Napoléon (1927 film)

Napoléon (1927 film)
Napoléon

Albert Dieudonné as Napoleon
Directed by Abel Gance
Produced by Abel Gance (executive in charge of production)
Written by Abel Gance
Starring Albert Dieudonné
Antonin Artaud
Edmond Van Daële
Music by Arthur Honegger
Cinematography Jules Kruger
Editing by Abel Gance
Distributed by Gaumont (Europe)
MGM (USA)
Release date(s) April 7, 1927
Running time 330 minutes
Language Silent film
French intertitles

Napoléon (1927) is an epic silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of the rise of Napoleon I of France.

It begins from his youth in school where he managed a snowball fight like a military campaign, to his victory in invading Italy in 1797. Planned to be the first of six movies about Napoleon Bonaparte, it was realised after the completion of the film that the costs involved would make this impossible.

Ahead of its time in its use of handheld cameras and editing, many scenes were hand tinted or toned. Gance had intended the final reel of the film to be screened as a triptych via triple projection, or Polyvision.

It was first released in a gala premiere at the Paris Opéra in April 1927. Napoléon had been screened in only 8 European cities when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to the film, but after screening it intact in London, it was cut drastically in length, and only the central panel of the widescreen sequences retained before it was put on limited release in the United States, where it was indifferently received at a time when talkies were just starting to appear.

Contents

Primary cast

Restorations

  • The film historian Kevin Brownlow conducted the reconstruction of the film in the years leading up to 1980, including the Polyvision scenes. As a boy, Brownlow had purchased two 9.5 mm reels of the film from a street market. He was captivated by the cinematic boldness of short clips, and his research led to a lifelong fascination with the film and a quest to reconstruct it. On August 31, 1979, Napoleon was shown to a crowd of hundreds at the Telluride Film Festival, in Telluride, Colorado. The film was presented in full Polyvision at the specially constructed Abel Gance Open Air Cinema, which is still in use today. Gance was in the audience until the chilly air drove him indoors after which he watched from the window of his room at the New Sheridan Hotel. Kevin Brownlow was also in attendance and presented Gance with his Silver Medallion.
  • Brownlow's 1980 reconstruction was re-edited and released in the United States by American Zoetrope (through Universal Pictures) with a score by Carmine Coppola performed live at the screenings. The restoration premiered in the United States at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on January 23-25, 1981; each performance showed to a standing room only house. Gance could not attend because of poor health. At the end of the January 24 screening, a telephone was brought onstage and the audience was told that Gance was listening on the other end and wished to know what they had thought of his film. The audience erupted in an ovation of applause and cheers that lasted several minutes. The acclaim surrounding the film's revival brought Gance much-belated recognition as a master director before his death only 11 months later, in November 1981.[1]
  • Another restoration was made by Brownlow in 1983. When it was screened at the Barbican Centre in London, French actress Annabella, who plays the fictional character Violine in the film (personifying France in her plight, beset by enemies from within and without), was in attendance. She was introduced to the audience prior to screenings and during one of the intervals sat alongside Kevin Brownlow, signing copies of the latter's book about the history and restoration of the film.
  • Brownlow re-edited the film again in 2000, including previously missing footage rediscovered by the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. Altogether, 35 minutes of reclaimed film had been added, making the total film length of the 2000 restoration five and a half hours. Also, the tinting and toning made by Pathé for the original film using the Keller-Dorian color process, were recreated and used in the 2000 restoration.[2]
  • The film is properly screened in full restoration very rarely due to the expense of the orchestra and the difficult requirement of three synchronised projectors and three screens for the Polyvision section. The last such screening was at the Royal Festival Hall in London in December 2004, and included a live orchestral score of classical music extracts arranged and conducted by Carl Davis. The screening itself was the subject of hotly contested legal threats from Francis Ford Coppola via Universal Studios to the British Film Institute over whether or not the latter had the right to screen the film without the Coppola score. An understanding was reached and the film was screened for both days.[3]
  • On July 14, 2011, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival announced their presentation, in association with American Zoetrope, The Film Preserve, Photoplay Productions, and British Film Institute, of Brownlow's 2000 restoration in March 2012 at the Paramount Theatre Oakland. The presentation features the U.S. premiere of the complete restoration and the U.S. premiere of Carl Davis' orchestral score, with Davis conducting members of the Oakland East Bay Symphony. The film's famous triptych sequences will be shown in full Polyvision, with three simultaneous projectors and a 70-foot screen. The film has not been screened theatrically in the U.S. with live orchestra since 1981, and there are no plans to repeat this presentation of Brownlow's complete restoration with Davis' score in any other American city.[4][5][6][7]

DVD availability

Only Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs are available, using the largely outdated 1980 restoration shown at a speeded-up 24 frames per second, with Carmine Coppola's score, Francis Ford Coppola's shortened 223-minute edit, and none of the original film tinting. To suit home viewers watching on a standard-width television screen, the triptych portion is letterboxed.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Brownlow, Kevin (2004). Napoleon: Abel Gance's classic film. 1. Photoplay. pp. 217–236. ISBN 1844570770. 
  2. ^ Alternate versions for Napoleon (1927)
  3. ^ Jones, Rick (2004-12-04). "Napoleon - battle for the sound of silents". The Times. News International. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article398568.ece. Retrieved 2007-01-22. "Who owns Napoleon?" 
  4. ^ "San Francisco Silent Film Festival to Present Abel Gance's Napoleon". Movie News: Top News Stories. Turner Classic Movies. July 14, 2011. http://www.tcm.com/this-month/movie-news.html?id=430711&name=San-Francisco-Silent-Film-Festival-to-Present-Abel-Gance-s-Napoleon. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Silent Film Festival to present 'Napoleon'". San Francisco Silent Film Festival. July 15, 2011. http://sfsilentfilmfestival.blogspot.com/2011/07/silent-film-festival-to-present.html. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Calendar of Events". Oakland: Paramount Theatre of the Arts. http://www.paramounttheatre.com/schedule.html. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ Gladysz, Thomas (July 14, 2011). "Napoleon's cinematic exile to end in 2012". SFGate.com. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/tgladysz/detail?entry_id=93197. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Napoleon (1927) (1929)". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Napoleon-Albert-Dieudonn%C3%A9/dp/B00005JMVP. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 

Further reading

  • Kevin Brownlow, Napoleon, Abel Gance's Classic Film. New York: Knopf, 1983.

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Napoléon Bonaparte (film, 1927) — Napoléon (film, 1927) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Napoléon (homonymie). Napoléon Réalisation Abel Gance Acteurs principaux Albert Dieudonné Antonin Artaud Gina Manès Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Napoleon (1927) — Filmdaten Originaltitel Napoléon Produktionsland Frankreich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Napoleon (disambiguation) — Contents 1 People 1.1 Bonaparte family 1.2 Other people 2 …   Wikipedia

  • Napoleon (film, 1927) — Napoléon (film, 1927) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Napoléon (homonymie). Napoléon Réalisation Abel Gance Acteurs principaux Albert Dieudonné Antonin Artaud Gina Manès Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Napoléon vu et entendu par Abel Gance — Napoléon (film, 1927) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Napoléon (homonymie). Napoléon Réalisation Abel Gance Acteurs principaux Albert Dieudonné Antonin Artaud Gina Manès Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Napoléon Louis Bonaparte — Napoleon bezeichnet folgende Herrscher und Adlige: Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon I.), Kaiser der Franzosen von 1804 bis 1814/15 Napoleon Franz Bonaparte (für Bonapartisten Napoleon II.), der Sohn Napoleons I. Napoléon III., Kaiser der Franzosen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Napoleon in popular culture — Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, has become a worldwide cultural icon symbolizing strength, genius, and military and political power. Since his death, countless towns, streets, ships, and even cartoon characters have been named after… …   Wikipedia

  • Napoleon (Begriffsklärung) — Napoleon bezeichnet folgende Herrscher und Adlige: Napoleon Bonaparte, Kaiser der Franzosen von 1804 bis 1814/15 (Napoleon I.) Napoleon Franz Bonaparte, Sohn von Napoleon I. (für Bonapartisten Napoleon II.) Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, von 1806 bis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Napoléon vu par Abel Gance — (1927)    Film. Directed by Abel Gance, this sweeping biopic of Napoléon Bonaparte was a silent film that ran six hours and forty minutes at the time of its release in April 1927. Immediately hailed as a classic, the film nearly bankrupted the… …   Guide to cinema

  • Napoléon vu par Abel Gance — (1927)    Film. Directed by Abel Gance, this sweeping biopic of Napoléon Bonaparte was a silent film that ran six hours and forty minutes at the time of its release in April 1927. Immediately hailed as a classic, the film nearly bankrupted the… …   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”