Written by: FFT Webmaster | March 11th, 2011
KINO RELEASES GAUMONT TREASURES 2 ON DVD, FEATURING MORE THAN 10 HOURS OF EARLY FILMS FROM THE GAUMONT FILM COMPANY
New York, NY – Following the success of Gaumont Treasures, 1897-1913, Kino International is proud to announce the DVD release of Gaumont Treasures Vol. 2, 1908-1916, featuring more early films from the Gaumont Film Company.
These restorations (finished in 2009) have been virtually unseen in the U.S., and Kino International is proud to introduce them to the North American market. Now, this splendid three-disc DVD set showcases the pioneer filmmakers who shaped the art of animation, slapstick, drama, and even the Western! During its second decade of existence, the Gaumont Film Company continued to prove itself an indomitable force in cultivating and advancing the fledgling art of cinema. It was also a place of great technical innovation. Included in this collection are some of Gaumont’s revolutionary experiments in color (the Trichromie process) and synchronized sound (the Phonoscenes).
DVD 1 showcases the work of animator Emile Cohl, DVD 2 focuses on Jean Durand (who specialized in slapstick and innovated the “French Western”), and DVD 3 highlights the romantic comedies of Jacques Feyder, while paying tribute to some of French cinema’s lesser-known pioneers. The set is priced at $79.95, and is available for prebook on March 22, 2011. The street date is April 19.
HIGHLIGHTS OF EACH DVD INCLUDE:
DVD 1 – EMILE COHL: Fantasmagoria (1908), The Puppet’s Nightmare (1908), The Living Fan (1909), Comic Mutations (1909), The Twelve Labors of Hercules (1910), Petit Faust (1910), Bébé’s Masterpiece (1910), and more!
DVD 2 – JEAN DURAND: Calino Wants to Be a Cowboy (1911), Onésime Goes to Hell (1912), Onésime, Clockmaker (1912), Onésime Loves Animals (1913), Zigoto Drives a Locomotive (1912), The Railway of Death (1912), Burning Heart: An Indian Tale (1912), Under the Claw (1912), and more!
DVD 3 – JACQUES FEYDER and the Early Masters of French Cinema: Heads…and Women Who Use Them (1916, Jacques Feyder), The Barges (1911, George-André Lacroix), La Marseillaise (1912, Etienne Arnaud), Child’s Play (1913, Henri Fescourt), Feet and Hands (1915, Gaston Ravel).
On August 17, 1908, history was made at the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris, when the first pen-and-ink animated film by Emile Cohl had its premiere: FANTASMAGORIA. It was not the invention of animation. Others, including Emile Reynaud and Stuart Blackton, had experimented with certain techniques, but it was Cohl who dedicated himself to it and expanded the possibilities of the fledgling art form.
He explored the effects of various forms of two-dimensional animation, pixillation, puppetry, and double-exposure, occasionally blending live action with animation, paving the way for other innovators – such as Winsor McCay and Walt Disney – who followed in his wake.
But Cohl was more than a great technician. His films are infused with his unique personality. His tableaux vivants films, including CROWNS and THE LIVING FAN, reveal an affinity for Symbolist art. He was also a member of the 19th-century art rebels known as the Incoherents. As such, Cohl delighted in skewering all varieties of pomp and pretension, with a wit and irreverence that was a significant influence upon the Surrealist movement of the 1920s.
Fantasmagoria (1908, 2 min.)
The Puppet’s Nightmare (1908, 2 min.)
Drama at the Puppets’ House (1908, 3 min.)
The Magic Hoop (1908, 5 min.)
The Little Soldier Who Became a God (1908, 4 min.)
The Boutdebois Brothers (1908, 2 min.)
Transfigurations (1909, 6 min.)
Let’s Be Sporty (1909, 5 min.)
Japanese Fantasy (1909, 1 min.)
The Happy Microbes (1909, 4 min.)
Modern Education (1909, 3 min.)
The Living Fan (1909, 4 min.)
Spanish Clair de Lune (1909, 4 min.)
The Next Door Neighbors (1909, 4 min.)
Crowns (1909, 5 min.)
Delicate Porcelains (1909, 3 min.)
Monsieur Clown Among the Lilliputians(1909, 4 min.)
Comic Mutations (1909, 3 min.)
Matrimonial Shoes (1909, 5 min.)
The Enchanted Spectacles (1909, 5 min.)
Affairs of the Heart (1909, 4 min.)
Floral Frameworks (1910, 5 min.)
The Smile-o-Scope (1910, 5 min.)
Childish Dreams (1910, 5 min.)
En Route (1910, 6 min.)
The Mind of the Café Waiter (1910, 5 min.)
Master of a Fashionable Game (1910, 4 min.)
Petit Chantecler (1910, 7 min.)
The Twelve Labors of Hercules (1910, 7 min.)
Petit Faust (1910, 5 min.)
The Neo-Impressionist Painter (1910, 6 min.)
The Four Little Tailors (1910, 7 min.)
Art’s Infancy (1910, 4 min.)
The Mysterious Fine Arts (1910, 5 min.)
The Persistent Salesman (1910, 8 min.)
A History of Hats (1910, 5 min.)
Nothing Is Impossible for Man (1910, 6 min.)
Mr. Crack (1910, 5 min.)
Bébé’s Masterpiece (1910, 4 min.)
Music-mania (1910, 5 min.)
Curated by Pierre Philippe
Total running time: 190 Min.
Original music by Bernard Lubat
American edition produced by Bret Wood
Between the years 1904 and 1914, Jean Durand was considered one of the masters of the form, both for the quality of his films and the wider influence he had upon film style. He joined Gaumont in 1911 and there he directed some 168 films, specializing in comedies and adventure dramas (including a number of especially fascinating American-style Westerns), shot on the wetlands of southeastern France.
While at Gaumont, Durand assembled a bestiary of supporting players and delighted in introducing elephants, lions, camels, snakes, and dogs into his farces and thrillers. Frequently menaced by the more deadly varieties was Durand’s wife and leading lady Berthe Dagmar. Durand also commanded a squadron of acrobatic actors — known simply as Les Pouittes — who specialized in the comic destruction of bourgeois interiors, but who just as effectively served as the cowboys and Indians with which Durand populated his Wild West landscape.
Calino’s Baptism (1911, 3 min.)
Calino Wants to Be a Cowboy (1911, 6 min.)
Zigoto and the Affair of the Necklace (1911, 8 min.)
Calino the Love Tamer (1912, 6 min.)
Zigoto’s Outing With Friends (1912, 5 min.)
Oxford vs. Martiques (1912, 4 min.)
Onésime Goes to Hell (1912, 7 min.)
Calino, Station Master (1912, 6 min.)
Onésime, Clockmaker (1912, 5 min.)
Onésime vs. Onésime (1912, 8 min.)
Zigoto Drives a Locomotive (1912, 6 min.)
Onésime Gets Maried… So Does Calino (1913, 7 min.)
Onésime: Calino’s Inheritance (1913, 1 min.)
Onésime Loves Animals (1913, 6 min.)
Onésime, Tamer of Men and Horses (1913, 13 min.)
Onésime and the Heart of a Gypsy (1913, 7 min.)
Onésime, You’ll Get Married…or Else! (1913, 7 min.)
Onésime’s Theatrical Debut (1913, 10 min.)
Onésime’s Family Drama (1914, 7 min.)
The Railway of Death (1912, 17 min.)
Burning Heart: An Indian Tale (1912, 13 min.)
Under the Claw (1912, 25 min.)
Jean Durand 1882-1946
This mini-documentary, written by Pierre Philippe, recounts the career of filmmaker Jean Durand through photographs and film clips.
Curated by Pierre Philippe
Total running time: 203 Min.
Full- frame (1.33:1)
Music by Patrick Laviosa
American Edition produced by Bret Wood
Jacques Feyder and the Early Masters of French Cinema
Jacques Feyder enjoyed a long, fruitful career as director, celebrated for such films as The Kiss (1929, starring Greta Garbo) and Knight Without Armor (1937, with Marlene Dietrich). Feyder cultivated his talents in the 1910s at the Gaumont Studios, where a carefully-curated stable of innovative directors were advancing the artistic finesse of the adolescent art form.
In addition to Feyder’s sophisticated comedies, this volume showcases a wide variety of other forms, impeccably executed: slapstick (THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW), realism (THE BARGES), and experimental film (FEET AND HANDS). This disc also presents samples of the astounding technical achievements that Gaumont had mastered, years before they became standard practice, such as the Phonoscéne, a synchronized sound process presented to the public via the Chronomégaphone sound-on-disc system.
Heads…and Women Who Use Them (1916, 36 min.)
Friendly Advice (1916, 16 min.)*
Biscot on the Wrong Floor (1916, 15 min.)*
The Long Arm of the Law (1909, 7 min.)
The Barges (1911, 10 min.)**
La Marseillaise (1912, 10 min.)
RENÉ LE SOMPTIER
A Drama of the Air (1913, 17 min.)
Child’s Play (1913, 12 min.)
Feet and Hands (1915, 17 min.)
A Factory Drama (1912, 13 min.)
The Pavements of Paris (1912, 13 min.)
The Fairy’s Farewell (n.d., 25 sec.)
Music by Patrick Laviosa, Ben Model (*), and Didier Goret (**)
PHONOSCENES (6 min.)
Three early synchronized-sound musical shorts: “Anna qu’est-ce quet’attends?,” “Chemineau chemine,” and “Le Mouchoir rouge de Cholet”
GAUMONT ACTUALITIES (14 min.)
Actualities that reveal the workings of Gaumont, including footage of founder Leon Gaumont demonstrating the operation of a motion picture camera, a hand-crank viewing device, a zoetrope, and dignitaries touring the Gaumont Studios
TRICHROMIE FILMS (12 min.)
Excerpts of Gaumont’s revolutionary full-color film process