14 May 2008 | FerdinandVonGalitzien
Early Example Of Herr Tourneur's Carefully Artistic Expertness And Merits
"La Bergère d'Ivry" was a silent work for "Éclair" films produced in 1913 and an excellent early oeuvre ( it is considered the earliest film that has survived of Tourneur career ). The film tells the story of Dame Aimée ( Dame Renée Sylvaire ), a young shepherdess who is taken under the of Dame Hortense ( Dame Paulette Noizeux ), the wife of a village postmaster who accepts the love propositions of the Comte de Granval ( Henry Roussel). This is a very complicated subject because Aimée knows very well that Dame Hortense's husband is a very jealous man. If he finds out he will not like such flirting, so in order to prevent a catastrophe, Dame Aimée will try to avoid such situation.
This short film is an early example of Herr Tourneur's carefully artistic expertness and merits. The film has an excellent set design with bucolic and realistic outdoor sceneries in what it might be considered a mixture of film d'Art and naturalism film with the right doses of drama.
The film narrative of "La Bergère d'Ivry" is concise but direct and in spite of that the film is basically filmed with a static camera. Herr Tourneur knows very well how to profit from such a limited technical aspect ( on the other hand, a common practice in such early silent film productions ). This happens with a decisive shot in where the love misunderstandings and a threatening drama are solved by the gathering of the main characters in the same scene and a slightly enlarged shot to develop the crucial situations of the different characters as performed those by restrained actors (while showing emotions in a very conceivable way).
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must find some more lost films in the Schloss cellar.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/