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The Forgotten: Triumph and Disaster

Every time I see a Jean Grémillon film, I write about it for The Forgotten. I'm now going to break with tradition slightly, because thanks to the Edinburgh Film Festival's Grémillon retrospective, subtitled Symphonies of Life, I've now seen too many films to catch up on except through a kind of overview, which I will now attempt. I should stress that the retrospective isn't over yet, I haven't been able to see all of it, and anyway there are some films not showing. So this should be considered a work in progress.

Between La petite Lise (1930), which deserves to be considered alongside Lang's M when early sound cinema is discussed, and Gueule d'amour (1937), a magnificent melodrama that works along far more stylistically conventional lines, it's been hard to see exactly what kind of filmmaker Grémillon is. A great one, certainly, but what qualities unite his work?

This is now a bit clearer to me.

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