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L’Inhumaine

Here's something for hardcore cineastes: an incredible restoration of Marcel L'Herbier's avant-garde silent feature, which looks unlike any other movie of its time. The weird story is about a Swedish engineer who wins the hand of famous singer by demonstrating a machine that can revive the dead. The film's designs are by score of famous architects and art notables of the Paris art scene circa 1924. L'Inhumaine Blu-ray Flicker Alley 1924 / Color tints / 1:33 Silent Aperture / min. / Street Date March 1, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Georgette Leblanc, Jacque Catelain, Léonid Walter de Malte, Philippe Hériat, Fred Kellerman, Robert Mallet-Stevens. Cinematography Roche, Georges Specht Art Direction, design, costumes, Claude Autant-Lara, Alberto Cavalcanti, Fernand Léger, Paul Poiret, Original Music Darius Milhaud (originally), Aidje Tafial / Alloy Orchestra Written by Pierre MacOrlan, Marcel L'Herbier, Georgette Leblanc Produced and Directed by Marcel L'Herbier

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Followers of art, architecture, literature and French art movies of the early 1920s
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Stunning-Looking Mix of Sex Melodrama and Science Fiction

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier silent classic stars Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on Dec. 5, '15, at the Castro Theatre, was Marcel L'Herbier's The Inhuman Woman / L'Inhumaine (1924). The screening of this mix of desire and seduction with science fiction turned out to be an intense sensory integration of sight and sound. First, the sight. I had not seen any other films directed by L'Herbier (e.g., L'Argent, La Comédie du bonheur), so L'Inhumaine, with its spectacular visuals, came as a big surprise to me. For instance, the film features a stand-out scene of a car racing down a wooded highway from the driver's point of view, while in a party sequence I really liked the effect of the serving staff wearing sardonic face masks,
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Legendary Bergman on TCM: From Hollywood Career-Ruining Scandal to 3 Oscars and Another Bergman

Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her
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The Forgotten: Better Loving Through Science

  • MUBI
Concluding a three-part series on cinema's most flamboyant production designers.

Marcel L'Herbier arguably confused great design with great filmmaking, but he did deliver consistently on the former. And some of the time, influenced by and in rivalry with Abel Gance, he produced the latter.

Years before the moderne/streamline/art deco style conquered Hollywood, L'Herbier was featuring minimalist art nouveau decor and Bauhaus architecture in his French productions. In L'inhumaine (The Inhuman Woman, 1924) he has the services of Alberto Cavalcanti as production designer.

Cavalcanti's career took not only design, but experimental sound editing (Night Mail, 1936), and the production, writing and direction of both documentaries and dramas (Dead of Night, Went the Day Well?) in France, Britain and his native Brazil. And everything he did was touched with genius.

In L'inhumaine, his work is supplemented by the art of Fernand Leger (cubist-tubist-mechanist) and the costumes of future director Claude Autant-Lara.
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The Forgotten: Aiming for the Heart

  • MUBI
Le bonheur (1934) may be Marcel L'Herbier's best talkie—even if it is, its existence should be enough to disprove the widely and uncritically accepted assumption that the director went into a steep decline with the coming of sound.

In fact, the bigger problem is that not enough people know his work at all. In the silent era, he quite deliberately competed with Abel Gance in terms of cinematic spectacle, swinging his camera from ropes and wheeling it on a lighting stand, while also pursuing a cinema of elaborate, stylized production design. There's something inscrutable about him: he shuttles from genre trifles to experimental epics, and his true sensibility may be glimpsed as much in the former as the latter. Perhaps his homosexuality, an open secret in the film business, led him to to employ layers of careful coding more than most commercial filmmakers.

L'Herbier's early talkies include the lighter-than-air
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Cinecon 2011 Movie Schedule: East Side, West Side; Practically Yours; Stronger Than Death

Claudette Colbert, Alla Nazimova, Marion Davies, Charles Boyer: Cinecon 2011 Thursday September 1 (photo: Alla Nazimova) 7:00 Hollywood Rhythm (1934) 7:10 Welcoming Remarks 7:15 Hollywood Story (1951) 77 min. Richard Conte, Julie Adams, Richard Egan. Dir: William Castle. 8:35 Q & A with Julie Adams 9:10 Blazing Days (1927) 60 min. Fred Humes. Dir: William Wyler. 10:20 In The Sweet Pie And Pie (1941) 18 min 10:40 She Had To Eat (1937) 75 min. Jack Haley, Rochelle Hudson, Eugene Pallette. Friday September 2 9:00 Signing Off (1936) 9:20 Moon Over Her Shoulder (1941) 68 min. Dan Dailey, Lynn Bari, John Sutton, Alan Mowbray. 10:40 The Active Life Of Dolly Of The Dailies (1914) 15 min. Mary Fuller. 10:55 Stronger Than Death (1920) 80 min. Alla Nazimova, Charles Bryant. Dir: Herbert Blaché, Charles Bryant, Robert Z. Leonard. 12:15 Lunch Break 1:45 Open Track (1916) 2:00 On The Night Stage (1915) 60 min. William S. Hart, Rhea Mitchell. Dir: Reginald Barker. 3:15 50 Miles From Broadway (1929) 23 min 3:45 Cinerama Adventure (2002). Dir: David Strohmaier. 5:18 Discussion
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Claudette Colbert, Alla Nazimova, Marion Davies, Charles Boyer: Cinecon 2011

Director Allan Dwan, actor George O'Brien, cinematographer George Webber, East Side, West Side Are you a movie lover in Los Angeles, unable to travel either to Venice or Telluride? Don't despair. L.A. has its own glamorous film festival this weekend. It's called Cinecon, now in its 47th year. What's more: unlike the vast majority of movies screening at the more highly publicized Venice and Telluride — which will shortly be made available at theaters, DVD stores, or online streaming services — most Cinecon movies are nearly impossible to be seen anywhere else. In other words, it's September 1-5 at the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at Grauman's Egyptian on Hollywood Boulevard or (quite possibly) never. [Cinecon 2011 Schedule.] This year's Cinecon rarities includes the following: The first Los Angeles area screening in eight decades of Allan Dwan's East Side, West Side (1927), a risque silent drama starring Sunrise's George O'Brien and Virginia Valli, the
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