Experimental French Documentaries, 1947–58

Friday, March 1, 2013, 1:30 p.m.

Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

This program is intended to update our 2010 exploration of French avant-garde films. The interesting thing, however, is that, perhaps because of something peculiar to the nature of French cinema, this program also tends to document certain aspects of the French culture and environment. Thus it seems appropriate to juxtapose these films with those presented in this month’s exhibitions of documentary film, most of which seem to fall into the more conventional definitions of documentaries. They are also linked by providing variations on a vision of Hell—save for Les Charmes de l’existence, which one hopes provides something of an antidote to the others.

Le Tempestaire. 1947.Directed by Jean Epstein. In French; no English subtitles. 22 min.
Les Desastres de la guerre. 1951. Directed by Pierre Kast. In French; no English subtitles. 20 min.
La Premiere Nuit. 1958. Directed by Georges Franju. Minimal French dialogue. 17 min.
Le Sang des bêtes. 1949. Directed by Georges Franju. In French; English subtitles. 22 min.
Les Charmes de l’existence. 1949. Directed by Jean Gremillon, Pierre Kast. In French; no English subtitles. 22 min.

Program 103 min.

In the Film exhibition An Auteurist History of Film

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