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Montparnasse (1929)

 -  Short  -  24 April 2004 (France)
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Come take an avant-garde walk in the Montparnasse of the late 1920's. This district of Paris, filmed in a most unusual way, shows how dedicated it is to art. Visit its art galleries and ... See full summary »


(as Eugène Deslaw)
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Credited cast:
Fujita ...
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti ...
Enrico Prampolini ...
Luigi Russolo ...


Come take an avant-garde walk in the Montparnasse of the late 1920's. This district of Paris, filmed in a most unusual way, shows how dedicated it is to art. Visit its art galleries and exhibitions, take a glimpse of famous painter Fujita, of Luis Buñuel eying the legs of beautiful Parisian passing the terrace of the café where he is sitting, of three Italian futurists, Marinetti, Prampolini and Russolo. But besides being a cosmopolitan hub for creators, Montparnasse is also a popular quarter, busy with the lives of its ordinary inhabitants, with its markets and flea markets, with its brats looking at a street circus show. Don't miss the goats crossing the street for the unexpected is always possible. And complete the visit with a good cup of coffee at the Rotonde or at the Sélect on the Boulevard du Montparnasse. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

24 April 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Montparnasse, poème du café crème  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Lyrical Realism And A Documentary Approach

As you probably will know by now, mein liebers, this German count prefers the cosy dark and humid Schloss chambers and is reluctant to put his aristocratic feet outside its thick walls, This is due to laziness, the aristocrat's favourite vice from among the seven deadly sins. So if someone were to suggest an outing to a place crowded by frenchified commoners and-even worse-artists- there is little chance this German count would risk going to such a dangerous place.

Fortunately, this Herr Von hasn't the need to makes such a risky expedition because Herr Eugene Deslaw did it for him (and for all aristocrats) by making his short film "Montparnasse" in the silent year of 1929. Thanks to Herr Deslaw and his cameraman, this Herr Graf, together, with youngster silent fans, can watch the daily life in that well-known district of Paris from a safe distance. Montparnasse has been famous since the beginning of the last century for being a home and workplace for artists ( painters, sculptors, writers, film directors ). The film shows them at work and finds time to spend in the popular night spots in the district (no surprise there, given the leisurely manner of living for those bohemian artists).

Herr Deslaw creates an interesting historical portrait of Montparnasse popular life: we see artists and commoners (no close-ups for them of course), people going to work and lingering in cafes; heavy traffic; the crowded market place; much frenzied activity. While there are elements of surrealism at work in the film, it puts aside the experimental techniques common in other important silent "city films" and strives more for lyrical realism and a documentary approach. To this Herr Graff, "Montparnasse" provides a valuable witness to a fruitful artistic time in one of the most famous districts of Paris.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must sell a Picasso owned by one of his rich heiresses.

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