P.: Films Louis Nalpas (Nice) L.: 575m, D.: 20’, bn, 35mm
“In this production of the 20’s we have a particularly curious film: the medium-length film Serpentin fait de la peinture (1922), from a story by Machin and Marcel Levesque, who interprets the principal character along with another one Serpentin (Serpentin a engagé Bouboule, 1920), unfortunately lost. (Bouboule, is a dog of course!). Curious because it is one of the rare films in which eroticism transpires. Beginning with the subject, because it is about a professor of design, who contested by his students and bullied by his wife, decides to retreat and to paint nature. He finds himself caught up in an extravagant series of spicy situations. The length of the film (medium-length) is not I believe irrelevant in relation to its success, allowing for the introduction of little scenes which in turn make up as many short length films (like those of first decade of the century, I would like to add!).
In fact Serpentin is made up of three or four rudimentary frames which could be entitled: Serpentin et les nymphes sylvestres; Serpentin fait un portrait aux champs; Serpentin et les belles naiades. The tone is slightly salacious, the situations malicious, and nature is immersed in a marvellous light which is furthermore enriched by numerous surimpressions (the equivalent of the old ‘image-appearances’. We have complete liberty not only regarding the aims, but also their realisation”. (Eric de Kuyper)