Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Rien que les heures (cinema concert)

(Néo-Films, FR 1926) D, ED: Alberto Cavalcanti; P: Pierre Braunberger; SC: Alberto Cavalcanti, André Cerf; DP: James Rogers; AD: Mirowitch; ass. D: André Cerf; cast: Blanche Bernis, Nina Chouvalowa, Philippe Hériat, Clifford McLagen, André Cerf; filmed: Summer 1926; released: 22.10.1926 (Studio des Ursulines, Paris); 35mm, 957 m., 46' (18 fps), col. (tinted); from: EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam. Dutch intertitles.

Original score by Yves de la Casinière arranged by Maud Nelissen and performed live by Lucio Degani (violino), Francesco Ferrarini (violoncello), Maud Nelissen (piano).

Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Pordenone (GCM) with e-subtitles in English and Italian, 6 Oct 2010.

ANTONIO RODRIGUES, ALAIN MARCHAND (Giornate del Cinema Muto catalogue 1997): "Belonging to the category of city symphonies, which would have a great vogue, and made before Ruttmann’s Berlin, die Symphonie einer Grosstadt and Mikhail Kaufman’s Moscow, his film was, according to Cavalcanti himself, “the first to give a sociological perspective to documentary. Until then, all documentaries were about sunsets in the Pacific. No one had had the idea of showing what happens around us. Rien que les heures was the first to do so.” It is the most “experimental” and the most “avant-gardist” of all his films, and one of the films from this period which has best survived the test of time, no doubt because of the humour which runs through it and also a certain modesty, because it is a film which does not pretend to be the masterpiece of the century. This film about a place, about a particular city, Paris, with its monuments, its lanes, its “little people”, its adventures, is also a remarkable film about time, about the sense of the passage of time. As its title indicates, the central subject of this film is time itself: nothing but the hours. – ANTONIO RODRIGUES, ALAIN MARCHAND (Giornate del Cinema Muto catalogue 1997)."

MAUD NELISSEN in the GCM Catalogue: "As far as I know relatively few original music scores exist for silent film and piano trio (violin/cello/piano). The music for Cavalcanti’s Rien que les heures by Yves de la Casinière is a charming example of good and effective film music. A mixture of different styles which “belong” to the different hours of day and night in the city, it warmly enriches Rien que les heures and makes the film complete. – MAUD NELISSEN".

I saw the previous GCM screening in 1997 with the La Cinémathèque francaise print in the original French language, with intertitles such as ”Aucune ville”. ”Mais seule une succession d’images peut nous restituer la vie”. ”Immobiliser un moment dans le temps”. ”L’espace et le temps s’échappent tous les deux”...

I loved the film and the presentation in 1997, but this was a very different and even much stronger experience. Firstly, the excellent print with the apparently original colour world made it look quite something else.

But most importantly, the fine original Modernist score by Yves de la Casinière expertly arranged by Maud Nelissen and impressively performed by the trio has great artistic value. It deserves to become better known and widely performed.

A highlight of the Festival.

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