Tag Archives: Albert Capellani

Albert Capellani – The Red Lantern (1919)

[The Red Lantern] tells the story of a Eurasian, Joan of Arc-like heroine, Mahlee, who forsakes her own people to live among white Europeans, until political tumult draws her back across the color line to foment anti-imperialist uprising in China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion. While Mahlee literally “hears voices” (à la Joan of Arc) that compel her to revolutionary action, star actress Alla Nazimova doubles in this role as Mahlee and as her estranged white [half]-sister, Blanche Sackville. Blanche’s sister from another mother (i.e., their white British father’s Chinese mistress), Mahlee struggles with her simultaneous attraction and repulsion towards her kinfolk colonizers — and more pointedly with the politics of British colonialism in fin-de-siècle China. Read More »

André Antoine & Léonard Antoine & Albert Capellani – Quatre-vingt-treize aka Ninety-Three (1921)

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“Quatre-vingt-treize (Ninety-three, 1914/1921) by Albert Capellani & André Antoine with Paul Capellani, Henry Krauss and Philippe Garnier

The story takes place in Brittany in 1793 during the Terror. While the Marquess of Lantenac (P. Garnier) joins the Chouans (royalist insurgents), his nephew Gauvain (P. Capellani) becomes a soldier in the Revolutionary army. The third character is the former priest, Cimourdain, who becomes the head of the Revolutionary army. He was the one who opened Gauvain’s eyes to the new ideas by giving him Rousseau to read. In this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel the destiny of the three characters are heading for collision. The film shooting was stopped abruptly by the beginning of WWI. A few years later, André Antoine took over as Capellani was unavailable to finish it as he was in America. The film didn’t came out until 1921. Obviously, in the space of 7 years, cinema had moved forward dramatically and Quatre-vingt-treize was undoubtedly dated when it came out. Read More »