8 December 2015 | kickboyface-1
Mash Up of Two of the Greatest Films of All Time
I'm a fairly avid film guy -- especially when it comes to the avant garde and silent tributaries of cinema. (I mean, come on, I took film classes from Stan Brakhage for cryin' out loud.)
Maybe I'm the stupidest kid on my block, but I'd never even HEARD of L'Humaine until it played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's "Day of Silents" last week at the Castro Theatre.
It is absolutely stunning.
You could get all snooty and long-winded about this film, but in my mind it all boils down to this: Metropolis meets Frankenstein in geometry class.
I'd even go so far as to say this movie is better than Metropolis ... But I'm the first to admit that my thinking may have more to do with the fact that I've seen that film a couple dozen times (ie. I know what to expect when I see it) and I'd never seen this movie at all.
When I first started this review, I gave it a 9 thinking nothing's perfect. But honestly, I can't think of something "wrong" with it. Viewing L'inhumaine for the first time was one of the most moving and significant viewings of film in my life. Right up there with 2001 in a Cinerama theater in 1968.
Georgette Leblanc stands out well above an otherwise truly great cast showing a remarkable amount of breadth in her role. What starts out looking like a 2D character becomes someone much much bigger (with a surprising amount of subtlety considering the acting standards of both the French as well as silent film of the time).
When I saw it, the movie was accompanied by the incredible Alloy Orchestra playing live (which kind of adds a very appropriate Devo overtone to it all). It's worth taking a look at their Website to see if/when they're playing with the film. If you've read this far in my review, it'd definitely be worth making a trip to see the whole spectacle. (I have very little doubt that they'll probably eventually release a version of the film with their soundtrack affixed. Get it if they do.)
Thanks for reading.