Silent Saturday: Menilmontant
1926 French drama
Plot: Orphaned sisters fall for the same guy.
This was apparently critic Pauline Kael's favorite movie.
With dizzying montage and a complete lack of intertitles, this is an intriguing little silent drama. It's definitely little. I didn't have the time for a longer feature last Saturday, so I cheated and watched this one that clocks in at around 40 minutes. Trust me though. There's a lot packed into that 40 minutes. This starts with one of the most shocking scenes of violence that I've seen in a silent movie, the rapid-fire editing transforming the violent act into something you feel with your eyeballs. From there, the story gets convoluted and, for me at least, a little tough to follow. It's a case where the story doesn't matter nearly as much as the delivery though as director Dimitri Kirsanoff throws trick after trick at us--hypnotizing double exposure, that dizzying montage, etc.