T. int.: The Death of the Sun. Scen.: André Legrand. F.: Paul Parguel, Belval. Int.: André Nox (Lucien Faivre), Denise Lorys (Marthe Voisin), Louis Vonelly (Daniel Voisin), Régine Dumien (Jacqueline), Jeanne Bérangère, Jeanne Brindeau. Prod.: Les Films Legrand (con il patrocinio di The American Committee against Tuberculosis). 35mm. L.: 1684 m (l. orig.:: 1925 m). D.: 83′ a 18 f/s. Bn.
In late 1921, Dulac directed André Legrand’s La Mort du soleil, starring the subtle Denise Lorys, who had played the liberated, yet dutiful countess in her prior film La Belle Dame sans merci (1921). In La Mort du soleil, Lorys revitalizes the postwar feminist struggle as Marthe Voisin (Denys Lorys), a scientist caught between her duties as wife and mother on the one hand, and her work at an orphanage for children with tuberculosis on the other. This dilemma between career and domesticity struck at the heart of women’s social reality in the postwar period.
Dulac drew upon a broad range of associative technical effects (dissolves, superimpositions, masks, and blurs) envisaged as musical notations aimed at visualizing “the mobility of sentiments amidst the immobility of things.” In an article titled “La Mort du soleil and the Birth of Cinema”, critic Lionel Landry affirms: “In this work and beyond its social value, there is something else: the subtle and audacious interpretation of Mme Germaine Dulac has produced one of the most ingenious and interesting attempts of creating a cinematic language whose sole future development can give the seventh art an autonomous existence”.