Ménilmontant, 1926 - ★★★★★

Ménilmontant, 1926 - ★★★★★





A film by Dimitri Kirsanoff

France 1926

B&W 37 Min.

Dark, brooding and vulnerable, yet beautifully ethereal... thats just lead actress Nadia Sibirskaïa,Ménilmontant skillfully says so much without words (bless the bees n the birds). The stories hell of a lot like a murder ballad - Two sisters who witnessed their parents slain in their youths. Grow up close, but are split when the younger girl falls for a thuggish man. At first he splits the women up, eventually dumping her with a child to fend for herself. The sisters find each other again, and take revenge for the way they've been abandoned.

Well I'm only 88 years late in catching up with Dimitri Kirsanoff silent masterpiece. I'm always skeptical when films build up a classic status here on Lboxd (or any film community for that matter). Anything b&w and European tends to get labeled masterpiece by association. Ménilmontant spectacularly bucks the trend of not living up to its lofty expectation. Not only with its brilliant and intricate narrative, but also its pioneering visual style (which is experimental, but not in the garishly obvious way most experimental cinema tends go). Anyway I'm glad I finally caught this film, thanks to this briliant list HERE (mmMMM wonder what else I can dig out).

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

Clocks, shadows, and Nadia Sibirskaïa picturesque loveliness. Plus the suburb Ménilmontant's factory landscape and back alleys, looked hell of a lot like the ones we had here in Manchester when I was knee high to a grasshopper (or at least when my folks were).

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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