12 December 2016 | darioilg
Much more than an iconic French impressionism film
"El Dorado" is generally linked to the cinematographic movement of the French impressionists, a branch of the more famous pictorial current. But L'Herbier's masterpiece is not to be confined in this label. Actually, the label itself is the only flaw I perceived in the movie: the special effects boasting the power and possibilities of cinema, while innovative, sure, seem somewhat out of place sometimes and lessen the impact of a few frames, yet still improving others. What should really emerge from this film, though, is the poetic power L'Herbier is able to infuse into an average melodramatic plot: every scene has a peculiar delicacy and taste for style uncommon at the time and today. A big merit to the success of the process has to be granted to the lead star, Eve Francis, an incredibly powerful and intense actress who clouds entirely the other performances, that are still above the average of the time (which is not much). It felt strange for me to feel something real about a character in a '20s movie, the only other one being "The Painted Lady", which is from the '10s, and that is a clear signal for me of the exceptional nature of this masterpiece of the early age of cinema. It breaks my heart that, not having been released worldwide at the time, "El Dorado" has become famous only in France, because it should be known as a true gem both in artistry and in innovation by any film scholar and lover all around the globe.