AVANT-GARDE CINEMA FRENCH IMPRESSIONISM SURREALISM French 235

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AVANT-GARDE CINEMA FRENCH IMPRESSIONISM SURREALISM French 235
French 235
Patricia L. Pecoy
AVANT-GARDE CINEMA
FRENCH IMPRESSIONISM
SURREALISM
Avant-Garde Cinema
 Goal: to explore cinema as art
 New personal vision of the artist
 Rejected the inspirational potential of stage
drama or literary adaptations
 Considered a cinema of “intellectuals for
intellectuals”
 Represented a collective initiative
Avant-garde cinema:
Louis Delluc(1890-1924)
 Originally a
journalist and
literary critic
 Began by
writing
screenplays
Louis Delluc
 Tried to get away from drama scenarios and
literary adaptations (which dominated the
film scene at the time)
 Emphasized symbolic expression and
psychological exploration
 Died suddenly in 1924 (at the age of 34)
Louis Delluc:
Legacy
 Along with Ricciotto Canudo, is credited with
forming the first significant ciné-club in
France
 In 1937, his name was chosen for the prize
awarded each year to the best French film
(Prix Louis Delluc)
Prix Louis Delluc
 The prize is
awarded on the
second Thursday
of December each
year
 In 2009, the Prix
Louis Delluc went
to Un Prophète (A
Prophet)
 See list of winners
Surrealist cinema
 Surrealist and avant-garde cinema was often
scorned
 Was thought to be a cinema for intellectuals
 Result: low budget films that evolved at the
periphery of the industry
 Displayed an overstated tendancy for
psychological analysis in preference to
narration
Cinéma d’auteurs
 The authors remained closely connected to
the process of production
 Was the symbolic icon of all great directors,
from Abel Gance to Renoir
 Anticipated the French New Wave cinema of
the 1960s
Surrealist cinema
 With the surrealist auteurs, a new language of
cinema emerged
 Visual associations
 Sudden slow motion
 Overimpression
 Non-linear narration
 Lack of narrative sequencing
 No anlytical editing
Surrealist cinema:
Luis Buñel (1900-1983)
 Was an active participant in both silent and
sound Surrealist cinema
 Characteristic: atmosphere designed to
upset “bourgeois” cinematographic ethics
 Ex: close-up of an eye being slit by a razor
blade
An Adalusian Dog (1929)
(Un chien andalou)
 Short film in
collaboration with
Salvador Dali
 Disturbing
sequences
 Disconnected scenes
(or seemingly so)
Marcel L’Herbier
 Advocated for diversity
in technological
innovation and offered
extraordinary Art Déco
set productions
Marcel L’Herbier: Art Déco
Money (L’Argent)
Art déco
 Style launched about 1925 at the Paris
Exposition of Modern Industrial and
Decorative Arts
 Became one of the visual trademarks of
Impressionist films
IDHEC (1943)
 One of L’Herbier’s most significant
contributions to film history was his
responsibility for the establishment of the
Institut des hautes études
cinématographiques (IDHEC) in 1943 (trans.:
Institute for Film Studies)
 Many filmakers began their apprenticeships
there
Abel Gance (1889-1981)
 His films were
characterized by
epic subject matter
and historical
figures
Early Films by Abel Gance
Napoleon (1927)
 First conceived for a triple screen
 Introduced the panoramic screen, sound
perspective and the superimposition of shots
 Used a version of widescreen which
employed three synchronized cameras to be
projected on three separate frames (triptych
screen)
 Premiered in Polyvision in 1927 in Paris with a
full orchestra
Napoleon (1927)
René Clair (1898-1981)
 Began his career as an actor
 Entr’acte (Intermission)- 1924
 Featured many celebrities of the decade
 Reminiscent of the automatic writing of the
Surrealists
 Intense emotional maniupulation
René Clair
End of the Silent Era
 Two events marked the end of the silent film
era:
 Invention of the first “talking pictures” in the
United States in 1927
 The Jazz Singer (Al Jolson)
 The economic turmoil following the Wall Street
crash of 1929