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 »
It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom ... See full summary »
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
Claire Lescot is a famous prima donna. All men want to be loved by her. Among them is the young scientist Einar Norsen. When she mocks at him, he leaves her house with the declared ... See full summary »
Léonid Walter de Malte,
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... See full summary »
A historical view of witchcraft in seven parts and a variety of styles. First, there is a slide-show alternating inter-titles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the behavior of pagan... 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 running nine hours, this epic tragedy is notable for the way it foreshadows Gance's later 'Napoleon' in its use of innovative cinematic devices, particularly rapid cutting. Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Abel Gance came up with the idea for this film the day his wife, Ida Denis, was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Gance completed editing on the 32 reel film on 9 April 1924, hours after Denis died. See more »
French philosophers are famous for achieving spectacular results in combining literature and metaphysics. It is probably not by chance that the genre "essay" has a French name. Abel Gance was a philosopher insofar as he succeeded in combining film and metaphysics. Hence, there is a name lacking for this special genre of metaphysical film. When Deleuze and Guattari, decades after Gance's "La roue", wrote that metaphysics should not be fixed to the logical categories of subject and object but to the "earth" as point of reference, we see this "geophilosophical" concept that became popular in recent philosophical approaches, been anticipated by Gance. "La roue" establishes a kaleidoscope of impressions, mostly filmed in the staccato-style first used by Gance, between earth and mountains and giving an existentialist paradigm that, taken as an abstract empty form, can be filled with the personal data out of every watchers life. This is not a scientific German existentialism a la Heidegger, it is an essayist French Bergsonian metaphysics of time. Yet, the time has to be abolished under the suffocating impression of the earthy paradigm. The Gancean space, spun up in this world of Mont-Blanc, where the movie had been filmed in location and cost the life both of main actor Severin-Mars and of Gance's wife Ivy Close, this Gancean space abolished the time by means of speed like again decades after in Virilio's "dromology". The abolishment of space by time is thus enabled by the acceleration of the Gancean locomotives which is based on the combination of wheel and track. However, the paths in the mountains where the characters go, have neither wheels nor tracks, since these paths have to be made first by walking on them. While on the Gancean earth, the locomotive as symbol of civilization is based on paths prefabricated by the combination of wheels and tracks, the paths in the mountains, where civilizations ends but once began, are only made by steps and are thus not pre-existent.
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