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The Inhuman Woman (1924)
"L'inhumaine" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 298 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 4 critic

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 »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jaque Catelain ...
Léonid Walter de Malte ...
Philippe Hériat ...
Djorah de Nopur
Fred Kellerman ...
Frank Mahler
Georgette Leblanc ...
Claire Lescot
Marcelle Pradot ...
The simpleton
Prince Tokio ...
the entertainers
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Las Bonambellas
Rolf de Mare Ballets
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Storyline

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 intention to kill himself... But the story is much less important than the scenery : this movie intended to be a manifesto of the modern decorative arts. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Une histoire féerique vue par Marcel L'Herbier


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Release Date:

14 March 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The New Enchantment  »

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(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Fatale beauté (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

The First Truly Modern Film - Perhaps The Last?
18 March 2003 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

It is hard for film buffs today to see silent cinema as a modern art. What strikes us nowadays is the immense debt that DW Griffith owes to Victorian fiction, that FW Murnau owes to Romantic painting, that Fritz Lang (and this is true even in Metropolis) owes to ancient German myth. How strange and wonderful then, to see a silent film that owes no debt to anything or anybody, that sums up the notion of 'modernity' in a way no work of art had done before - and precious few have done ever since. Eighty years on from its catastrophic release, Marcel L'Herbier's 1924 masterpiece L'Inhumaine remains the first, perhaps the only, totally modern film.

Most famous, of course, are the sets. A Cubist and Art Deco fantasy world designed by the artist Fernand Leger. Whether it's the salon of seductive chanteuse Claire Lescot (Georgette Leblanc) - a dining table afloat on an indoor pool, servants hidden by perpetually smiling masks -or the laboratory of visionary inventor Einar Norsen (Jacque Catelain) -vast and potentially lethal electronic gadgets, assistants in black leather fetish gear - we have entered a world where the past might never have existed, where the future can only be a continuation of now.

Just as striking, though, is L'Inhumaine's 'emotional modernism'. While so much silent film acting makes us laugh at its melodramatic excess, Claire and her circle of admirers underplay their emotions as coolly as the high-fashion zombies in Last Year at Marienbad by Alain Resnais. (A fervent admirer of L'Herbier, Resnais has acknowledged the influence of L'Inhumaine on his own work, though he insists that "its ambition is more impressive than its achievement.") Leblanc and Catelain make a gorgeously impassive pair of lovers. Hieratic icons for an age whose one true god is the Image.

David Melville










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