dreams of suicide. Laure prevents her, before learning that her lover has squandered the recipe for a charity party that she attended. His family sends the young man to America to put an end to the scandal. Twenty years later, after a fortune, he returns.Read More »

  • Charles Vanel – Dans la nuit AKA Into the Night (1930)

    1921-1930Charles VanelDramaFranceSilent
    Dans la nuit (1930)
    Dans la nuit (1930)

    This is the only movie the great French actor Charles Vanel (‘The wages of Fear’ by H. G. Clouzot) wrote and directed (he also directed a short film ‘Affaire classee’ in 1931) during his long career (the longest career of any film actor from 1908 to 1988).

    A man (played by Vanel) who is working in a mine has recently married a beautiful young woman (Sandra Milovanoff, an actress who have worked with Sacha Guitry and Rene Clair among others). They strongly love each other but everyday they have to live separated because he has to go to work. One day, three children decide to make some tricks nearby the mine. Their ‘games’ have a very dramatic ending because part of the mine collapse and the man is injured and trapped under the rocks. After the rescue, the man survives but he is completely disfigured to the point that he has to wear a mask when he is in public and even in front of his wife. The happiness he and his wife were living in their everyday life starts to fade.Read More »

  • Jean Epstein – Mauprat (1926)

    Jean Epstein1921-1930DramaFranceSilent
    Mauprat (1926)
    Mauprat (1926)

    Set before the French Revolution, the film tells the story of Bernard De Mauprat, a noble orphan, raised by despicable aristocrats, who is saved from the gallows by his cousin Edmée and his father, the knight Hubert De Mauprat. The return of Bernard causes tensions within Mauprat’s family since him tries to win the heart of his cousin Edmée (Knight of La Marche’s fiancée) after obtaining her pledge of loyalty under a certain threat of rape.Read More »

  • Louis Feuillade – Parisette (1921)

    Louis Feuillade1921-1930FranceSilent
    Parisette (1921)
    Parisette (1921)

    1 – Manoela
    Quote:
    In Portugal, Joaquim de Costabella, a deposed marquis, lives with his pious granddaughter Manoëla. When banker Alvarez comes to ask for Manoëla’s hand in exchange for renewing his drafts, the marquis throws him out. That same night, Alvarez’s house is burglarized and murdered…Read More »

  • A.W. Sandberg – Nedbrudte nerver AKA The Hill Park Mystery (1923)

    A.W. Sandberg1921-1930DenmarkMysteryScandinavian Silent CinemaSilent
    Nedbrudte nerver (1923)
    Nedbrudte nerver (1923)

    Quote:
    Police reporter Erik Brandt is sent off for some rest and recreation after solving a murder under the nose of the police. But his well-earned holiday turns out to be a lot more hectic than planned, when the resort is rocked by as string of brutal murders. An attractive young lady who captures Brandt’s heart might be involved. (stumfilm.dk)Read More »

  • Sergei M. Eisenstein – Stachka AKA Strike (1925)

    1921-1930PoliticsSergei M. EisensteinSilentUSSR
    Stachka (1925)
    Stachka (1925)

    A group of oppressed factory workers go on strike in pre-revolutionary Russia.

    Matthew Rovner, Jewish Daily Forward wrote:
    On February 13, 1948, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency announced that film director Sergei Eisenstein, “the son of a Jewish merchant,” was dead at the age of 50. Eisenstein’s father was a prosperous German Jew and his mother Russian Orthodox. Eisenstein grew up highly assimilated, though he was aware of his Jewish heritage. He was friendly with Isaac Babel, and he learned to use Yiddish slang and humor. But Eisenstein’s Judaism had always been marginal to his work as an artist. In his first feature, “Strike,” a serious propaganda film, there is humor, although it is influenced more by Charlie Chaplin than Sholom Aleichem.Read More »

  • Paul Leni – The Cat and the Canary (1927)

    USA1921-1930HorrorPaul LeniSilent
    The Cat and the Canary (1927)
    The Cat and the Canary (1927)

    Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.Read More »

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