7.9/10
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18 user 11 critic

Ménilmontant (1926)

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:

Dimitri Kirsanoff
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Cast

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

Genres:

Short | Drama

Parents Guide:

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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 »

User Reviews

Menilmontant, a development in storytelling with film...
8 March 2002 | by fredgroganSee all my reviews

Dmitri Kirsinov's Menilmontant is considered to be a landmark in the art of film-making. The story is sparse, melodramatic, and brief. The film is barely twenty minutes long. A young girl leaves home after a somewhat vague hatchet murder takes place. She spends time in the seedy streets of Menilmontant, a medieval suburb of Paris. She drifts through a relationship with her sister and man friend.

If you are looking for a strong story and character development, you may be missing the point. Kirsanov was trying to manipulate images in such a way as to get a reaction from his viewer. The bigger story is just a convention on which to hang his moody images. The axe murder with its choppy editing is a very early use of this sort of emotive technique. You are one moment under the flailing axe, interleaved with fast cuts of a howling victim. Later in the film the younger sister is the center of a blurry sensual reverie, her body and her grim surroundings in and out of focus. Silent film as art needs to be taken on its own terms. Kirsanov and other early filmmakers helped to define the way we view, and how we understand the film narrative. That understanding of how the film story works was established quite some time ago, which needs remembering by those of us not around in 1926. It was not foreordained that fast editing, double exposure and other techniques would come into their own. Someone had to prove the power of a restrained use of these formal ideas. Kirsanov did this in 1926.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

None

Release Date:

26 November 1926 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Les cent pas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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