GOSSETTE – Ep. 2: Le Revenant

Germaine Dulac

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1923) di Charles Vayre. Scen.: Germaine Dulac. F.: Henri Stuckert, Albert Cohendy. Scgf.: Jean Perrier. Int.: Régine Bouet (Gossette), Jean-David Evremond (Robert de Tayrac), Jeanne Brindeau (Madame de Savières), Maurice Schutz (Monsieur de Savières), Georges Charlia (Phillipe de Savières), Jean d’Yd (Mastro Varadès, il notaio), Paul Menant (autista), Madeleine Guitty (Madame Bonnefoy), Bernard (Bonnefoy padre), Vialar (Léonard Bonnefoy). Prod.: Louis Nalpas per Société des Cinéromans. DCP. D.: 48’. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Starting with the earliest episodes of this successful six-part ciné-roman, based on a novel by Charles Vayré (published concurrently in “L’Echo de Paris”), avant-garde cineaste Germaine Dulac sets in motion an original, visually captivating, subtly sentimental, and exhilaratingly suspenseful crime drama, with ample servings of plot twists and cliffhangers. Gossette is an orphan, adopted by a couple whose son, falsely accused of the murder of a wealthy industrialist, is on the run. Feminist and socialist, Germaine Dulac reverses class and gender roles, as Gossette comes to the aid of the vulnerable male heir, Phillipe de Savières, who sets out with the young bohemian in search of the true assassin. Praised for its striking realism, Dulac’s Gossette refreshes and modernizes the genre, through its reduced intertitles, natural settings, expressive close-ups, and a variety of specially designed lenses and effects used to express the characters’ inner visions and mental states. While far from the avant-gardist’s cinematic ideal, Gossette allowed this early pioneer of impressionism to introduce general audiences to new techniques that were seen to boost both the moral and artistic level of this popular genre, and the medium itself. As critic Jean Chataigner asserts, “Mme. Dulac is making the cinema progress step by step, and the public is following her with vigorous applause.”

Tami Williams

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