Monday, July 04, 2005


Jean Gili e Sandro Toni presentano il libro André Deed. Boireau, Cretinetti, Gribouille, Torbio, Foolshead, Lehman… (Edizioni Le Mani, 2005). Monday 4 July 2005, Cinema Lumière 1, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna. From Gili’s introduction: André Deed is one of the great characters of French and Italian burlesque. He distinguished himself above all for his use of surreal elements. Starting with the basic chases, falls and destructions he launched into more refined gags. He is at once material and immaterial, allowing himself to be hit one moment and becoming an invulnerable body the next. Fragila and indestructible, he strikes and penetrates; no walls can resist his assaults. A fusion of Méliès’s inventions, de Chomón’s tricks and Pastrone’s visions, he doesn’t hesitate to bring into the narrative the Itala goddess or the Pathé rooster. – Comments of mine: at his most unforgettable, Deed is a genius of chaos. Often he starts with carrying an impossible burden of luggage, then breaking everything trying to reach for his hat. The scenario of destruction escalates to metaphysical levels. Santa Claus takes him to the sky, where he enters heaven and manages to upset St. Peter and even God himself (interpreted by an actor one step more awesome than Santa). Deed’s wild manner proves intolerable even to Satan, and he is banished from Hell. – Deed belongs to the realm of myth: he is an incarnation of Shiva, the principle of destruction. – AD started with Georges Méliès and became a star with Pathé.

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