Germaine Dulac

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. DCP.

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

Since 1938, the Cinémathèque française has preserved a fragment of the original negative of La Fête espagnole. The fragment is approximately 8 minutes long (173 of the original 1,671 metre) and made up of several sequences and disconnected shots. A film restoration was carried out in 1970. In 2020 the Cinémathèque, aided by the CNC, discovered a further 321 metre fragment, complementary to the first one, from a tinted nitrate copy. This discovery has allowed us to study the film once again and carry out a digital restoration that integrates these new shots, unveiling another tiny part of its mystery. Thanks to the actress Eve Francis, Louis Delluc met Germaine Dulac and pitched her his screenplay for La Fête espagnole, inspired by a theatrical project called La Nuit basque. The screenplay mixed fiction and documentary images, offering a narrative structure in which shots are described like pictures and the alternating montage is a careful elaboration on the text. This screenplay is both a guide for the restoration, and one of its difficulties. The shots that have been rediscovered give us an understanding of this romantic tragedy, in which love and death are intimately linked with staggering violence, but the alternating montage, which brings the particular rhythm and originality of this film, is difficult to reproduce. Louis Delluc describes sequences that intersect and unfold across different eras and locations. As with a puzzle that is incomplete, we are faced with positioning these movable pieces, with the support of the text, placing other sequences by deduction, without being sure of having the images chosen and shown by Dulac at our disposal. This restoration is therefore merely a suggestion. It lets us discover the film’s unseen frames, but it can and must be reappraised depending on any new information, as we hope that other fragments will be found in the future. This restoration, supervised by Clarisse Bronchti and Emmanuelle Berthault at the Hiventy laboratory, can therefore only be considered a ‘work in progress’, which allowed us to discover some previously unseen scenes of the film. We are hoping to find additional information and discover more film fragments in the future to reassess the present reconstruction.

Hervé Pichard

Copy From

Restored in 4K in 2020 by Cinémathèque française at Hiventy laboratory