[CASTING ELLA MAILLART]
F: Lucien Le Saint (?). 35mm. L.: 58 m. D.: 2’ a 22 f/s. Bn
Ella Maillart (Geneva 1903-1997) lived an independent life, travelling, taking photographs and writing. Among the 16mm films she made in Afghanistan (1939), India (1940 and 1957) and to Nepal (1951), a 35mm reel labelled “Ella Maillart de Jean Grémillon” was discovered. It contained a few shots of Ella in her youth, as well as unedited test shots taken in 1926 on the coast of Ile de Groix, in preparation for La Croisière de L’Atalante. Maillart, a champion sailor, and her best friend Miette de Saussure – who would become Mme Henri Seyrig and mother of Delphine and was skipper and owner of the clipper L’Atalante – planned to sail to the Pacific and finance the expedition by having it filmed, by Grémillon, and distributing the film. Restored and re-edited in 2004, the few minutes of “E.M. de J.G.” are a link to amazing personalities and their lives.