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Posted: December 3rd, 2007, 7:35 pm
Posted: December 4th, 2007, 1:09 am
Posted: December 4th, 2007, 3:52 am
CharlieT wrote:My method of voting is to pick the one I'd watch if both were on at the same time on different channels.
Since I've never seen either of these films, I abstain.
I abstain as well. I've never seen these movies.
Posted: December 4th, 2007, 5:37 am
Having seen neither film that I can recall, I'll have to abstain.
Posted: December 4th, 2007, 3:21 pm
At the moment, barring any changes in existing votes the tally stands at:
Les Enfants 4
With a few choosing not to vote, at least not yet. This thread needs some spirited, informative debate!
Posted: December 4th, 2007, 6:32 pm
Posted: December 5th, 2007, 3:51 pm
is a masterpiece. I included it on my list of 25. But Les Enfants du Paradis
is one of my desert isle movies. I must vote for Arletty.
Lesl Enfants du Paradis
Addendum: If I may, I'd like include this excerpt from Tom Robbins' book Still Life with Woodpecker
. It uses this movie as an example of the importance of the arts in our lives:
"There's an underground involved in political resistance and the underground involved in preserving beauty and fun -- which is to say, preserving the human spirit. ... In the 1940's in Nazi-occupied Paris, an artist named Marcel Carné made a movie. He filmed it on location on the Street of Thieves, the old Parisian theatre street where at one time there was everything from Shakespearean companies to flea circuses, from grand opera to girlie shows. Carné's film was a period piece and required hundreds of extras in 19th-century costume. It required horses and carriages and jugglers and acrobats. The movie turned out to be over three hours long. And Carné made it right under the Nazi's noses. The film is a three-hour affirmation of life and an examination of the strange and sometimes devastating magnetism of love. Romantic? It's romantic enough to make a travel poster sigh and a sonnet blush. But completely uncompromising. It's a celebration of the human spirit in all of its goofy, gentle, and grotesque guises. And he made it in the very midst of Nazi occupation, filmed this beauty inside the belly of the beast. He called it Les Enfants du Paradis
-- The Children of Paradise -- and forty years later it's still moving audiences around the world. Now, I don't want want to take anything away from the French resistance. Its brave raids and acts of sabotage undermined the Germans and helped bring about their downfall. But in many ways Marcel Carné's movie, his Children of Paradise, was more important than the armed resistance. The resisters might have saved the skin of Paris, Carné kept alive its soul."
Posted: December 5th, 2007, 7:58 pm
I haven't made up my mind yet, but am close - Sunrise is my favorite silent film, and Les Enfants du Paradis is my favorite foreign film. To help myself decide, and for the interest of others who may not be familiar with these films, I would like to post a couple critiques and clips.
This was taken off the IMDB - I tried to find one without spoilers.
"Sunrise" is silent cinema at its peak. Many have commented on the dazzling camera movement; the amazing, expressionistic sets; the ease with which it tells a story in purely cinematic terms, with minimal titles and ingenious little camera tricks. What makes it really unusual for anything from that era is that the story still holds up. (Two others that achieve this: "The Wind" and "The General.") While some have been put off by its abrupt shifts from melodrama to comedy and back again, I think Murnau was consciously testing the limits of genre, creating a unique tone poem that resisted categorization. Add to that the natural, unhammy performances of handsome George O'Brien and demure Janet Gaynor (who, in Fox talkies, often over-peddled her sweetness) and you have a universal work that can catch modern audiences off-guard with its visual beauty and emotional power. It's so expressive that it really doesn't need a musical soundtrack, but the one accompanying the TCM print -- a little Wagneresque bombast here, a little "O Promise Me" there -- is appropriate and pleasing. A real wallop of late-silent-era magnificence, and one you can show to the uninitiated without fear they won't comprehend or be moved.
Les Enfants du Paradis
Posted: December 5th, 2007, 8:13 pm
Moraldo posted a great critique above, so I will just add a clip. When I first watched this movie back in the 1970's, it was in a funky old revival house with bean bags on the floor in front and folding chairs behind, and the film started and I could barely read the washed out subtitles. I thought I was in for some heavy going, untill we got to this early scene, and I suddenly fell under the spell of this film.
This is the first meeting between Garance and Baptiste - the clip is without subtitles, but you really don't need them. The scene is an incident of petty theft and a defense of the accused.
Posted: December 6th, 2007, 6:45 pm
Les Enfants 5
Thanks for the informational postings. This one will go down to the wire.
Posted: December 6th, 2007, 9:00 pm
Posted: December 7th, 2007, 12:26 am
After thinking about my decision to wait for a critique, I believe, as a not very avid silent film fan, this is one I've sat and watched a couple of time since the first, so I guess I like it enough to actually vote for it.
Posted: December 7th, 2007, 2:12 pm
Well, the outcome of this is that at least one of my favorite films will make it to the next round. I cast my vote for:
Les Enfants du Paradis
JohnM had earlier said he voted for Sunrise as it was the more simple film, and at first I thought I would also go in that direction, but Les Enfants is just more to love, more characters, more romance and heartbreak, and more about the world of theater and artists, which means so much to me.
Posted: December 7th, 2007, 4:29 pm
Les Enfants du Paradis
Posted: December 7th, 2007, 4:33 pm
I hadn't cast a vote before, because I only vaguely remember Sunrise, but I clearly and fondly remember Les Enfants, so it gets my vote.