Le Baron Fantome (The Phantom Baron)

“A history of the French cinema will very likely remember a single film by the director Serge de Poligny: The Phantom Baron....
“(Jean) Cocteau contributed dialogue to The Phantom Baron.... (He) was interested in the film and above all in its atmosphere, which he defined this way: ‘Imagine an old chateau in ruins. A country house, an engagement banquet. Moats, lakes, swamps, dungeons, forests, and moonlight; that's The Phantom Baron.' According to his view, the characters ought to identify themselves with these elements of decor and setting, and with these objects; living beings become themselves objects of mystery in this setting predestined for mystery, for unearthly adventure. But the fantastic that permeates the film is not, after all, its center. After the disappearance of Baron Carol (played by Cocteau himself), the crumbling old chateau is succeeded by a manor house inhabited by the baron's descendants. The story Jean Cocteau was to unfold is a drama of the heart's first awakenings and uncertainties. Thus he had the happy fortune to meet characters who were waiting for him to endow them with their psychological and dramatic outlines.”

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