The History of Motion Pictures

By Maurice Bardèche; Robert Brasillach et al. | Go to book overview

retreat, the troops marching into Strasbourg, the Victory Parades in all the capitals. Here are the Americans, slain by the thousands the first time they went into battle, the turbaned Indians and that strange white war of the Italians in white uniforms amid the Alpine snows. There must be much else also hidden away in the archives, awaiting the hand of a master editor. The little that we have seen, usually issued upon the occasion of the death of some distinguished figure like Albert of Belgium, Alexander of Serbia or Clemenceau, or in one of the clumsy war-record films, remains of abiding interest. In these artless reels, born of accident and catastrophe, is some of the finest material of all the war years.


1. The Italian Film

IN OTHER countries film production continued as before. For the first months of the war Italy was not a participant, and when she did come in, her position was such that she could easily continue to turn out those movie spectacles so popular at the time.

Each big producing firm in Italy had its own company of actors under annual contract. Actors like Emilio Ghione (who was a director as well as an actor, and has written a brief essay on the Italian film), actresses like Maria Jacobini, Gianna Terribili- Gonzales of the unforgettable name, and the pre-eminent star Francesca Bertini, directors like Gabriellino d'Annunzio, Negroni, Righelli and Guazzoni all made up a picturesque and lively group. There were also Augusto Genina and Carmine Gallone, who were later to direct some fairly good films in France. Ghione's films, such as The Masked Amazon and particularly the series called Za-la-Mort, as well as those of Negroni and of Pasquali ( Gipsy Love, Between Men and Beasts, etc.), all exhibited the same emphatic style, the same rather touching naïveté, the same overabundance of gestures and declamatory motions. The worst faults of the American film were already apparent here, and on an even larger scale. Film stars in Turin and Rome were far more pretentious and exigent than they have ever been in Hollywood.

-95-

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The History of Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword xi
  • Translator's Note *
  • Part One - The Birth of the Film 1895-1908 1
  • Part Two - The Prewar Film 1908-1914 37
  • Part Three - The Cinema during the World War 1914-1918 91
  • 1 - The Italian Film 95
  • 2 - The American Film 98
  • 3 - The French Film 127
  • 4 - The German Film and the Danish Film 134
  • 5 - The Swedish Film 136
  • 6 - The Russian Film 140
  • Part Four - The Emergence of an Art 1919-1923 145
  • 1 - The French Film 147
  • 2 - The Russian Film 168
  • 4 - The German Film 187
  • 5 - The Italian Film 196
  • 6 - The American Film 199
  • Part Five - The Classic Era of the Silent Film 1923-1929 223
  • 1 - The French Film 225
  • 2 - The German Film 251
  • 3 - The Scandinavian Film 263
  • 4 - The Russian Film 266
  • 5 - The American Film 283
  • 6 - The Death of Art 300
  • Part Six - The Talking Films 1929-1935 303
  • 1 - The American Film 305
  • 3 - The German Film 341
  • 4 - The Russian Film 353
  • 5 - A World Industry 361
  • Part Seven - Forty Years of Film 367
  • Editorial Postscript: 1935-1938 381
  • Index of Film Titles 391
  • General Index 405
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