Le The Chez La Concierge
Prod.: Gaumont; 35mm. L.: 196 M. D.: 7′ A 24 F/S. Bn.
Ten years later Charles Chaplin gave him a photo dedicated: “To the one and only Max / The Professor / From his Di[s]ciple / Charlie Chaplin / May 12th 1917”.
In 1907, while performing at the Théatre des Variétés, Max Linder also appeared in fifteen Pathé films, in a wide range of roles: Polichinelle in a féerie, a rival in Drame à Seville, a soldier, and already the complete Max, all elegance and mishap in a top hat, in Débuts d’un patineur. Not yet a star and still unknown, his radiant cinema persona already glitters here and there. Who but Max, playing a lover on the run in women’s clothes (Péripéties d’un amant), would so joyfully project such an attractive, utterly feminine coquettishness? Max, mon amour.
It is immediately clear, from the first shots, whether the film is from Pathé or Gaumont: the painterly beauty of Pathé’s images is unmistakable, as is the lively rhythm, the vitality of the Gaumont films. Not only were these two rivals Number One and Two in the market a hundred years ago: both are still around today. It is somehow a good thing for the cinema and for us that Gaumont and Pathé are here today, with their histories reaching back to 1895, and that they treasure their heritage and make it available to us as well as producing new films, notably in 2006 Volver and The Queen.