Abel Gance - News Poster



Average fans of A Christmas Story likely don’t know that director Bob Clark had once made creepy horror pictures with Alan Ormsby, but this independent shock effort of the early ’70s still casts a spell of dread. Although Vietnam is never mentioned, the war’s shadow strikes deep into the heart of a small-town family. John Marley and Lynn Carlin lead a fine cast.


Blu-ray + DVD

Blue Underground

1974 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 88 min. / Dead of Night, The

Night Andy Came Home, Night Walk, The Veteran, Whispers / Street Date November 28, 2017 /

Starring: John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus, Henderson Forsythe,

Anya Ormsby, Jane Daly, Michael Mazes.

Cinematography: Jack McGowan

Film Editor: Ronald Sinclair

Original Music: Carl Zittrer

Written by Alan Ormsby

Produced by Bob Clark, Peter James, John Trent

Directed by Bob Clark

This gem comes back every ten years in an improved transfer. Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby’s Canadian-financed
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Lyon’s Lumiere Festival Honors Classic Film

The 9th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France, is again bringing together some of the biggest names in world cinema, including Guillermo Del Toro, Wong Kar-wai and Michael Mann, while celebrating the history of film with some 400 screenings of international classics.

Launched in 2009 by Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Frémaux, the respective president and director of the Institut Lumière, the event has become one of the largest international festivals of classic cinema. Last year it hosted 160,500 festivalgoers – up from 2015’s 150,000 admissions – and more than 1,000 industry professionals.

It was in Lyon where brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph in 1895, and in keeping with the city’s cinematic tradition, the festival celebrates the history of film by presenting restored works, retrospectives, tributes and master classes.

In 2013, the festival also started what it describes as the first and only classic film market in the world, noting that the heritage cinema sector is currently expanding thanks to advancements in conservation standards
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hell and High Water

Samuel Fuller sure knows how to turn up the geopolitical tension, especially in a rip-roaring provocative atom threat adventure, that might have caused problems if anybody cared what movies said back when the Cold War was hot. Richard Widmark skippers a leaky sub to the arctic and discovers that the Chinese communists are going to start WW3 — and blame it on Uncle Sam. It’s an insane comic-book adventure about very serious issues — and we love it.

Hell and High Water


Twilight Time

1954 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date June 13, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, Richard Loo, Cameron Mitchell, Gene Evans, David Wayne.

Cinematography: Joseph MacDonald

Art Direction: Leland Fuller, Lyle R. Wheeler

Film Editor: James B. Clark

Original Music: Alfred Newman

Written by Samuel Fuller, Jesse L. Lasky Jr. story by David Hempstead

Produced by Raymond A. Klune

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My Journey Through French Cinema: Personal Canon-Building with Bertrand Tavernier

Names you won’t hear in Bertrand Tavernier’s personal history of French cinema: Abel Gance, Marcel Pagnol, Sacha Guitry, Alain Resnais, Philippe Garrel. Don’t expect to hear about any directors who got started after the ’60s either: Tavernier begins with a solid overview of the glories of Jacques Becker, the first director to make an impression on him (“At age six, I could have chosen worse”) and ends with an equally lengthy tribute to Claude Sautet — along with Jean-Pierre Melville, one of his two professional fairy godmother gateways to the production side of French cinema. There is, to be sure, plenty of […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)

  • MUBI
The latest installment in the filmmaker's series of journal-films combining iPhone footage and sounds and images from movies. A diary penned with cinema.Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)feat. additional footage from Masha Tupitsyn and Isiah MedinaMy journal-film series (of which this is the third installment) came to be as a means of resolving the points of convergence and departure amongst the environments I occupy and those which I encounter in cinema. I like to view these films as a method of managing the images that take up my thoughts and memories into a new continuity, one in which the distinction between images seen on-screen and those personally experienced is no longer absolute. In dissolving this partition, these films provide a vector for the animation conceptual concerns through cinema - montage fulfilling that which language can only formally describe and vice versa. The following essay outlines some of the concerns this film attempts
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Do rediscovered ‘lost’ movies always disappoint? This Depression-era pre-Code science fiction disaster thriller was unique in its day, and its outrageously ambitious special effects –New York City is tossed into a blender — were considered the state of the art. Sidney Blackmer and a fetching Peggy Shannon fight off rapacious gangs in what may be the first post-apocalyptic survival thriller.



Kl Studio Classics

1933 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 67 min. / Street Date February 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring Peggy Shannon, Lois Wilson, Sidney Blackmer, Lane Chandler, Samuel S. Hinds, Fred Kohler, Matt Moore, Edward Van Sloan .

Cinematography: Norbert Brodine

Film Editor: Martin G. Cohn, Rose Loewinger

Special Effects: Ned Mann, Williams Wiliams, Russell Lawson, Ernie Crockett, Victor Scheurich, Carl Wester

Original Music: Val Burton

Written by Warren Duff, John F. Goodrich from the novel by Sydney Fowler Wright

Produced by Samuel Bischoff, Burt Kelly, William Saal

Directed by Felix E. Feist
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Psycho Pompous: Impressionist Horror, Part II: Ménilmontant, the Birth of Psychological Horror

By the time 1926 had rolled around, German expressionism, and the horror films it produced, was already in full swing. The time of the horror film as a viable form of filmmaking had begun. However, there are several elements of import that need to be addressed before moving onto expressionism. By this point, French impressionism was the source of the era’s most important works in the evolution of film technique, language and style in Europe. However, by this point it had begun to lose steam. Most filmmakers who had attempted impressionism had not found the success to which Abel Gance (La Roue), Jean Epstein (Coeur fidèle) and Germaine Dulac (La Souriante Madame Beudet) had achieved. Though this would be the year that Jean Renoir...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
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"The Reader Collaborates with the Author in Every Book": Some Words About Straub-Huillet

  • MUBI
I'm drawn to Straub-Huillet’s usage of direct quotations rather than adapting or interpreting original material for a film. To me this is, among other things, a very straightforward and concrete way of highlighting that people are much less original than they are often assumed to be. (I think that Danièle Huillet once said this, but she was certainly not the first one.) It might be worth being reminded of this, especially today, in a time where we see and seek constant innovation and renewal everywhere while nothing really changes at the core. But for Straub-Huillet, quotation is also about something else. Every film of theirs is a documentation of their loving relationship to a preexisting text, artwork, or artist. The films are more genuinely about the work of the other and less about the couple's so-called vision. Quotation, to Straub-Huillet, is an act of respect, one
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Mia Hansen-Løve’s 10 Favorite Films

She’s only been making feature films for less than a decade — and truly only gained international recognition this decade — but it seems as if the talents of Mia Hansen-Løve as a writer-director are already fully formed. This isn’t to discount room for certain growth in her relatively young career, but with Goodbye First Love, Eden, and now Things to Come, her ruminations on life are expressed as if conveyed by an elder master director. Looking at her eclectic list of all-time favorite films — provided for the latest Sight & Sound poll — one can get a glimpse at her impeccable taste and where her formative influences come from.

“All of my films are my versions of Heat,” she recently told us, speaking about one of her picks. “Because Heat is actually a film about melancholy, about action, and it’s action vs. melancholy and self-destruction — action becoming self-destruction. It’s a couple.
See full article at The Film Stage »

The Forgotten: Abel Gance's "Austerlitz" (1960)

  • MUBI
The great film historian Kevin Brownlow, who has devoted large sections of his life to restoring Abel Gance's 1927 epic Napoleon, takes a dim view of this one. And indeed Austerlitz, a.k.a. The Battle of Austerlitz, has several strikes against it, belongs to several categories of film maudit all at once. It's a late film by a seventy-one-year-old director whose best work, by universal consensus, was in the silent era; it's a kind of belated sequel, the further adventures of Napoleon Bonaparte; it's a Salkind production.Incidentally, viewing the lavish sets for this movie, we can see how the Salkinds, those roving multinational mountebanks, ran up the unpaid studio bills in Yugoslavia which kept Orson Welles from building the elaborate vanishing sets he had planned for The Trial (starting realistic, it would have ended up playing in a featureless void), necessitating the repurposing of a disused Parisian railway station.
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DVD Review: Napoleon

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ An enormous film deserves an enormous preservation effort. Film historian Kevin Brownlow spent more than thirty years tracking down film sources across the world to make up the five-and-a-half hour cut of Abel Gance's Napoleon, completed with the BFI in 2000. Now the BFI have digitally restored the film in 2K as part of a theatrical and video release, close to the film's 90th anniversary. A scene might still be missing, and not every single frame is present. but such things can’t besmirch perhaps the most dynamic film of the silent era.
See full article at CineVue »

J’accuse (1938)

World War, a solemn vow, and a promise betrayed lead to a ‘night of the living war dead’ – all cooked up by the director of Napoleon, Abel Gance. The early, famed pacifist fantasy is back in near-perfect condition and restored to its full length. It’s a reworking, not a remake, of Gance’s 1919 silent classic.



Olive Films

1938 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 120 min. / That They May Live; J’accuse: Fresque tragique des temps modernes vue et Réalisée par Abel Gance / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring Victor Francen, Line Noro, Marie Lou, Jean-Max, Paul Amiot, Jean-Louis Barrault, Marcel Delaitre, Renée Devillers, Romuald Joubé, André Nox, Georges Rollin, Georges Saillard.

Cinematography Roger Hubert

Film Editor Madeleine Crétoile

Original Music Henri Verdun

Written by Abel Gance, Steve Passeur

Produced & Directed by Abel Gance

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Around 1973, UCLA film school professor Bob Epstein
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Napoleon review – restoration of a silent masterpiece

This 90-year-old epic story of the French emperor’s rise to power is a staggering piece of film-making

A strong contender for the most exciting, daring and groundbreaking cinema release of the year is this painstaking digital restoration of a film that was made nearly 90 years ago. Abel Gance’s remarkable five-and-a-half-hour account of the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte was all but lost, the nitrate film degraded and recycled. But thanks to a 50-year project headed by film historian Kevin Brownlow, whose lifelong fascination with the picture was triggered when he saw a couple of reels of it as a schoolboy, Napoleon has been restored to its original state.

The result is, quite simply, staggering. From the opening sequence, a deftly edited extended snowball fight in which the young Napoleon displays his strategising skills, to the breathtaking triptych battle of the final act, there is barely a frame of this
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Napoleon review – silent-era epic more thrilling than ever

For its pure ambition, panache and passion, Abel Gance’s 1927 biographical masterpiece is a staggering acheivement

France’s dream of glory became cinema’s dream, too, in 1927, with Abel Gance’s staggering silent epic story of Napoleon, lasting five-and-a-half hours; its intimately mysterious imagery and magnificent set pieces look more thrilling than ever.

The film is not simple power worship; Gance’s Napoleon – unlike, say, Riefenstahl’s Hitler – is rooted in human history and human mortality: in the schoolroom there is a terrible omen when a lesson on islands brings our infant hero to the somehow disagreeable subject of St Helena.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Lumière Festival: Walt Disney’s ‘Alice Comedies’ Being Restored, Distributed by France’s Malavida

Lyon, France — Walt Disney’s “Alice Comedies,” a series of cartoons made before Disney went to Hollywood, have been freshly restored and re-packaged for global distribution by France’s Malavida Films, one of the specialty cinema companies announcing their 2017 lineups at Lyon’s Lumière festival vintage cinema market.

Disney made the silent shorts starting in 1923 when he was still a struggling cartoon filmmaker in Kansas City. They feature a young girl named Alice, originally played by Virginia Davis, who interacts with animated characters. Local company Laugh-o-gram Films produced them and subsequently went bust. Now they are in the public domain.

“These are the only films in the Disney catalogue that are not copyrighted,” said Malavida co-chief Lionel Ithurralde.

Malavida is a niche vintage arthouse movies outfit whose upcoming French releases include several works by British director Derek Jarman, including his 1976 drama “Sebastiane,” the first film ever shot in Latin.

See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jerome Seydoux Pathé Foundation Restores Abel Gance’s Monumental ‘La Roue’

In the wake of receiving Pathé’s silent film library last year, the Jerome Seydoux Pathé Foundation, founded in 2014 and headed by Sophie Seydoux, is planning to restore Abel Gance’s monumental “La Roue” (The Wheel) in its original six-hour version, as a pan-European endeavor.

The Jerome Seydoux Pathé Foundation occupies the historic Gaumont Gobelins cinema building in Paris, that has been subjected to a spectacular renovation project by architect Renzo Piano.

Film restorations undertaken to date include Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now Redux,” Claude Sautet’s 1983 “Garcon!” and Abel Gance’s lesser-known 1940 “Paradis Perdu.”

Now entering its third-year of activity, one of Sophie Seydoux’s main priorities is film restoration. Restoration of Abel Gance’s pic “La Roue” is its most ambitious project to date.

The pan-European project involves the French Cinematheque, Cineteca di Bologna, with which the Foundation has a close working relationship, German pubcaster Zdf (especially
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stirring Re-Release Trailer For Abel Gance’s Newly Restored, 5 1/2 Hour Silent Epic ‘Napoleon’

Though it marked the fledging early days of the medium, silent cinema was not without its ambitious filmmakers and massive epics, it’s just that time hasn’t always been kind to them, with many works from the period lost forever. However, passionate advocates of the era, such as Kevin Brownlow, have been responsible for ensuring that whatever remains from those important years is preserved, and in the case of Abel Gance‘s “Napoleon,” revisited and revitalized for a new generation.

Continue reading Stirring Re-Release Trailer For Abel Gance’s Newly Restored, 5 1/2 Hour Silent Epic ‘Napoleon’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Scorsese and Kubrick Praise Abel Gance’s Silent Epic ‘Napoleon’ in Restoration Trailer

Clocking in at five-and-a-half-hours, Abel Gance‘s 1927 silent epic Napoleon has undergone a restoration that has been a decades-in-the-making endeavor. It’ll be heavily credited to the BFI, yet historian Kevin Brownlow “spent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.”

BFI National Archive, Brownlow’s Photoplay Productions, and Dragon Di have restored the film — funding for 35mm elements came in 2000 — while Philharmonia Orchestra recorded the entirety of Carl Davis‘ score, and now it’ll see the light of day this November in the U.K. thanks to a theatrical and Blu-ray release.

Ahead of the release, we have a new trailer, which features quotes from both Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick, as well as a glimpse at the landmark triptych sequences. Amusingly, Kubrick did indeed call the film “a masterpiece of cinematic invention,” but he
See full article at The Film Stage »

Off The Shelf – Episode 98 – New Blu-ray & DVD Releases for Tuesday, August 2nd 2016

In this episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week August 2nd, 2016.

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Follow-up Dead Ringers Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Dated Scream Factory: Rabid Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Dated News Lionsgate bows new Vestron Bd series, plus BFI’s Napoleon, Peter Gabriel, Da Vinci Code 4K, Phantasm & more Warcraft official for Bd, BD3D & 4K on 9/27, plus Everest 4K, Bates Motel: S4, Arrow’s Dark Water & more Vestron Video – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Vestron Video VHS Covers Vestron Video – Clg Wiki Scorpion Releasing: Joseph Losey’s Steaming Heading to Blu-ray Glengarry Glen Ross Blu-ray Upcoming Eureka Entertainment Blu-ray Releases The Lodger Blu-ray Detailed First Look at New 4K Remaster of Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls Kino: New 2K Restoration of Night People Coming to Blu-ray The Almodóvar Blu-ray Collection Babyface (1977) Blu-ray
See full article at CriterionCast »

New Faces of Independent Film, Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ Restored, Mel Gibson’s Action, and More

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

Filmmaker Magazine has published their annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film, featuring Sasha Lane, Macon Blair, Connor Jessup, and more.

Watch a clip from the restoration of Abel Gance‘s Napoleon:

Mubi‘s Michael Pattison on Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day, our favorite animation of the century so far:

Psycholinguists call the opening gag of It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012), Don Hertzfeldt’s delightful hour-long feature, a blend. Bill, a black-on-white stick figure whose only distinctive feature is his top hat, is on his way to the bus stop when he sees someone he recognizes but whose name he doesn’t remember.
See full article at The Film Stage »
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