Germaine Dulac

Scen.: Jean-Louis Bouquet; F.: Henri Stuckert; Scgf.: Marco de Gastyne; Ass. R.: Marie-Anne Malleville; Int.: Jacqueline Blanc (Blanche), Michelle Clairfont (Rose), Léon Mathot (Marc Herner), René Donnio (l’illuminato), Albert Mayer (maestro alchimista Ludivigo), Vetty (Pattaus, il sindaco), Pierre de Ramey (capitano della guardia), Émile Saint-Ober (un pazzo), Mario Nasthasio (un pazzo), Jean-François Martial, Jacques Vandenne, Canelas, Bernard, Lucien Bataille, Emilien Richaud (un pazzo); Prod.: Louis Nalpas per Société des Cinéromans 35mm. L.:1642 m. D.: 80’ a 20 f/s. 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

This social satire, based on a script by Jean-Louis Bouquet, tells the story of a forward-thinking philosopher whose arrival in a medieval village is suspected of bringing misfortune to its inhabitants. Dulac’s use of technical effects (distortions, superimpositions) to convey the subjective visions of the affected villagers creates an unreliable narration. In the end, our knowledge as spectators is undercut when we discover not only that the madmen were never mad, but that (much as in Hitchcock’s later film Stage Fright) the “visions,” which we witnessed with our own eyes, never existed. By invalidating the film’s dominant narration, expressed through the trope of caricature, superstition, and gossip, Dulac succeeds in destabilizing and breaking open the conventions that govern film language.

Tami Williams

Copy From

Print preserved in 1965 from a negative