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.

Director:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Entr'acte (1924)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Jean Börlin, Inge Frïss, Francis Picabia
At 3:25 (1924)
Short | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A scientist's invisible ray freezes Paris into immobility.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Henri Rollan, Charles Martinelli, Louis Pré Fils
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Obsessed with a general's woman, a clergyman has strange visions of death and lust, struggling against his own eroticism.

Director: Germaine Dulac
Stars: Alex Allin, Genica Athanasiou, Lucien Bataille
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »

Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy
Stars: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Katherine Murphy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »

Director: Germaine Dulac
Stars: Germaine Dermoz, Alexandre Arquillière, Jean d'Yd
The Starfish (1928)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »

Director: Man Ray
Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, André de la Rivière, Robert Desnos
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic ... See full summary »

Director: Wladyslaw Starewicz
Assunta Spina (1915)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Napoli, gli inizi del secolo. Assunta Spina è una bella stiratrice ed ha per amante Michele, ma Raffaele continua a girarle attorno. Un giorno, durante il pranzo di onomastico a Marechiaro,... See full summary »

Directors: Francesca Bertini, Gustavo Serena
Stars: Francesca Bertini, Gustavo Serena, Carlo Benetti
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Epstein
Stars: Jeanne Helbling, Suzy Pierson, Olga Day
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Dimitri Kirsanoff
Stars: Nadia Sibirskaïa
Emak-Bakia (1927)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A long series of unrelated images, revolving, often distorted: lights, flowers, nails. A lightboard appears from time to time carrying the news of the day. Then, an eye. A woman in a car ... See full summary »

Director: Man Ray
Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, Jacques Rigaut
Short | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Rapsodia Satanica (1915) was the last film directed by Nino Oxilia and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of the early Italian cinema. In it, Oxilia spins a variation on the ... See full summary »

Director: Nino Oxilia
Stars: Lyda Borelli, Andrea Habay, Ugo Bazzini
Edit

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
Edit

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

Genres:

Short | Drama | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

26 November 1926 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Les cent pas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the November 15, 1926 issue of Cinéa - Ciné Pour Tous, Joseph Faivre wrote intertitles for the Belgian release of the film, although it had been specifically advertised in France as a film without any titles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Disorientating visual poetry
6 December 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Dimitri Kirsanoff, born in Estonia but operating mostly in Paris, was heavily influenced by the theories of Soviet Montage. In his most famous short film, 'Ménilmontant (1926)' – still frightfully obscure in most circles – he adheres to this style strictly, almost obsessively. His preference towards a brisk editing pace carries a unique vitality that is also seen in the work of Soviet masters Eisenstein and Vertov, who pioneered and perfected the technique of montage in the mid-to-late 1920s. But, nevertheless, I don't think it works quite as well here. 'The Battleship Potemkin (1925)' and 'The Man with the Movie Camera (1929) – perhaps the two most recognised works of Soviet montage – utilise their chosen editing style to full effect precisely because they place greater emphasis on the collective over the individual, in accordance with traditional Communist ideology. There is deliberately no emotional connection attempted nor made between the viewer and any individual movie character, for that would be contrary to the filmmaker's intentions (interestingly, however, the montage fell out of preference from the 1930s in favour of Soviet realism).

'Ménilmontant' falters because it strives to create an emotional connection with the characters (particularly the younger sister, played by Nadia Sibirskaïa), but Kirsanoff's chosen editing style continually keeps the audience at an arm's length. The closest he comes to true pathos is with the park-bench sequence, when an old man offers some bread and meat to the famished woman, delicately avoiding eye contact to preserve her dignity. Even in this scene, the montage style intrudes. A director like Chaplin (and I'm a romantic at heart, so he's naturally one of favourite filmmakers) would have placed the camera at a distance, framing the profiles of both the woman and the old man within the same shot, thus capturing the subtle emotions and inflections of both parties simultaneously. Kirsanoff somewhat confuses the scene, cutting sequentially between the woman, the man and the food in a manner that reduces a simple, poignant act of kindness into a technical exercise in film editing. It works adequately, of course, a precise demonstration of the Kuleshov Effect, but there's relatively little heart in it.

But we'll cease with my complaints hereafter. I know my own film tastes well enough to recognise that what I disliked about the film – its emotional distance, for example – represents precisely what others love about it. There's no doubting that the photography (when it's kept on screen long enough) is breathtakingly spectacular, making accomplished use of lighting, shadows and in-camera optical effects such as dissolves, irises and superimpositions. There are touches of the surreal. Kirsanoff cuts non-discriminately forwards in time, backwards and into his characters' dreams, fragmenting time and reality into a series of shattered images, their individual meanings obscure until considered sequentially as in the pieces of a puzzle. Most impressive, I thought, was how several shots captured the linear perspective of roads and alleys, watching his characters gradually depart into the distance as though merely following the predetermined pathways of their future. The film ends exactly as it begins – with a bloody and unexplained murder – suggesting the inevitable cycle of human suffering, its causes unknown and forever incomprehensible.


6 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Slip-up or deliberate? fatplank
This was Pauline Kael's favorite film jland
Alternate film score NDHFilms
Public Domain Grant_Gardner
Watch it at Internet Archive Melvelet
Deserves to be more well known oneflyride
Discuss Ménilmontant (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?