Further reading for "The Other Side"-part 2
12 NOON TRIPLE-FEATURE MATINÉE OPENER ON SATURDAY!
THE “corporate necessities” here, up front: limited single-seat tickets for THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOST CONTINENT ‘23 are still available. Please take the tour of our Roxie Theater layout, where you’ll find ticket links for our six double features and two triple features.
(Even if you’ve already purchased a festival pass—and many thanks to those of you who’ve done so—please take the tour anyway: the new Roxie website has a much sleeker, more expansive look than before, and our exceptionally talented web designer, Ted Whipple, has outdone himself with the layout and images. And I even managed to write reasonably succinct descriptions of the films as well!)
Our first weekend packs in ten films: three on Saturday April 1st (billed as “1930's passion!”), five on Sunday (our comedy triple feature matinée, followed by two dramas featuring the incomparable Harry Baur) and a delightful Monday evening double feature showcasing that singularly glamorous gamine Danielle Darrieux at the peak of her box-office allure.
WE move on to some additional reading links that provide some additional context for our show. Many of these come from one web site, MON CINEMA A MOI, where rare and lost films from the “cinema de papa” era commingle with the more well-known titles of that time frame, providing us with a more balanced & expansive framework for familiarizing ourselves with the full range of French film in the 30s and 40s—two of France’s most fraught decades, both politically and culturally.
First, please take a look at French Cinema and Poetic Realism, an essay that covers more relevant ground for our festival than might at first appear to be the case. The essay is not so much a look at the well-known, highly lauded films of that “movement,” but instead reveals the pre-conditions in place during 30s French cinema that led to that efflorescence. Note that the author spends a generous amount of time describing the emigré directors who gave 30s French film a restless energy that is ahead of any other national cinema at that time.
Elsewhere on the site, there are two admirable introductions to two of the three Danielle Darrieux/Henri Decoin films appearing in the series. Enjoy a preview of our opening film on Sunday night, Return at Dawn (Retour a l’Aube), with sparkling commentary and a lavish set of photographs.
And continue to the entry that covers the third of our Darrieux/Decoin collaborations, First Date (Premier Rendez-vous), screening on Saturday evening, April 8th, which performs the service of introducing the fateful, sordid saga of Continental Films, the Nazi’s toehold into French filmmaking during the Occupation. (First Date was the first of several films made by Decoin for Continental; Darrieux’s association with the company was more brief in nature, but the success of First Date was so monumental that it was released in Germany during the war and Darrieux made promotional appearances for it there—an action that had severe consequences for her in the frenetic period of “cultural retribution” that ensued after the Liberation.)
Our final link to MON CINEMA A MOI provides a wonderful introduction to one of my favorite discoveries, Christian-Jaque’s A Ghost Returns (Un revenant), with excellent coverage of the film, its legendary screenwriter Henri Jeanson, and introductions to François Périer and Ludmila Tcherina, principals in the film’s “love match” orchestrated by that most diabolical of “avenging devils,” the one and only Louis Jouvet.
FINALLY, we turn your attention to a fascinating essay by Gabriel Leroux at the CHAMPAGNE AND CINEMA website with the intriguing title of “The Bubbles of Oblivion.” In this sprawling look at French film during the war, you’ll find more details about Continental Films, introductions to key players in the wartime French film industry, and a concluding section that dissects the appearance, role, and function of champagne in French film and French society!
Within this section you’ll encounter the sad story of our second “erased auteur,” Albert Valentin, via a discussion of his The Life of Pleasure/La vie de plaisir (playing on Saturday afternoon, April 8th). And at the very end of this remarkable essay you’ll find a discussion of our second Decoin/Darrieux film, Beating Heart/Battement de coeur (playing with Return at Dawn on Monday evening, April 3rd). After reading all of this, you’re also encouraged to look for all the scenes in our festival offerings that showcase the bubbly stuff, even when it’s put into play for reasons less celebratory than might seem to be the case!
Please enjoy all of this additional detail and context for THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOST CONTINENT ‘23. For those who’ve yet to buy passes or tickets, we hope these items will remove any and all remaining impediments for you to do so and join us for a truly unique series. Here again is the link to our overview page at the Roxie web site. It all begins this Saturday…we hope to see you there!