Sc.: Pierre Lestringuez, dal romanzo omonimo (1897) di Emile Zola, adattato da J. Renoir. F.: Jean Bachelet, Carl Edmund Carwin, Paul Holsky. M.: Jean Renoir. Didascalie: Denise Leblond-Zola. Scgf.: Claude Autant-Lara, eseguite da Robert-Jules Garnier e da Brisset (per i giardini e i paesaggi). Cost.: Claude Autant-Lara. Op.: Alphonse Gibory, Charles Ralleigh. Ass.R.: André Cerf, Pierre Lestringuez. Cast: Pierre Lestringuez detto Pierre Philippe (Bordenave), Catherine Hessling (Nana), Jacqueline Forzane (Comtesse Sabine Muffat), Werner Krauss (Comte Muffat), Claude Autant-Lara detto Claude Moore (Fauchery), Karl Harbacher (Francis), Valeska Gert (Zoé), Jacqueline Ford (Rose Mignon), Jean Angelo (Comte de Vandeuvres), Raymond Guérin-Catelain (Georges Hugon), il corpo di ballo del Bal du Moulin Rouge. Prod.: Les Films Renoir, con la partecipazione della Delog-Film KG; 35mm. L.: 3450 m. D.: 135’ a 22 f/s. Col.
At least three versions of Nana exist, all dating back to 1926, the year in which Jean Renoir made the film. The first version was presented at Moulin Rouge on 27/04/1926. The second release, in June 1926, was screened «en exclusivité» at the Aubert Palace in Paris. Again for Aubert, in December, Renoir made a third version of Nana, to be released in theaters throughout France. Restoration consisted in reconstruction of the Moulin Rouge version. The premiere of Nana was a bit tumultuous. I had prepared for it with an ad campaign. Hoards of posters of Catherine Hessling in the role of the main character carpeted the walls of Paris. Newspapers heralded the event. I had rented the theater of the Moulin Rouge, including its excellent orchestra. The theater was jam packed. The audience was divided into two opposing categories. On one hand, there were the supporters of classic cinema who, without knowing why, considered me a «dirty revolutionary». On the other, there were the representatives of avant-garde cinema who, also without knowing why, considered me a daring innovator. The screening went on over whistles and catcalls mixed with warm applause. People got mad and insulted one another. The wife of the most famous director at that time started screaming: «They’re Huns… This is a Hun film… Down with the Huns…». The premiere of Nana was just the beginning of what the history of my career would be. It’s my destiny to be caught between two fires: my viewers are either recalcitrant or enthusiastic.
Jean Renoir, Ma vie et mes films, Paris, Flammarion, 1974
Nanà brought the public, enchanted with outmoded charms, the madness of its era, luxurious and sumptuous sets, and the intelligent naturalism of scenes in which French cinematic art triumphs, honored by this work by M. Jean Renoir.
L. de Saint-Vilmer, in «La cinématographie française», n. 391, 01/05/1926
Restored in 2002 by L’Immagine Ritrovata, special thanks to Jacques Poitrat (ARTE France).
Restoration entrusted by Studio Canal in collaboration with ARTE France
The version which premiered at Moulin Rouge on 27.04.1926 was reconstructed from a nitrate negative held at the Services des Archives du Film-cnc, a positive nitrate print found at the Cinémathèque Suisse in Lausanne, and from a study of the positive prints held in Toulouse, Milan and Paris. Restoration was furthermore supported by study of non filmic materials held at the Bibliothèque du Film (BiFi, Paris), Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (Dép. Des Arts et de spectacle, Parigi), Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino.