Sunday, July 03, 2005

Tih Minh I: Le Phyltre d’oubli

Tih Minh. Grand Ciné-Roman. Prologue. FR 1918. PC: Gaumont. D: Louis Feuillade. Starring Mary Harald (Tih Minh), René Cresté (Jacques d'Athys), Louis Leubas (Kistna), Edouard Mathé (Sir Francis Grey), Gaston Michel (Dr. Gilson / Marx), Georges Biscot (Placide), Marquet (Dr. Clauzel), Georgette Faraboni (Dolorès), Jane Rollette (Rosette). /18 fps/ 50’. French / Dutch intertitles. Print quality usually good. Archives Gaumont-Pathé. ♪ Maud Nelissen. Sunday 3 July 2005, Cinema Lumière 1, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna. Presenta Francis Lacassin. The "morning serial" of the year. Great cinema with panache, mystery and a sense of humor. In the Côte d’Azur, the explorer d'Athys brings home Tih Minh, an Anamite woman whose life he has saved. In his possession, he has a Hindu book with a pencil-written testament including a clue to a great treasure. Strange crimes occur, the victims of which totally lose their memory. Behind them is the gang of Kistna who sports a turban in the first of his guises. Tih Minh is kidnapped and returned as a blank person with no memory, not even a power of speech. d'Athys’s zealous servant Placide brings forth the Hindu book after having unwittingly erased the testament. A film full of poetry: the photograph turns black after having been examined; the blank sea guards its secret; in her mind, Tih Minh, fantôme mort, is wandering in a deserted cave.

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