Scen.: Louis Delluc. F.: Paul Parguel. Scgf.: Gaston David. Int.: Ève Francis (Soledad), Gaston Modot (il regista), Jean Toulout (Miguélan), Robert Delsol (Juanito), Anna Gay (la vecchia Paguien). Prod.: Louis Nalpas per Les Films Louis Nalpas. 35mm. L.: 171 m (frammento). D.: 8’ a 18f/s
La Fête espagnole is a quintessentially atmospheric film. The places and landscapes, the gestures and faces are the thing that counts, stirring a wider palette of emotions than the storyline. The way they are depicted through details and impressions is exceptionally lively and specific. Indeed, these few surviving images are all the more striking, all the more haunting and poetic for being the last scraps of what was once a mournful tragedy. Soledad is fiery and passionate and full of nostalgia: she deals with her boredom by seducing men and by giving herself up entirely to Juanito. Contemptuously, or perhaps out of mere indifference, she provokes her admirers to brutal, to lethal combat.
All that remains of this production is a short black-and-white fragment without intertitles (171 metres of the original length of 1,671 metres), conserved in 1948 from a fragment of the original nitrate negative. In 1970, a print was struck from this duplicate negative. No other element is known to exist.
Working in conjunction, Dulac and Delluc produced a piece unlike any other, a film almost impossible to describe. You have to see it to understand how much it owes to the combination of their talents and especially to Germaine Dulac’s musical editing: the whole emerges from a dizzying quantity of shots, but the angles themselves are unfussy; they fly by; they never pause. And this is what does it: the discreet repetition of some of the leitmotifs, the way in which some of the characters stand out and others come framed by a bullfight, a landscape or a couple of dancers, designed to stand either in contrast to, or on the contrary in support of the protagonists to heighten emotion.