A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Nadia Sibirskaïa ...
Younger Sister
Yolande Beaulieu ...
Older Sister
Guy Belmont ...
Young Man
Jean Pasquier ...
The father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
M. Ardouin ...
The mother
Maurice Ronsard ...
The lover
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Storyline

A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Release Date:

26 November 1926 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Les cent pas  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pauline Kael said this was her favorite film of all time. See more »

Connections

Featured in Edge Codes.com: The Art of Motion Picture Editing (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Virtuosic, Zolaesque - UNFETTERED CINEMA !
17 October 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Watched Dimitri Kirsanoff's Ménilmontant last night. It's right out of the top drawer. Filmed in 1926 when the rubric for making a film was not yet set, the rules not there to be broken. You can sense the sheer vitality that the filmmaker is enabled with because of this. It feels like a Zola novel, a great portrait of urban life, and also a valuable document of the way Paris looked at the time. Kirsanoff is not weighed down by cinematic antecedents, there are no Hitchockian homages, no cinematic in-jokes, no nods to popular culture, no product placement. This makes the film alive with atmosphere, almost overflowing with it. Somehow Mr Kirsanoff places you in the film, makes you an insider to the innocence of childhood, the loneliness of the big city, the despair of poverty, the shock of betrayal.

His camera is like the Kino-Eye, and it looks at things the way real people look at them, making it the least phallic use of a camera that I have seen. The shots of the Seine, of the countryside, of Ménilmontant, and the roving, lingering, pace of the camera were quite literally breath-taking. There are no intertitles in this silent movie, and the plot is a little opaque, but really this is not taking the movie on its own terms, it is a masterpiece of camera-work and editing and provides the most atmosphere of any movie I have ever seen. It is ESSENTIAL to watch this movie at its 38 minute pace. I saw it on the double-disc Kino edition of Avant-garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s. This is the best value for money DVD on the market full stop.

Recently I watched Lang's The Testament of Dr Mabuse and became aware through his virtuosic use of sound, how taken for granted sound is in movies these days. Watching Ménilmontant makes you realise how taken for granted image is, most of modern cinema is simply about dubious storytelling to quote something I heard on TV, "…it's a cultural wasteland filled with inappropriate metaphors and an unrealistic portrayal of life created by the liberal media elite". I recommend this movie to all lovers of cinema, it really is a movie that can make you once again enthuse about the moving image.


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