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La folie du Docteur Tube (1915)

| Short
A scientist develops a powder that he believes will have the effect of distorting reality for those who take it. To test its effect tries it out on his assistant, a dog, himself and two young couples.

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Dr. Tube
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A scientist develops a powder that he believes will have the effect of distorting reality for those who take it. To test its effect tries it out on his assistant, a dog, himself and two young couples.

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La Folie Du Docteur Tube (Abel Gance, 1915) **
4 October 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

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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