Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Pearls of the Crown

Paid for by American Cinema Lovers for Sacha Guitry and the Advancement of Orson Welles

Les Perles de la couronne [The Pearls of the Crown] by Sacha Guitry, 1937:

Vertical poetry / Ultimate découpage / Bergman + Ferrara / The Merchant of Venice / Greatest fight montage (rebuke to nattering buffs who believe there's AN "ontology" to everything, especially "fight scenes": i.e., "demarcation of combatants" + "clear spatial bearing"), the predecessor of Blast of Silence / Question posed: How many monarchs realize deference is a sham? / Early Chabrol / "As a reward you may lick my fingertips." / Defiant cinema in '37 France: reversal — black servant boy: "You may lick my fingertips." / "Did you see Madame du Barry guillotined?" "No, unfortunately — I was away from Paris." "She was beautiful — what a head! It was as if they cut off the body, not the head!" / Tableaux vivants, all history as far back as the Hellenic comes to roost in The Pearls of the Crown — Guitry uncontainable (theater, cinema) — ultimate découpage: containment uncontained and contained uncontainment / A film of perfect, non-matching, exquisitely artisanal books, chapters, subheads and footnotes / Rivette / Lubitsch / von Sternberg / The lyric soprano of "notes de coquette": a doll crooning for the pearl / "Yes, my sweet Negress, your profile isn't Greek. No, no, Helen's beauty isn't what I seek. But your beauty makes my head spin. For the satin luster of your ebony skin will bring this pearl's whiteness to its peak." (I usually despise attempts to make subtitles match rhymes, but whoever tackled those particular couplets employed reason in their crime) / "I'll curse all women until the day I finally meet one who makes me forget the harm the rest have done me." "Inexorably." "What's with all the adverbs on this ship?" / Aquatic cinematography (in the Bresson sense) of the '30s (cf. Rossellini's first films) / And maybe the American electorate deserves what it's about to get / And "Guitry was a prince" / The benevolent civil monarchs and patrons, passed, / Leopards, extinct, / Bequeathed us pearls / Masterpieces like this

Les Perles de la couronne [The Pearls of the Crown] by Sacha Guitry, 1937:


1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.