Le Grand Melies; Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite; Direction of the Actor by Jean Renoir; Pagnol

Le Grand Melies
Evocation of the life of Georges Méliès, magician and pioneer of the screen. Special distinction at the Edinburgh Film Festival, 1953.

• Directed by Georges Franju. (1953, 32 mins, English titles, Print from French Film Library)

Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite
Winner of the 1976 American Film Festival Blue Ribbon for Best Film on Cinema, an introduction to the creative genius of the great French director, Abel Gance, with sequences from his Napoleon (1927), La Roue (1922), and J'Accuse (1919).
Using footage shot during the making of Napoleon, Kevin Brownlow gives us a rare view of an early film masterpiece in production. We discover that Gance was already working with hand-held camera, wide-angle lenses, rapid cutting, multiple superimpositions and panoramic screen, in the twenties. Later, in 1934, he introduced stereophonic sound to film.

• Directed by Kevin Brownlow. (1968, 52 mins, Print from Images)

Direction of the Actor by Jean Renoir
Revealing study of the distinguished French film director as he coaches and leads actress Gisele Braunberger through a difficult dramatic scene. Begins with director and actress beginning to read the script together, and closes with the actual filming of the scene.

• (1971, 26 mins, color, English titles and narration, Print from EMC)

The life and work of Marcel Pagnol through the settings that inspired him and the characters he has known, with excerpts from his films.

• Directed by J. Serres. Commentary spoken by Pagnol. (14 mins, In French, no subtitles, Print from French Film Library)

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