Scen.: Irène Hillel-Erlanger; Adattamento: Germaine Dulac; F.: Jacques Oliver; Int.: Yolande Hillé, Tania Daleyme (Lola de Sandoval), Jean Toulout (conte Guy d’Amaury), Denise Lorys (contessa d’Amaury), Jean Tarride, Pierre Mareg, Lucien Glen, Louis Monfils; Prod.: DH Films 35mm. L.o.: 1860 m. L.: 1790 m. D.: 87’ a 18 f/s. Virato, imbibito/ Tinted, toned.
The film takes its title from John Keats’ early 19th century poem “La Belle Dame sans merci,” and the mystical femme fatale archetype eternalized by the Pre-Raphaelite painters Waterhouse and Dicksee. In this highly personal film, Dulac revisits the stereo- types of 19th-century art in order to set up a powerful caricature of her heroine, Lola de Sandoval, which she then proceeds to deconstruct. To this end, she employs symbolist mise-en-scène, associative montage, and reflexive narrative techniques. Dulac also plays on the ambiguous motives of the Romantic archetype of Keats’ time in order to comment upon and challenge it. As critic J.L. Croze writes of the film: “This Lola, a victim of love who swears to take vengeance on men for the suffering caused by one alone, is so coldly coquettish and scheming in her attempt to hurt others that she risks being hateful; yet, one only feels sorry for her…we are tempted to excuse the ruthless woman for having done so much harm, with so much beauty!…”