Max accepts a wager that he cannot remain in a haunted castle for one hour (11 PM to midnight) without crying for help. As soon as he arrives he encounters strange and nightmarish visions, ... See full summary »
A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon ... See full summary »
Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (whom Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »
Elizabeth Lee Miller,
This is an abstract film in which every motion is in strict synchronization with music, so the description must be read in terms of the overall impression it gives. Within a deep blue ... See full summary »
It’s ironic that, of Gance’s more celebrated Silent work, this should be the one I watch first: it’s a one-reel short about a mad scientist – hence its inclusion in the “Horror Challenge”, though the tone throughout is distinctly comical! The titular figure is played by Albert Dieudonne – later the incarnation of Napoleon in the director’s eponymous epic of 1927 – and who’s fitted here with an exaggerated domed head, which he finally shelters inside a cage!
Even so, its raison d’etre is Gance’s use of the wide-angle lens in depicting the disorientating effect on people when subjected to a drug (in the form of dust particles) concocted by the protagonist. However, this gimmick – which actually prevents one from following what’s going on! – is kept up for an inordinate length of time: consequently, even at a mere 10 minutes, the gimmick outstays its welcome…
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