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Abel Gance (1889 - 1981)

Related: French cinema - director

Napoléon (1927) - Abel Gance

British artist Francis Bacon saw Abel Gance's Napoléon at the Paris Opéra on its premiere in April 1927.


Abel Gance (October 25, 1889 - November 10, 1981) a world renowned French film director, producer, writer, actor and editor. He was both born and died in Paris. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abel_Gance


In 1927 Abel Gance exclaimed enthusiastically:

Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Beethoven will make films... all legends, all mythologies and all myths, all founders of religion, and the very religions... await their exposed resurrection, and the heroes crowd each other at the gate.

via Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 1935



Lucrèce Borgia (1935) - Abel Gance

Lucrèce Borgia (1935) - Abel Gance [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Directed by silent film pioneer Abel Gance, "Lucrezia Borgia" (1935, 93 min.) blazes onto the screen with the story of one of history's most ruthlessly ambitious families. With the same high style and exquisite attention to detail that Gance demonstrated so breathtakingly in "Napoleon," "Lucrezia Borgia" has been called an exuberant display of Gance's extensive filmmaking prowess. Also included are two rarely seen shorter silent films directed by Gance: "Au Secours!" (1923, 31 min.) uses experimental editing and photography to illustrate a man's adventures in a haunted house. "La Folie Du Docteur Tube" (1916, 14 min.) is a highly advanced experimental comedy about a mad scientist who discovers a sneezing powder that can alter someone's physique. This film, which uses mirrors to create distorted images, is considered by many to be the first appearance of the avant-garde in French cinema. --Amazon.com

Napoléon (1927) - Abel Gance

Napoléon is an epic (1927) silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of the rise of Napoleon I of France.

Ahead of its time in its use of handheld cameras and editing, many scenes were hand tinted or toned. Gance had intended the final reel of the film to be screened as a triptych via triple projection, or Polyvision. Planned to be the first of six movies about Napoleon Bonaparte, it was realised after the completion of the film that the costs involved would make this impossible.

It was first released in a gala premiere at the Paris Opéra in April 1927. Napoléon had only been screened in eight European cities when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to the film, but after screening it intact in London, it was cut drastically in length and only the central panel of the widescreen sequences retained before being put on limited release in the United States. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napol%C3%A9on_%28film%29 [Mar 2006]

See also: Abel Gance - 1927 - silent films

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