Monday, September 15, 2014

Napoleon (1909)

Extremely condensed telling of the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, covering everything from his schooldays at Brienne to his death in just 15 minutes! Produced by the Pathe company, it necessarily presents only brief tableaux, all shot in largely static compositions.

Of particular interest is the snowball fight that opens the film. Watching this scene, shot in a single take with the boys chaotically hurling the snowballs at eachother, one can't help but compare it with Abel Gance's handling of the same scene in his later film.

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