Thursday, October 05, 2017

Tableaux vivants (a cura di Valentine Robert) (2017 DCP montage by Le Giornate del Cinema / Université de Lausanne) (a Domitor programme)


Luc-Olivier Merson: Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Oil painting, 1879. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Public domain. Photo and data: Wikipedia. Please click to enlarge the images.

DCP, 120 min, source: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto / Université de Lausanne, Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinéma.
    Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone.
    Introduction: Valentine Robert.
    Grand piano: Stephen Horne (also at the drums, the flute, and the accordeon).
    Teatro Verdi, 5 Oct 2017.

Valentine Robert (GCM 2017): "This Domitor programme aims to shine a new light on early cinema. It is conceived as a visual experiment intertwining films with more than 30 paintings, allowing us to compare these now largely forgotten (but at the time very famous) compositions with early films of all genres. The aim is to discover, examine, and evaluate how early cinema production directly referenced paintings, creating visual re-enactments known as Tableaux vivants (literally, “living pictures”)."

"The link between cinema and painting is usually said to have emerged around 1910, when purportedly “artistic” film productions such as the Film d’Art strove to assert a cultural legitimization of cinema. This programme however will show that pictorial references of all kinds and provenances haunted films from the very first animated images. The screening will start with a 1902 duel film, recreating down to the last detail an 1857 genre painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Suites d’un bal masqué, also known as The Duel After the Masquerade. On both sides of the Atlantic, at Pathé as well as American Mutoscope & Biograph, early films staging petty crime, picturesque everyday life, or mischievous children were using genre painting as a major source of visual inspiration. But early cinema’s depictions of “Great History” were no less pictorial: the deaths of Nelson or Marat, American Revolution battle scenes, Franco-Prussian War episodes, French Revolution trials… In order to bring history back to life, early films were modelled on historical paintings. Whether still famous today, like Archibald Willard’s The Spirit of ’76 (c. 1875), or mostly forgotten, like the non-David Assassinat de Jean-Paul Marat par Charlotte Corday (engraved in 1793 and often reproduced), these naturalistic and well-documented 18th- and 19th-century historical paintings were considered “authentic” visual references for early filmmakers."

"However, our programme doesn’t focus on costume films alone. On the contrary – an important part is devoted to films featuring nudity. Recreating a painting of Venus, the Ancient Greek courtesan Phryne, or other mythological/artistic subjects offered the perfect justification for the exhibition of naked models, making tableaux vivants the first alibi of erotic cinema. Through an association that may seem surprising, it was also the ally of religious cinema. In many theatres, the depiction of Christ was considered as outrageous as displaying nudity on stage. Yet the pictorial treatment of the cinematic embodiments of the Life and Passion of Jesus made it a “hit” of early cinema. Not only did these images of light appear in two dimensions (sometimes even projected on church walls), but many of the first biblical films were composed of highly accurate tableaux vivants, reanimating large academic paintings, or making Bible illustrations by Gustave Doré or James Tissot come to life."

"Exceptional films are included, such as early advertising clips (imitating posters derived from paintings), and lustful 1903 images of nude models “artistically” posing while rotating and exhibiting their unclothed corporeality. We’ll also discover the successful tableaux vivants created as a series by Biograph from 1899 to 1903, promoted as “excellent photographically, and of the very highest grade pictorially”. When these “risqué” paper prints were rediscovered in the 1960s, they were stigmatized as “pseudoartistic” by scholars ignorant of the original paintings and the precision of the imitation. Now, a comparison with the newly identified pictorial sources allows us to evaluate the seriousness of their pictorial efforts, and enables us to properly appreciate the skillfulness of these often ignored tableaux."

"Another element of the programme is the juxtaposition of multiple remakes of the same tableaux. For example, Alphonse de Neuville’s painting of a Franco-Prussian War episode, Les Dernières Cartouches (1873), formed the subject for films by Lumière (1897), Méliès (1897), Pathé (1899), Gaumont (1898), and Gaumont again (1907). Who is copying who, and where is the original? Yet these questions are irrelevant. Early cinema’s remakes of tableaux vivants represent the culmination of an aesthetic of reproduction that reigned in visual culture around 1900. Every medium reproduced and renewed the same Images, which were treated as models to be repeated. As just one example, Neuville’s painting was re-appropriated in engravings, sculptures, photography, and theatre, as well as film. Imitation came with emulation, and tableaux vivants (also extremely popular on stage and in photography) were considered edifying as much for the imitators, challenged in their artistic means, as for the public, challenged in their visual knowledge. Tableaux vivants in early cinema thus became a laboratory for artistic consciousness and aesthetic experiment, exploring the new medium’s ability to transform painting into flesh (more or less unveiled), movement (more or less posed), and life (more or less immortal).
" Valentine Robert

Acknowledgements

"To realize the screening of this programme required the digitization of a wide variety of prints, from many archives and on many film supports. The editing was financially supported by the Film Studies Department of the University of Lausanne, and has been expertly executed by Andrea Tessitore at the Cineteca del Friuli in Gemona."

"Special thanks for their invaluable help and collaboration also to: Jay Weissberg, Elena Beltrami, Alessandro De Zan, Rosa Cardona, Mariona Bruzzo, Bryony Dixon, Steve Tollervey, Mike Mashon, Mark J. Williams, Peter Bagrov, Béatrice de Pastre, Éric Le Roy, Fereidoun Mahboubi, Aleksandar Erdeljanović, Agnès Bertola, Stéphanie Tarot, Ana Marquesán, Begoña Soto Vázquez, Michel Dind, Caroline Fournier, Carole Délessert, Pierre-Emmanuel Jaques, Carlo Montanaro, David Robinson, Tami Williams, Scott Curtis, Paolo Cherchi Usai."

"Finally, an extra-special thank-you to Roland Cosandey, who initiated the project."

THE POUTING MODEL (US 1901), dir: F. S. Armitage. prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    IMdB: "A very strong pose. The little girl who has been posing as a model refuses to continue and stands by the easel pouting. Copied from a famous painting."
    AA: A vignette about a tired child model. Visual look: like from a paper print.

WAITING FOR SANTA CLAUS (US 1901), dir: F. S. Armitage, prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    AA: Misplaced in the Giornate catalogue and online data after What Are the Wild Waves Saying, Sister?, this title was screened as the second film in the program among the other American Mutoscope living pictures.

Louis Maurice Boutet de Monvel: La leçon avant le sabbat (1880), Château de Nemours. Photomontage by Le Giornate del Cinema Muto. Please click to enlarge the images. The image to the right is from the American Mutoscope series.

LIVING PICTURES PRODUCTION (US 1903) [re-edition of 1900 footage], dir: Arthur Marvin, prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    AA: Santa Claus and children.

BIRTH OF THE PEARL (US 1901), dir: F. S. Armitage, prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    Library of Congress: "women in tights opening a curtain, an oyster shell with a sleeping woman in a flesh colored body suit, and the woman standing in the shell."
    AA: Inspiration from Botticelli, with a theatrical framework complete with drapes, a giant shell from which she emerges in tights as a substitute for nudity. A compilation of four tableaux. Paper print look.

Un duel après le bal (FR 1902). Photo: Gosfilmofond of Russia, Moscow.
Jean-Léon Gérôme, Le Duel après le bal (The Duel After the Masquerade), 1857-59. Oil on canvas, 39 x 56 cm, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (MD)

UN DUEL APRÈS LE BAL (Duel After the Ball) (FR 1902), dir: Ferdinand Zecca?, prod: Pathé Frères, source: Gosfilmofond of Russia, Moscow.
    AA: Split screen opening, long shot covering the duel in the snow. A painted backdrop. Visual quality ok, exterior scene low contrast.

Originally entitled Yankee Doodle, this is one of several versions of a scene painted by Archibald MacNeal Willard in the late nineteenth century that came to be known as The Spirit of '76. Often imitated or parodied, it is one of the most famous images relating to the American Revolutionary War. The life-sized original hangs in Abbot Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The flag in the painting, often assumed to be the Betsy Ross flag, is actually the Cowpens flag, flown during a major turning point in the war, the Battle of Cowpens. Public Domain. Image and caption: Wikipedia.

SPIRIT OF ’76 (US 1905), dir: G. W. Bitzer, prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    AA: Archibald Willard's painting come alive. Stephen Horne played the drums and the flute. Visual quality: weak, duped look.

Combat sur la voie ferrée. Vue N° 963. Plusieurs groupes de soldats viennent successivement prendre position sur la voie et font feu. Titre issu du Catalogue des vues - Septième Liste. Opérateur: Alexandre Promio. Date: [1897] - 5 décembre 1898. Lieu: France, Paris. Projections: Déposée au Greffe du Conseil des Prud'hommes de la Ville de Lyon le 5 décembre 1898. Programmée le 18 décembre 1898 à Lyon (France) sous son titre (Lyon républicain, 18 décembre 1898). Décorateur : Marcel Jambon. Eléments filmiques: négatif Lumière. Pays: France. Ville: Paris. Lieu: décor. Événement: affrontement, scène historique reconstituée. Genre: art, comédie, militaire. Sujet: comédien, soldat. Objet: arme, costumes. Séries: Les scènes reconstituées tournées par Alexandre Promio (1898). Image and data: Catalogue Lumière.

COMBAT SUR LA VOIE FERRÉE (Combat on the Railway) (FR 1898), dir: Alexandre Promio, Georges Hatot, scen: Marcel Jambon, prod: Lumière, source: Archives françaises du film du CNC, Bois d’Arcy.
    AA: A Lumière / Alexandre Promio & Georges Hatot reconstruction of a battle scene on the railway. A duped look.

COMBAT SUR LA VOIE FERRÉE (Combat on the Railway) (FR 1899), dir: Ferdinand Zecca?, prod: Pathé Frères, source: Filmoteca de Catalunya – ICEC, Barcelona; Filmoteca Vasca-Euskadiko Filmategia, San Sebastián.
    AA: A Pathé reconstruction of the same scene, in pochoir colour, painterly, very different from the previous one.

Mort de Marat. Vue N° 749. Assassinat de Marat et arrestation de Charlotte Corday. Opérateur: [Alexandre Promio]. Date: septembre 1897. Lieu: France, Paris. Projections: Déposée au Greffe du Conseil des Prud'hommes de la Ville de Lyon le 27 novembre 1897.Programmée le 20 février 1898 à Lyon (France) sous son titre (Lyon républicain, 20 février 1898). Technique: Metteur en scène : Georges Hatot - [Décorateur : Marcel Jambon]. Eléments filmiques: négatif Lumière - 1 copie Lumière. Pays: France. Ville: Paris. Lieu: décor. Événement: scène historique reconstituée. Genre: travail. Sujet: comédien. Objet: arme, costumes. Séries: Les vues mises en scène par Georges Hatot (1897), Vues historiques et scènes reconstituées. Photo and data: Catalogue Lumière.

MORT DE MARAT (Death of Marat) (FR 1897), dir: Alexandre Promio, Georges Hatot, scen: Marcel Jambon, prod: Lumière, source: Filmoteca de Catalunya – ICEC, Barcelona.
    AA: This tableau vivant is based on the painting by Jean-Jacques Hauer (not the painting more famous today by Jacques-Louis David). This print is tinted green.

Jean-Joseph Weerts (1847-1927): L'Assassinat de Marat. 1880. Musée "la piscine", de Roubaix. Domaine publique. Wikipédia.

CHARLOTTE CORDAY (FR 1908), dir: Georges Denola, prod: Pathé Frères, source: Archives françaises du film du CNC, Bois d’Arcy; La Cinémathèque française, Paris.
    Moving Picture World synopsis as quoted in the IMdB: "The scene of this beautifully colored film is laid in that period of the French Revolution, showing the tragic ending of Charlotte Corday, who, through her iron nerve, planned to rid France of Marat, one of the leaders of the revolution, because be represents in her mind the party responsible for so many crimes. Charlotte Corday was born in Normandy of noble parentage, and was a girl of striking beauty and a powerful personality. Being highly educated, she made a close study of current polities, and was in sympathy with a party known as the Girondins, whose power was overthrown. While living at Caen she met and talked over conditions with Barbarous, a leader of the party, and. through him she learned that Marat was an enemy to France, so takes it upon herself to avenge the death of many who were being sent to the guillotine every day. She comes to Paris, where she writes to Marat, begging him to grant her an audience, and stating that she has important information to reveal, but he would not see her. Finally she goes to his home, and when she is refused admittance, forces her way in and presents herself to Marat, who is seated in a bathtub. She tells him the names of the men at Caen who are affiliated with the Girondist party, and as he eagerly writes them down, mentioning that they will die on the guillotine, she plunges a knife into his heart, killing him instantly. The servants and police rush in and drag her to jail through the clamoring mob who are eager to strike her down. Taken then to the tribunal of justice, she makes a confession of her guilt and is condemned to die. Listening to her doom with cold indifference, she is then taken back to prison, and we next see her on her way to the guillotine, followed by a mob which howls with fury as the beautiful girl bravely mounts the steps and stands erect, her face pale, her eyes steady, facing death like a soldier. Laying her beautiful head on the block, in an instant all is over with Charlotte Corday." —Moving Picture World synopsis
    AA: Inspired by the Weerts painting, with exteriors, shows a commotion, tragic, bringing up Corday's motivation, she takes the knife, "pour venger son fiancé", a street scene, overacting. Visual quality: an ok dupe, at times quite good.

William Marshall Craig (fl. 1788 - 1828): The Battle of Trafalgar and the Death of Nelson (1806). Etching, watercolour. Image: Repro-Tableaux.com.

DEATH OF NELSON (GB 1905), dir: Lewin Fitzhamon, cast: Sebastian Smith, Tim Mowbray, prod: Hepworth, source: BFI National Archive, London.
    AA: Based on the picture by W. M. Craig, a tableau vivant against a painted backdrop.

Les dernières cartouches. Photomontage by Le Giornate del Cinema Muto. Please click to enlarge the images.

LES DERNIÈRES CARTOUCHES (The Last Cartridges) (FR 1897), dir: Alexandre Promio, Georges Hatot, scen: Marcel Jambon, prod: Lumière, source: Filmoteca de Catalunya – ICEC, Barcelona.

LES DERNIÈRES CARTOUCHES (The Last Cartridge) (FR 1899), prod: Pathé Frères, source: Cinémathèque suisse, Lausanne.

LES DERNIÈRES CARTOUCHES / BOMBARDEMENT D’UNE MAISON (The Last Cartridges) (FR 1897), dir: Georges Méliès, prod: Star-Film, source: Archives françaises du film du CNC, Bois d’Arcy; La Cinémathèque française, Paris.
    AA: Last summer in Bologna I blogged about the Lumière and Méliès tableaux based on the Neuville painting. Now Valentine Robert adds a Pathé Frères version of the same scene. The Lumière film was coloured yellow in this screening. The Méliès version is still the liveliest.

LA FIANCÉE DU VOLONTAIRE (The Hand of the Enemy) (FR 1907), dir: Alice Guy-Blaché, prod: Gaumont, source: BFI National Archive, London.
    AA: This film starts differently but ends in the "Les dernières cartouches" tableau. Look: duped, low contrast.

A picture based on the painting La Constat d'adultère (1876) by Jules-Arsène Garnier.

Flagrant délit d'adultère. Collection Filmarchiv Austria / CNC. 1899, France. Une jeune femme, engagée dans une relation avec un homme autre que son mari, a juste le temps de se cacher pour éviter d'être prise en flagrant délit d'adultère. Mais le commissaire, qui accompagne le mari cocufié, ne se décourage pas. Il retrouve l'infidèle, nue dans une pièce contiguë à celle du méfait. L'amant s'apprête à bondir sur le mari, mais il est intercepté par les agents de police présents sur les lieux. Photo: CNC / AFF.

FLAGRANT DÉLIT D’ADULTÈRE (FR 1899), prod: Pathé Frères, source: Archives françaises du film du CNC, Bois d’Arcy.
    AA: Theatrical overacting in a tableau with real nudity for a change, no bodystockings. Stephen Horne played the accordeon. Low contrast.

Jean-Léon Gérôme: Phryné devant l'Aréopage / Phryne before the Areopagus. A depiction of Phryne, a famous hetaera (courtesan) of Ancient Greece, being disrobed before the Areopagus. Phryne was on trial for profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries, and is said to have been disrobed by Hypereides, who was defending her, when it appeared the verdict would be unfavourable. The sight of her nude body apparently so moved the judges that they acquitted her. Some authorities claim that this story is a later invention. 1861. Oil on canvas. 80 × 128 cm (31.5 × 50.4 in). Kunsthalle Hamburg. Image and data: Wikipédia.

LE JUGEMENT DE PHRYNÉ (The Trial of Phryne) (FR 1899), prod: Pathé Frères, source: Cineteca di Bologna.
    AA: A tableau vivant based on the Jean-Léon Gérôme painting. Acted in histrionic style. The nude Phryne is seen from behind. – Phryne was the model and muse of the great sculptor Praxiteles. Casanova in his memoirs still praised breathtaking female beauty as being "worthy of the chisel of Praxiteles".

Akt-Sculpturen (Oskar Messter, Messter Projection GmbH, DE 1903). Photo: Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, Beograd.

AKT-SKULPTUREN (STUDIENFILM FÜR BILDENDE KÜNSTLER) (DE 1903), dir: Oskar Messter, prod: Messter Projection GmbH, source: Jugoslovenska Kinoteka, Beograd.
    AA: A simple and eloquent series of nude poses for artists. Valentine Robert listed famous artists who have inspired the poses: James Pradier, Albert Bartholomé, Auguste Rodin. A woman and a man pose on a rotating platform. Subtitles: Kauerndes Mädchen / blottie – Sitzendes Mädchen / assise – Kugelspielerin / Joueuse de boule – Adam und Eve – Nacht / La Nuit – Das verlorene Paradies / Paradis perdu – Büsserin / Pénitente – Raub der Sabinerin / Enlèvement des Sabines – Ariadne – Der erste Kuss / Le premier baiser – Evchen / Eve – Tanz / Danse – Tänzerin / Danseuse.

Gustave Doré: Les Noces de Cana (1866). La Grande Bible de Tours: Nouveau Testament. Gravure. Domaine publique. Photo: Wikipedia.

LA VIE ET LA PASSION DE JÉSUS-CHRIST (Life and Passion of Christ) (FR 1902): Les Noces de Cana, La Cène, Jésus devant Pilate, L’Ange et les Saintes Femmes, dir: Ferdinand Zecca?, prod: Pathé Frères, source: Cinémathèque suisse, Lausanne.
    Les Noces de Cana (Le nozze di Cana / At the Wedding Feast)
    La Cène (L’ultima cena / The Lord’s Supper)
    Jésus devant Pilate (Gesù davanti a Pilato / Jesus before Pilate)
    L’Ange et les Saintes Femmes (L’angelo e le pie donne / The Angel and the Holy Women)
AA: Pathé's series of the life of Christ inspired by Gustave Doré and Mihály Munkácsy. Pochoir colour.

LA NAISSANCE, LA VIE ET LA MORT DU CHRIST (The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ) (FR 1906): La Flagellation, Ecce Homo, La Crucifixion,  L’Agonie, dir: Alice Guy-Blaché, asst: Victorin Jasset, scen: Henri Ménessier, prod: Gaumont, source: Gaumont Pathé Archives, Saint-Ouen, Paris.
    La Flagellation (La flagellazione / The Scourging)
    Ecce Homo
    La Crucifixion (La crocefissione / The Crucifixion)
    L’Agonie (L’agonia / The Agony)
AA: Gaumont's series of the life of Christ inspired by James Tissot.

VIE ET PASSION DE N.S. JÉSUS-CHRIST (Life and Passion of Jesus Christ, Our Savior) (FR 1907): Jésus devant Pilate, La Fuite en Égypte, dir: Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca, spec. eff: Segundo de Chomón, prod: Pathé Frères, source: Cineteca del Friuli, Gemona.
    AA: Pathé's new series made by Nonguet, Zecca and Chomón, inspired by Doré again. In colour with pochoir effects.

I. La fuite en Égypte. Vue N° 934. “Joseph, conduisant dans le désert l’âne qui porte la Vierge et l’enfant Jésus, s’arrête au pied du Sphinx pour y passer la nuit. Après avoir installé la Vierge, il s’enroule dans son manteau et s’endort. Les soldats romains se précipitent pour s’emparer de la Vierge, mais apercevant tout à coup le Sphinx, emblème d’une divinité, ils tombent agenouillés pleins de terreur, pendant que Joseph éveillé se jette au-devant d’eux pour protéger la Vierge et son Enfant.” Opérateur: Alexandre Promio. Date: [1897] - 5 décembre 1898. Lieu: France, Paris. Projections: Déposée au Greffe du Conseil des Prud'hommes de la Ville de Lyon le 5 décembre 1898.Programmée le 25 décembre 1898 à Lyon (France) sous le titre La Fuite en Égypte (Le Progrès, 25 décembre 1898). Décorateur : Marcel Jambon. Eléments filmiques: négatif Lumière - 4 copies Lumière - 2 copies Edison. Pays: France. Ville: Paris. Lieu: décor. Genre: art, comédie, religion. Sujet: comédien. Objet: costumes. Séries: La Passion, Les scènes reconstituées tournées par Alexandre Promio (1898). Image and data: Catalogue Lumière.

LA VIE ET LA PASSION DE JÉSUS-CHRIST (FR 1897): La Fuite en Égypte, dir: Alexandre Promio, Georges Hatot, scen: Marcel Jambon, cast: Gaston Breteau?, prod: Lumière, source: Archives françaises du film du CNC, Bois d’Arcy.

LA NATIVITÉ (FR 1910): Le Repos en Égypte, dir: Louis Feuillade, prod: Gaumont, source: Gaumont Pathé Archives, Saint-Ouen, Paris.
    AA: The Lumière and Gaumont (Feuillade) scenes have been inspired by Luc-Olivier Merson's painting Rest on the Flight to Egypt (1880).

Jean-François Millet: L'Angélus (1857-1859), huile sur toile, 53,3 × 66 cm, Paris, Musée d'Orsay. Jean-François Millet — The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. Domaine public. Photo and data: Wikipedia.

LES CLOCHES DU SOIR (FR 1913), prod: Gaumont Phonoscène, cast: Marie Dorly?, source: Gaumont Pathé Archives, Saint-Ouen, Paris.
    AA: A fine tableau in hommage to Millet.

Isidore Pils: Rouget de l’Isle chantant La Marseillaise (1849). Musée historique de Strasbourg. Domaine public. Photo and data: Wikipedia.

ROUGET DE LISLE CHANTANT LA MARSEILLAISE (FR 1899), prod: Gaumont, source: Cinémathèque suisse, Lausanne.
    AA: A tableau based on the Isidore Pils painting. Stephen Horne played vigorously you guess what.


WHAT ARE THE WILD WAVES SAYING, SISTER? (US 1903), dir: A. E. Weed, prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    AA: A living tableau based on the popular lithograph which has also inspired countless other images, including advertisements. Visual quality: like from a paper print.


Le Rêveil de Chrysis. Image: The Movie Database.

LE RÉVEIL DE CHRYSIS (FR 1899), prod: Pathé Frères, source: Filmoteca de Zaragoza; Filmoteca Española, Madrid.
    AA: A tribute to the voluptuous odalisques of Ferdinand Roybet. Full uninhibited nudity, no body stockings.

Le Bain des dames de la cour (1904). "The Pathé catalogue called similar items “scènes grivoises d’un caractère piquant” — “loose scenes of a provocative nature.” In films such as The Undressing of the Model (1897), actresses appeared clad only in flesh-colored body stockings, and many of these—Peintre et modèle (1903), Le Bain des dames de la cour (Ladies in Court Bathing, 1904) — mimicked well-known paintings in order to capitalize on the respectable eroticism of “classical” art. Photo and text: Cinemathequefroncaise.com.

LE BAIN DES DAMES DE LA COUR (FR 1904), prod: Pathé Frères, source: Filmoteca de Zaragoza; Filmoteca Española, Madrid.
    AA: A tableau inspired by François Flameng's eponymous oil painting from the year 1886. The bathing ladies are wearing flimsy transparent bathrobes.

Emile Bayard: An Affair of Honor (1884). Photo: Autostraddle.

AN AFFAIR OF HONOR (US 1897), prod: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: Library of Congress Packard Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, Culpeper, Virginia.
    AA: A chaste tableau based on the Emile Bayard female duel paintings. Visual quality: paper print look.


MAX JOUE LE DRAME (FR 1914), prod: Pathé Frères, cast: Max Linder, source: La Cineteca del Friuli, Gemona.
    AA: When Max appears in serious drama, everybody is laughing when his wig gets stuck. He has two lovers who decide to settle it in a duel like in Emile Bayard's painting. The result is tragedy. Max cries out loud and takes poison. The audience is shocked. Then there is a big jet of water to the audience. Visual quality: like from a paper print. – Not listed in the Giornate catalogue but included in the online program information.

Dewar's Perth. "The Whisky of His Forefathers advertisement by Matthew B. Hewerdine, 1894, shows a whisky so good as to entice ancestral spirits out of a painting frame." Text: Creators website. Photo: Dewar's.

THE SPIRIT OF HIS FOREFATHERS (GB 1900), prod: British Mutoscope & Biograph Co., source: BFI National Archive, London. Advertising film for Dewar’s Whisky.
    AA: A tableau based on Matthew B. Hewerdine's painting.

THE WHISKY OF HIS ANCESTORS (GB 1977), prod: ?, source: BFI National Archive, London.
Modern television commercial for Dewar’s Whisky incorporating a variant version of the 1900 British advertising film.
    AA: Advertising on a meta level, incorporating both Hewerdine's painting concept and the original film adaptation.

AA: Juxtaposing paintings and films based on them is a simple but highly illuminating concept. Valentine Robert and her collaborators have performed a wonderful work in creating this presentation. It throws new light on well-known films and inspires further study on others. This is one of the best early cinema montages I have seen. Highly recommended for film education. The duration of the presentation in my estimate was not 120 min but closer to something like 105 min.

The fantastic musical interpretation by Stephen Horne playing at least four instruments added extra layers to the experience.

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